FatalXception
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:55 pm

Need help getting a TTS project off the ground

Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:11 am

I am trying to make a simple TTS project. I have a Pi Zero and a mini keyboard. I was going to get a LED 16x2 or something similar as a display that would echo typed characters to the display then send them to a TTS engine and output through a speaker when the enter key is pressed on the keyboard. I think I can figure out the hardware pretty easily but I'm not sure how to handle the screen and set things up at the interface end of things. Does anyone know of similar projects that I could look at? I didn't quite find what I was looking for on Google.

This project is to help my autistic daughter communicate with us so I appreciate any advice to get this off the ground.

tonywaite
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:13 am

Re: Need help getting a TTS project off the ground

Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:52 pm

Hi,

It's all do-able on the Pi: but it might be worth thinking about other solutions too.

A lot will depend on how your daughter gets on with computers/devices/tablets etc.

I'd probably start with an Android tablet: Google around assistive + text-to-speech + Android to see examples of ready-made Apps.
There are loads of them, with different facilities depending on the individual's needs.

A portable battery-powered speaker is a good starting-point for amplified sound output.

The most important thing is the human-machine interface: the hardware is now the easy bit!

FatalXception
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:55 pm

Re: Need help getting a TTS project off the ground

Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:21 pm

I'll admit I do have a few hidden agendas with this project- I have a Pi zero burning a hole in my pocket, I want to learn how to do this type of project, I like the idea of a minimal interface and how to create it, and I want to create an educational opportunity for my other kids too. I also want something that will not be used for games and is very portable. Maybe I have it so that it says each letter as it appears on the led display and then pressing enter passes the string to whatever TTS engine I use. I have considered the battery powered speaker too- I'll have to see how I can get the rest working as well!

tonywaite
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 10:13 am

Re: Need help getting a TTS project off the ground

Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:10 pm

I don't know the level of your hardware or software expertise; or - more importantly - your 'hacker' skills!

There are lots of approaches of course. But here's just one idea to get you started:

- set up a comfortable development environment, with screen, keyboard and speaker;
- get 'Festival' or 'espeak' talking first;
- write a simple input system to interface to the speech engine of your choice;
- develop further with your daughter and the rest of the family;

For portability, you could use the official Pi touchscreen and download the 'Florence' on-screen keyboard.
For better sound-quality, you can build Google's Pico speech engine from source.

As with all 'hacker' projects, the crucial first-step is to start. The Pi hardware and the fabulous Linux software community makes these things easier than ever before!

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