English, Roboking! Do you speak it?

Jun 29, 2014

Thanks to AsherW on whirlpool, I upgraded my Korean VR6272LVM Roboking to English. I had considered trying to flash it with the firmware for the equivalent Australian model but decided the risk of bricking a $700 robot too high. It turns out the firmware upgrade isn't necessary and the steps are quite straight forward:

  1. Format a USB key to FAT32 and extract this download onto it
  2. Turn off robot by switch
  3. Insert USB
  4. Turn on robot by switch
  5. Press start button (lid can be open)
  6. Wait. Robot wlil announce "Here we go!" in it's best Luigi impression and you'll see the light on the USB stick flash.
  7. Wait for the complete message.
  8. Turn off robot vac by switch

The Roboking is Linux based and the update.sh shell script in the download will create a folder called SNDDATA.old on the USB stick, copy all the sound files off the robot into the folder, then copy the English sound files off the USB onto the robot.

Since I wasn't sure what exact model those downloaded sounds were for, I edited update.sh to only do a copy to USB and then verified with DiffMerge that there was a one to one file match with the downloaded English sounds.

How to open SND files

I wanted to verify the audio files were sensible and I wasn't about to turn my Korean robot into a German one or similar. This can be done via Audacity:

  1. File -> Import -> Raw Data...
  2. Browse for your file
  3. Set the Sample Rate to 16000, click Import

You can then play the sound file and hear a preview of what it actually says.

How to create your own SND files

Source an appropriate sound for your robot and open it up in Audacity. Export it like this:

  1. File -> Export
  2. In that dialog window before clicking Save, set:
    1. Save as Type: Other uncompressed files
    2. Options -> Header: Raw (headerless), Encoding: Signed 16 bit PCM
  3. Save, OK

From there it is straight forward to substitute your exported file for the USB upload.

Here is the new message for when my robot is stuck: listen

How to bulk convert SND to WAV

I might hack a few more sound files but the process of opening them up in Audacity to see what they say is going to be a bit slow. Converting them to WAV file first will be easier to review.

Here is how to do it with ffmpeg for windows

C:>ffmpeg -f s16le -ar 16000 -ac 1 -i SND_BATTERY_CHARGING_BEGIN.snd SND_BATTERY_CHARGING_BEGIN.wav

From there it is straight forward to generate all the conversion commands for a batch file via Excel.