Creating a chatbot or conversation robot.

Hi everybody. 

I have a quick question I would like to throw out there and hope somebody can help. I am in the early stages of making an autonomous robot and one of the functions I would like it to have is the ability to hold a conversation with people. I have made a previous cardboard robot as a proof of concept for my next build and used an iPhone chatbot app which worked quite well, but I would like to make my own stand alone chatbot.   

I am aware of the likes of "Pandorabot" and "Cleverbot" ect, but what I would love to do is program my own stand alone chatbot using the available hard drive memory on an old laptop I have laying around collecting dust, and use the Windows xp voice recognition to talk to it (speech to text) and have it respond with a spoken voice (text to speech) which would come out of a Bluetooth speaker located in the robot. I know my way around a computer to some degree but do not know how to program (although I did follow a program written down once to make an  analogue clock many moons ago), but with some hopefully straight forward instructions I am willing to learn and give it a go. I have a rough understanding what AIML is but don't know what I would need to use it. I want to go down this road as I want to have it off line, i.e not have to rely on an internet connection, except maybe my home network to connect to another device, not to rely on a second party server, and would like to put the old laptop to some use. 

I know I bit about teaching or training a bot to respond, i.e, giving multiple phrases or questions with one meaning (eg Hello, Hi, What's up, Hi there ect,) and the bot to recognise and respond accordingly, and I'm aware it will be time consuming, but it's the basics, or starting blocks that I'm after, getting a bot up and running and ready to be taught or trained, and if it's something I can get my head around and it's something I could realistically do, I would love to give it a crack. 

Is it reasonably possible for me to use my old laptop for the sole purpose to use it as a chatbot,
what would I need to set this up,
Can what I need to know, be broken down in to easy to follow steps for me or anyone to follow who does not have experience in this field,
And what recourses are there that I could use if needed?

Any help, thoughts and suggestions that anyone can offer to get me started on this idea really would be greatly appreciated, and may be of help to others too as I have not seen this sort of question asked anywhere on the inter web in regards to just using a home computer / laptop. The only information I can seem to find relates to online bots.

So thank you in advance for any help offered and I look forward to any responses.


caitlinsdad3 years ago

If your laptop is capable of loading and running the chatbot software, you could get started.

steve-gibbs5 (author)  caitlinsdad3 years ago

Thanks for your reply. Yes, the laptop is still fully functional so loading or running software wouldn't be an issue.