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Two way intercom design for tele-operated robot Answered

Hi,

I'm working on building a tele-operated robot that will be able to send signals generated by moving your arms and mapping these to the robot arms. I'm looking to add an intercom system to the robot that would allow for the operator to speak into a microphone and come out a speaker on the robot and a microphone on the robot so send audio that someone speaking to the robot generates to the operator.

I've currently been looking into VOX circuits and walkie talkies but all walkie talkies I have seen require both sides to use a headset. It would be fine for the operator of the robot to use a headset but it would be better for the speaker and microphone on the robot to be out loud.

Does anyone have ideas about how this type of system could be implemented? Could I replace the PTT button on a walkie talkie with a voice activated switch kit available online?

Thank you.

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Omnivent (author)2018-02-06

Hi,

All "walkie talkies" (and PMRs) that I know of, requires the operator to push the PTT button to send, but some have a connector for a VOX and/or a PTT foot switch (or similar), but anyway, it is always one way comms at any time.

You didn't specify how "tele" it needs to be, so I don't know if a baby alarm would be helpful (still only one way comms, but the default is the "baby end" is transmitting any sound until you press the button an shout "go to sleep already you brat" - the softies might be getting up and walking to the babys bed (not carrying a club though).
In your scenario, you could set the squelch control to just barely kill the noise when no sound is being made.

For longer distances, cell phone, perhaps with an external loudspeaker and/or microphone with some degree of amplification (all depends on which distance you need to cover from robot to "user")
That way you can use your own phone at your end (or get a junk one just working).

There are other ways as well (like building a 2-channel comms system from scratch - they'll need to have suppressors for each channel, to make sure that sound won't just get out of the speaker and into the mike on the ROV (it's remote controlled it's a ROV - Remote Operated Vehicle - and not a robot), and if that happens at each end, you've got howl-around in a split second.

What's your max. distance and through how many, how solid walls does it need to operate?
How do you transfer the remote control signals to it now (there might be a way to carry a narrow band audio signal with your remote control setup, taking care of one direction)?

Regards

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