The beginning

All of this began around 6+ years ago when I went on an Arduino workshop at the university, by the end of it I was thrilled with what I learnt I could do with Arduino, went home really keen on buying me one of those marvellous life-creating boards. The pricing, however, wasn’t as friendly at the time – specially in Brazil – which led me to save some money to buy one, but you know, never actually happened.

Over the following years I thought about buying it quite a few times, again never happened, for pure procrastination this time.

Will, that is until last week, when I got me this bad boy:

It will take a few weeks to arrive as I bought it on AliExpress, but it will be worth it, everybody I showed it to, said I paid a decent price, as it comes with quite a few parts and a neat box:

I have read about building stuff on Arduino, often I heard complains saying that the parts that come with these starter kits are never enough and have limited space to grow due to the breadboards not having enough space, I am not sure this is accurate but I bought extra parts and extra breadboards too just to make sure I have enough material to start without having to wait another good few weeks for parts to arrive.

By the way, I didn’t know what I was gonna build but I was already afraid I could lack resources, that’s probably due to my Software Developer mind lol. I knew I wanted to build something cool, but it was probably going to be one of these light seeking cars or remote controlled cars you see on Youtube.

So in my head, whatever it was that I was building, would have these extra parts as back up:

Since I was probably gonna build a car I figured I’d buy an R.C so that I could dismount completely and then have Arduino control it, which is when I learnt that they already sell car chassis made for Arduino, which is ideal of lazy people and for people with zero knowledge in mechanics/electronics like me, these are sweet!

When I bought the car chassis, inspired by Home Alone, I figured this bad boy should also have a camera hooked to it, and apparently, cameras have gone REALLY cheap, costed me just over 3 dollars, it’s not like that’s the best camera there is, but still quite a bargain.

And to complete I bought this wifi adaptor, as a web developer, I knew whatever it was that I built, I’d be have to be able to control it over the internet.

How are these parts going to build Matilda? I’m still figuring it out, yesterday I bought a bluetooth speaker and that’s when The Matilda Project came to life. YES, through buying a bluetooth speaker! Somehow the idea came to my mind just after paying for it at the counter and the bluetooth speaker that I bought for random reasons will now become Matilda’s mouth.

Besides the above, I also have a spare mobile phone and a broken laptop, that will somehow give life to Matilda.

Here’s what I know about Matilda at the moment:

  • She will control a car that will move around the house
  • She will be able to identify the area of the house where the car is
  • The car will be Matilda’s eyes, as it will have a camera connected to it
  • Her eyes will allow face recognition (Not sure if the camera I bought will suffice due to its low resolution)
  • She will understand voice commands
  • Not sure what will be Matilda’s ears yet, maybe the phone, maybe the laptop
  • Ability to control my Spotify through the bluetooth speaker and phone or computer
  • She will be able to speak and have basic conversations

I’ll keep the blog updated with my ideas and progress on the code, this is likely to involve several small apps, some of them instaled locally in devices and some of them in the cloud, I have absolutely no idea where to start, but I’ll have time to think about it as it will still be a while before the parts arrive.

I hope to write here again soon!


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