This has been brought up before is some threads, but has come up again recently. I promised that I would make a post about this so, here it goes...
There have been some posts where people have asked to be able to use Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) with EZ-Builder. To do this, there would have to be a separate application installed which would handle this unless there is a change to EZ-Builder itself to allow this to happen. To build an application outside of EZ-Builder to allow this would require some programming and a $2000.00 investment in the DNS developer software. To use this new tool, you would have to launch a separate application on your computer to handle speech recognition, which would pass the spoken text back to a variable in EZ-Builder. You would have to develop scripts in EZ-Builder to handle what to do with this spoken text. Another application would also need to be written that would allow the user to train DNS.
The idea of crowd funding has been brought up a few times in the past, but always in other threads that not everyone might have seen. I would like to suggest crowd funding of this idea again. It would be great if we could crowd fund the purchase of DNS Developer for EZ-Robot to add the ability to choose either DNS or Windows Speech Recognition engine directly within EZ-Builder. If that is not possible and there were enough people willing to crowd fund the purchase of DNS Developer, I would be willing to develop the 3rd party apps that could be used to handle what was described above.
This is to see how much interest there is in doing this. Please post if you would be interested in donating to this project or to donating to see if we can get this feature added directly into EZ-Builder.
One important thing to remember here. This path would only enable DNS for the applications above. It would not enable it on every application outside of these. In other words, you wouldn't have all of DNS on your machine, but only for use with EZ-Builder.
Great idea. Just to get the ball rolling here, this is something I would be very interested in and would be willing to donate. I very much like the idea of donating towards crowd funding the purchase of DNS Developer for the EZ-Robot team, if DJ and the guys at the office would be willing to do this for easy implementation with EZ-Builder.
You can definitely count me in for this.
David, I'm all for contributing to the DNS effort, which ever direction it goes. I'm very interested in a solution.
@David, wow, you beat me to this. I was just sitting down to see if I could get this started an on track. I am willing to help with getting this started as I think it's a valuable addition for the EZ Robot platform.
As many know EZ Builder uses the Microsoft SR engine and has no ability to use other much more advanced products like DNS. Forum members and other customers been wanting to be able to have this option for years now. However EZ Builder is hard coded to use the MS Speech Recognition engine and it would be to much for DJ to rewrite the code (this is what I remember from past conversations a couple years ago so there may be more to it). Anyway, the only way other then waiting for MS to build a better SR engine in a future Windows release (unlikely) is to have a talented person like David write a plug-in type program that will give us the ability to choose DNS as a speech recognition engine.
I'm over the top excited that David is willing to do this. He's already written another program that works great with EZ Builder called EZ-AI so he's proven he has the talent and know how to do this. He also has proven he's a stand up and morally based person as he has not only helped many people on this forum but has taken many hours out of his own life to personally help people "off forum" with EZ Robot problems.
EDIT: I just re-read David's first post and missed the sentence here he suggested buying this software first for EZ Robot to use in development. I'm all for that and think it's a cleaner solution. Most of what I wrote below still applies. However if EZ Robot cant go this route then the following still applies:
Why should we raise 2k for a guy we've never seen to buy personal software? This is a legitimate question. Yes, 2k is a lot of cash. Sure he will benefit in this as it would be his to do with as he sees fit. However, looking at the bigger; If he can actually provide the EZ Robot's customers and community a way to use a superior SR engine like DNS then we all benefit in huge ways. Speech Recognition is such a big part of using EZ Robot and one of the coolest features. Why not have the ability to use the best SR engine available right now?
Is this a sure thing that David can develop this plug-in and how long will it take? No, not 100%. New stuff like this is always a crap shoot and a risk. However I'm willing to bet my money on a proven, quality and knowledgeable man like David Cochran if there is a good potability of having this feature in my robot. How long will it take? There is no time line on new inventions and genius. It will take as long as it takes and we should understand that going into it. We need to let David work his magic and trust he'll do the best he can. We also need to understand that David has a real life and other responsibilities that come first.
How much should you donate? My rule of thumb in putting money into a start up without a %100 possibility of success is to only give enough money I can afford and that I'm willing to loose. With that said I'm willing to donate $200 USD at this time. No one else is expected to reveal what they are donating. We would only ask at this time to speak up to show interest in funding this.
Will you get your money back if this fails and we cant raise enough money to buy the software? We'll if this is set up correctly there should be no risk of loosing your donated funds if the software cant be bought because of lack of funding. An account could be set up through a place like Go Fund Me that will hold the cash and refund money if athe set gold is not met. I think this account should be managed by a third party member and not David. This should set people's minds to rest about the safety of the funds being raised. If people trust me, I could set this up through Go Fund Me and manage it. However, once the funds are released and the software is bought by David the money raised is non refundable. The Software id David's to do with as he wishes. However the expectation would for David to first use it to try to develop an interface between EZ Builder and Dragon Naturally Speaking.
These were some of the questions and answers I could think of. Please ask any other ones you may think of and they will try to be answered. If there is enough interest I'm willing to help out as much as I can and do the set up work if the community and David are willing to allow me.
Thanks for our consideration.
@DavidC. (or anyone wanting to chat off line about this) feel free to drop me a email at dschulpius at wi dot rr dot com. If we move forward we need to figure out the amount we should set in the funding account to raise the money and the amount needed. Remember these funding accounts require a fee usually based on the amount of money you want funded. Also after about $500 raised the funding site goes public and more then just the people you notify can see it.
I think it is a great idea to have Dave S manage the donations. I would be willing to donate around $400 to this next month. Either way (EZ-Builder or 3rd party app) is good with me personally.
If I wrote the third party app, it would be my top priority outside of my normal job and my normal life responsibilities. I would do everything in my power to deliver a working product as soon as possible. Knowing me, it would be an ongoing project to improve the capabilities as time went on as I am never satisfied with anything and never count anything as a completed project. There is always room for improvement.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to post them here. I will answer anything asked. I know that there are some others who have posted an interest in this type of solution in the past also. David, lets see how much interest there is prior to starting a go fund me. If you can find out what the cost of the fee would be for something like this, it would be helpful. I will get a quote from Dragon so that we know exactly how much would need to be raised.
 I have requested a price quote for DNS SDK client. I will post the exact cost as soon as I get it back from Nuance.
I am on the fence with this..... Maybe it would help if someone could explain what the advantage DNS has over what we have now?.... I have zero issues with speech rec now so can someone tell me what improvement or what extra I will be able to do with DNS that I can't already do with Windows speech rec?
I guess the best thing to do is to look at this
These are just some of the things that I see being beneficial.
DNS allows you to spell words out, for example, if facial recognition were on and a face wasn't recognized, the application could ask the user to spell their name, which could then be used to store that value in the facial recognition piece of either EZ-Builder or RoboRealm. Numbers could be recognized also. This is what Tony is using with his platform also. Dictation is more accurate too.
New in Dragon 12, developers can integrate
user profile creation for an iPhone®, iPod® touch (4th gen), iPad® or compatible
Android™ device as a remote microphone or recorder for greater freedom and
DSC supports English (including variants for
US, UK, Australian, Southeast Asian and Indian), German, French, Italian, Spanish
and Dutch. Other vocabularies provided in DSC are General Vocabulary, Empty
Dictation (except in Australian, Southeast Asian and Indian), and Commands
Only (available in US and UK English only).
Enable continuous dictation of up to 160 words-per-minute into nearly any
Windows-based application with up to 99% accuracy. Developers can customize
specific requirements and leverage the full feature set of Dragon, including
voice correction, formatting, and dictation playback for fast editing, as well as
create new user profiles (with or without end user interaction) using Dragon’s
new user wizard.
Application developers can transcribe audio files into application windows or
transcribe audio files in text and document files. DSC also includes the Audio
Transcribe Folder Agent, a GUI tool that automatically transcribes recorded
voice from audio files into user-specified directories. This includes .wav, .wma,
and .mp3 audio files, as well as .dss and .ds2 file formats.
One more thing....do you have to buy DNS or is it a free download? I am just worried that this would be a created need that I never knew I had....
Thanks David...I will do some research before I look like any more of a dumb a** than I do now...
I just want to add to what I wrote in post #2.
It is great that David C is willing to take this on, and I cannot think of a better person for the job. His willingness to do do this, not just for his EZ-AI program, but for all of us as well, is just fantastic and I cannot thank you enough David. But whatever direction this takes, I would personally like to see some involvement from EZ-Robot with it's implementation with EZ-Builder (it is their platform after all).
DJ and the guys are striving to be the best robotics software company in the world and are currently doing a fantastic job in doing just that, which is clear to see. But to keep being the king of the castle in this field requires that the very best hardware and very best software is used, and in this case, using DNS falls in this category. And as Dave S has already said, Speech Recognition really is quite an important part of EZ-Builder and robot control in general. So I would like to think that the EZ-Robot team would be willing to take up the challenge of implementing DNS in to EZ-Builder using its members (our) donations to make this a reality and to keep EZ-Builder and EZ-Robots the best robotic software company there is, or even participate in David C's on take of this project if that's the direction this will take.
Either way, I would still be happy to donate cash and be a tester for this project whoever takes it on. My current financial situation doesn't leave me a lot of disposable income at this time, but I would be willing to donate £70 GBP (about $100 USD) to this, bearing in mind I will still need to pay out about $120 to purchase the DNS software itself, and if I can afford to pay a little more at the time of funding I would be more than happy to do just that to help make this a reality.
In any case, I am really excited about this project as I am more than a little fed up with Windows speech rec, even when I use a quality mic and lots of training. This can only be a good thing. And a quick mention to show my personal thanks to Dave S for his willingness to take care of the fund raising account.