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Barking mad, or barking up the wrong tree?

Ok, so I told my wife I was building a robot (which is going to be based on the start here robot). When she asked what it’s going to do, I told her it’s going to wander around the house avoiding obstacles. She wasn’t impressed at all (does anyone else have a wife who doesn’t understand?). She replied “Is that it?!” I had to think on my feet, so I told her it’s also going to bark like a dog when someone knocks on the door, so they assume we have a big dog. I told her it’s going to be a guard robot. Sometimes I should think a little longer before I reply.

This now means I need a way of making a barking robot.

I’m thinking a simple record and playback module will be sufficient to make the noise, but what about the door knock? How can I do that? People often knock at our door, but they use different knocks. The pitch, frequency, volume and rhythm, the knocker chooses to use are all different. How can I get a robot to recognise that? It may be easier for me to educate all our various visitors to standardise a knock. I thought about using a doorbell and some kind of radio frequency linked straight to the robot, but she doesn’t like door bells (women are weird).

So my question today, is how do I do this?

If someone can help me out here, I may be able to develop the idea further, so when my wife’s singing, the robot can howl along with her.

Any help will be gratefully received.


The Bromz.

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Wow, that's a poser! The barking sound isn't so hard, it's the knock detection as you say.

You could probably get a sound sensor to react to any sound over a certain level. Knocks are pretty loud. However, your bot may also bark when pots and pans get clanked, doors get slammed etc. Maybe not too different than a real dog. ; j

Another way would be to put some sort of remote vibration sensor on the door itself. If the door is vibrated, it sends a remote signal to the bot, telling it to bark.

Good luck!

You can use an acelerometer mounted on the door looking for movement of the door. Couple this with an alarm sensor reed switch on the door. Program the microcontroler to look for vibrations when the reed switch is closed. You will need to add a delay so that the vibration of opening or closing the door does not trigger the barking, but it is doable. You can also add a PIR sensor or X-Band sensor to detect a moving heat signature or movement in front of the door. You can also use a PING))) to sense if someone is standing in front of the door.

It would be better to make the barking a stand-alone system. The robot is a little too small for just such a function

I have seen somewhere that a piezo speaker (the round yellow disc with a smaller white-ish smaller disc on it) can be used as a knocking sensor. If you mount it on the door and connect it to a microcontroller that will detect the knocks, then the micro can wirelessly send an alert message (IR, radio...) to the robot guard so he can come by the door and bark.

Here is a video that shows 3 projects, one of them being what you need:


Thanks for the help guys.

I knew someone would think of an idea. I'll investigate further on what you've said.

You could get a wireless doorbell, making the robot bark when anyone pushes that should be very simple.

I think this is brillient.