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Over the past few years it has become increasingly easier to make something with voice or image recognition. Both are being used more and more frequently nowadays. And these are popular topics in DIY projects. Most of the time created with the software/API from one of the following companies:

  • Google Voice.
  • Amazon Alexa.
  • Microsoft Cognitive Services.

There are even some DIY kits, like the Google AIY Voice Kit to support hobbyists. Most of these products use a Raspberry Pi or a similar board. Unfortunately, this is not suitable for those who don’t know how to handle a programming language, such as Python.

This instructable is about voice recognition and image OCR, without any knowledge of a programming language. However, logical thinking remains a requirement. Hereby the Makeblock Neuron product is used, combined with a flow based programming environment.

This Neuron product started as a Kickstarter project in 2017. It’s an Electronic Building Block Platform using all types of electronic ‘blocks’ which can be connected by magnetic connectors. And is basically meant as a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) product. This product therefore focuses on logical thinking and (learn) to program.

There are about 30 different types of Neuron blocks. Such as different types of transmitters and receivers, buttons, LEDs, sensors and motors. Most blocks only communicate with each other. But one of the blocks, the WiFi block, can be connected to the internet. This makes it possible to access internet applications such as the Microsoft Cognitive Services.

The first steps of this Instructable start with a brief introduction about the Neuron product and how to program them. This includes flow-based programming and some of the available electronic components.

This is followed by some examples with Vision and Voice recognition. And finally a small turtle robot. Which can be remotely controlled by means of a joystick. It is possible to use voice recognition with this robot. However, the response times of the voice control must be taken into account.

In addition there is some additional technical information. These steps provide background information and provide insight into the Neuron product. Click the link to get the steps instruction via