Dave the AI Robot

Dave the AI Robot


Role: Software Dev (vision, navigation, speech synthesis)
Work at Monash

Dave is a small robot we developed at SensiLab. The function of Dave is to give tours of the lab space, but the reason for his existance is to operate as a mobile research platform for exploring a range of AI challenges.

For Dave I trained a neural speech synthesis system to give him a voice and used an off-the-shelf model for real-time object detection. I made a simple hot-word detection model that listens for ‘Hey Dave’ and triggers a cloud-based speech to text conversion which is used for on-board natural language processing.

A challenge with this project has been managing memory constraints. With 8GB of memory, it is hard to run speech synthesis, hot word detection object detection and navigation tasks all at once.

I’m hoping to find some students to keep working with Dave, especially on monocular navagation of indoor environments.