Lowest possible cost text- to-speech unit for the disabled, possibly in developing countries. Stand-alone (i.e. not PC based)
Unmodified Wii Nunchuck.
In this example I am using the thumb joystick to navigate the text menu but could also be done by tilting the 'chuck and using the accelerometers (position sensors) inside.
Letters are selected by pressing one of the two buttons on the front of the Nunchuck.
Connects to any normal TV (PAL or NTSC) via standard yellow "video in" plug.
Arduino board - turn on the power (battery) and you are ready to go.
Based on the MIT "TV-out" system which cleverly lets an Arduino "trick" a TV into displaying a basic picture without using any sort of graphics or video card.
I have modified this software to produce a simple alphabet from which you can select letters and make words with the nunchuck. This has to be done within the limitations of the Arduino as the TVout software uses a lot of the RAM to generate the picture.
The selected words are then sent to a serial "text to speech" module connected to a small loudspeaker. This gives the spoken text.
Total cost < $100.
Other input options:
- If a wireless nunchuck is used, the user can move with no connecting wires so long as TV is in the room somewhere nearby.
- Currently uses 2 Arduino boards (one decodes the Nunchuck data). If a simple keypad or set of switches were used instead, a single Arduino would be enough to do everything. I am a big fan of the Nunchuck as an input device though.
Step 1: Create a connection between Wii Nunchuck and Arduino
You need to make a socket that you can plug your Nunchuck into. The easiest way is to buy a very cheap "nunchuck extender" cable similar to the one illustrated.
Cut off the socket end with a small length of cable attached and you will find several wires inside.
Only 4 of these wires will be required - one for each of the OUTER four connnections of the total of six within the socket. See next page.
The project does assume some knowledge of Arduino microcontroller system and how you load programs from your PC on to the Arduino boards. If not:
There is a great set of tutorials here:
Another great set of tutorials.