Tag Archives: Cognitive Services

The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing Drone Journey – Last Installment

Introduction to the Drone Journey

Final Installment

This post is the eleventh, and final, post in documenting the steps I went through on my journey to build an autonomous, voice-controlled, face recognizing drone. There are 10 other posts building up to this one which you can find at the end of this post.

Focus of this post

In this post I will share a video of the complete end-to-end demo and share details of the architecture which sits behind it. I will also share information on what I bought/used to bring this all together and relist all the different software, services and node packages in a single place.

Pulling It All Together

A lot of what we have been doing with this project is humanizing the way we communicate with machines/computers/things. That means talking and observing to drive intelligent interaction rather than using a mouse, keyboard or touch screen.

Our Autonomous Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone is a smart drone which showcases, albeit crudely, how interaction with services filled with intelligence is going to evolve. It highlights the importance of cognitive services to the success of organizations in the future.

So with that said take a look at the entire end to end demo in the video below.

Continue reading The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing Drone Journey – Last Installment

The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 6

Introduction to the Drone Journey

Face Recognition

This post is the seventh post in documenting the steps I went through on my journey to build an autonomous, voice-controlled, face recognizing drone. There are 6 other posts building up to this one which you can find at the end of this post.

Focus of this post

In this post I am going to pick-up where we left off and look at :

  • How to use the Microsoft Cognitive Services Face API to recognize a specific face. Specifically we will explore the face.identify approach.
  • How to build the identify approach into your DroneWebServer.js file such that the drone will land when it sees a named person.

My issues

I have to admit to facing quite some challenges getting face.identify to work. Using the face.identify capability requires a large number of things to be completed, in a very specific order, before it will work.

Node.js does not make doing things in a specific order easy without nested functions, callbacks and other things.  The truth is that I wasted a large number of hours before I realized that the asynchronous nature of node.js was a major source of many of  the issues I was  running into rather than me misusing the Cognitive Services APIs o any issue with the APIs themselves.

I also found that the online examples sometimes do not really give you the step by step help you might need. this looked to mostly be the case in the Node.JS world as other programming languages  seemed much more comprehensive. In the node.js world you essentially get the code to look at and try to understand which does not help with “ordering” issues.

When you add to that it is entirely possible to create things, people for example, with the same name multiple times (without realizing it) you can see where my issues came from.

I did speak with Lukas again at this stage. He told me that he set up his target faces using the SDK console rather than through code so I hit a dead end there as I was determined to try avoid that (I must admit I thought about it ;)..).

This is where my first outreach to someone at Microsoft came. I contacted Chris Thrasher who very kindly sent me some code samples he had worked on. He too found the challenge of things not being called in order which he solved using the “bluebird” package.

Thanks to his pointer and his sample code I identified a spot I was not doing something right which allowed me to move forwards.  I want to be sure to say thanks to Chris because without his help I would have stopped at face.similar.

A warning: This is a monster blog post. I decided to put it all in one rather than break it up. Grab a coffee, give yourself sometime and enjoy the ride!

Continue reading The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 6

The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 5

Introduction to the Drone Journey

Part 5

This post is the sixth post in documenting the steps I went through on my journey to build an autonomous, voice-controlled, face recognizing drone. There are 5 other posts building up to this one which you can find at the end of this post.

Focus of this post

In this post I am going to pick-up where we left off and look at :

  • How we can make use of the Microsoft Cognitive Services Face API to recognize a specific face.  We will explore one of the approaches to doing that which reflects the journey I went through in this blog and the next blog will look at another approach.

Continue reading The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 5

The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 4

Introduction to the Drone Journey

Cognitive Services

This post is the fourth post in documenting the steps I went through on my journey to build an autonomous, voice-controlled, face recognizing drone. There are 4 other posts building up to this one which you can find at the end of this post.

Focus of this post

In this post I am going to pick-up where we left off and cover how you can:

  • Install the packages you need to access Microsoft Cognitive Services from node.js
  • Understand some of the capabilities of Microsoft Cognitive Services
  • Start to see how the face API can be used from node.js
  • Understand how to use the ImageMagick library (thanks to the tip from Lukas) to annotate the images that come back with the faces in node.js

Adding Intelligence To The Drone

In this part of the project we start to add some intelligence to our drone. We will do that using Microsoft Cognitive Services. There is a great introduction in this YouTube video which I encourage you to take a look at.

For this demo the primary APIs we will use are the Face API and the Speech APIs so I will focus there over the next few posts.

Continue reading The Voice-Controlled, Face Recognizing, Drone Journey – Part 4

Building an autonomous, voice-controlled face recognizing drone

The inspiration

Our world, and the technology landscape that is helping to fuel it, are changing at a staggering pace. With nearly 20 years in the IT industry the only constant I have had to handle is change.

Many years ago I resolved to ensure I was learning on all levels and, while possible, that includes keeping my hands near the tools of the transformation. The technology!

The quote above really sums up why twice a year I try to find a side project that lets me dive deep into selective technology I have not used much previously. I do that so that I can “touch” it. That in turn enables me understand it, and how it might be useful, better.

I value such periods. The time spent on such projects helps me when it comes to my day to day job of helping steer the business and helping companies transform through the use of new technologies.

With that in mind, in the run up to Christmas, I was looking around for my next project.  It was then I stumbled across a blog post from October 2016 by Lukas Biewald. The blog post was entitled “How to build an autonomous, voice-controlled, face recognizing drone for $200“. I knew immediately I had found my next project.

Drone Intro

Continue reading Building an autonomous, voice-controlled face recognizing drone