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mrobertson
12-01-2016, 06:34 PM
Do you have an Amazon Echo? If so, have you tried using one in your shop?

I know some older guys might believe this is too much, but my 65 year old father came up to me and actually requested that we get an Amazon Echo for our shop to try.

Why would you want an Echo in your shop?

We like to listen to music when we are doing mundane things in the shop. Itís nice to just ask for it, and to stop it when you get a phone call. We donít have to run to the stereo or computer to hit pause quickly.
We use it all the time to convert between Imperial and Metric units.
You can use it as a calculator
My dad is dyslexic, and has trouble spelling and searching for phone numbers for businesses, and other things on the computer.
My dad is bad at spelling, and you can ask the Echo how to spell a word.


We have started using it so much that I decided to try to develop some more skills that would be useful in the shop. My first skill is ask what drill bit you need for a certain thread.

Itís called ďTap & Drill Sizes Chart ReferenceĒ
You can simply say ďAlexa, ask tap chart what drill I need for a 10-24 tap.Ē

And it will reply with the correct drill bit and the diameter size.

Iím curious as to what other uses you could use an Echo for, and if anyone has any other ideas for skills. Iím currently working on one for G-Codes.

EddyCurr
12-01-2016, 07:00 PM
Hmmm ?


"Alexa: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot."

.

enginuity
12-01-2016, 07:14 PM
"Alexa, can you get this broken tap out?".

I think the idea has merit for some people. I will say it's not really for me. I'm not a luddite, but I find you really can't beat a keyboard and mouse (or a nice big tap chart!), at least for me. Voice always seems so slow to me. How slow is it?

Everyone is different :).

Andre3127
12-01-2016, 07:28 PM
I use the MachiningMate phone app for some shop stuff.

mrobertson
12-01-2016, 07:56 PM
It's actually fairly fast. We have a large tap chart framed and hanging on the wall, but sometimes we are in the other room. Actually asking the Echo is sometimes faster than scrolling through the chart on the wall.

Like I said it was my father's idea, because using a keyboard and mouse is more difficult for him.

BCRider
12-01-2016, 08:05 PM
What happens when Alexa pipes up "What's wrong? We never go out for dinner or just for a walk any more.... are you seeing another Echo unit?".

er.... no thanks :D

lakeside53
12-01-2016, 08:30 PM
careful... Alexa will side with your wife.

BCRider
12-01-2016, 08:58 PM
If a man says something in a forest and his wife or Alexa is not around to hear him is what he said still wrong?

lakeside53
12-01-2016, 09:04 PM
err.... yup!

BCRider
12-01-2016, 09:18 PM
err.... yup!

Is your wife reading this thread with you? I'd like to think you're wrong but I defer to the situation.... But then if she is reading your post and you say "yup!" then you're wrong about that... and that means that you're right about.... oh hell, I'm so confused now.....

mrobertson
12-01-2016, 10:09 PM
Surely, there must be something you have to reference at times in the shop.

Let's not go down the "My name isn't Surely" route. I've worked with too many old timers. I would be willing to make an Alexa Skill for anything you want in the shop. I'm sure we would find it useful as well. Like I said, my father loves the thing. I actually didn't want it. I wanted the Google Home, but he buys almost all his tooling off Amazon Prime now that Enco is basically gone. We get everything a lot faster and cheaper than dealing with eBay and China, Motion Industries, MSC, etc..

lakeside53
12-01-2016, 10:25 PM
Alexa would be most useful if she could see. "Alexa, where is my xxxxxx".

H380
12-01-2016, 10:44 PM
Alexa and Siri are the FBI and NSA's wet dream. People buy this crap AND pay for the internet. These things and your phone's mic are on 24/7. No black helicopter stuff. At the very least you are paying to give everything going on in your household to google or apple.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-congress-idUSKBN13P2ER

KiddZimaHater
12-01-2016, 10:57 PM
Might be useful in preventing lost tools.

"Alexa, I just placed my 9/16 Wrench on the shelf."
.... 10 minutes later.....
"Alexa, where's my *F**ng 9/16 wrench???!!!"

MichaelP
12-02-2016, 02:34 AM
Might be useful in preventing lost tools.

"Alexa, I just placed my 9/16 Wrench on the shelf."
.... 10 minutes later.....
"Alexa, where's my *F**ng 9/16 wrench???!!!"

You're lucky you still remember her name 10 min. later.

Baz
12-02-2016, 04:25 AM
Skill? I do hate the way this word is being used these days for trivial tasks like kids playing soccer. Kick the ball straight and it's a "skill". "curate" is another one. I just "curated" my drills by size. Yeah that's probably a skill too.
Anyway back to OP's question. How about horizontal mill speeds and feeds. It would have to ask 'How many teeth' and understand 'not many', 'loads of little ones' etc.

Made me think of a different need for a phone 'app'. You photo a screw thread against a standard graph paper background and it comes back with pitch, dia, and crucially angle of thread (55, 60, 47.5) or for other stuff taper angle and type (Jacobs, morse, bt etc).
Another app might identify obscure collets from a yard sale.

Magicniner
12-02-2016, 04:35 AM
Does the tapping drill size reel off a set of sizes as appropriate for different materials or does it give you a 100% thread size and expect you to allow for the material to be tapped?

Black Forest
12-02-2016, 04:41 AM
I am working on incorporating(sorry Baz!) spoken commands to operate my mechanized sheep shearing machine. Initial testing is promising. I am utilizing a Kinect2 as a microphone. It seems to filter out the background clipper and machine noise pretty good. Having to use software and hardware from multiple companies and getting them all to play nice together has been problematic but success is on the horizon.

Puckdropper
12-02-2016, 05:23 AM
Alexa would be most useful if she could see. "Alexa, where is my xxxxxx".

I was thinking the same thing. I had to stop for about 15 minutes tonight as I searched for my tape measure.

Black Forest
12-02-2016, 06:32 AM
I was thinking the same thing. I had to stop for about 15 minutes tonight as I searched for my tape measure.

A friend of mine was in my shop once and made a comment about putting transponders on my tools so I could find them! I wonder what he was inferring? :cool:

DS_park
12-02-2016, 07:42 AM
Hmmm ?


"Alexa: Tea, Earl Grey, Hot."

.

+1. Ten points.

mrobertson
12-02-2016, 07:57 AM
How about horizontal mill speeds and feeds. It would have to ask 'How many teeth' and understand 'not many', 'loads of little ones' etc.

Made me think of a different need for a phone 'app'. You photo a screw thread against a standard graph paper background and it comes back with pitch, dia, and crucially angle of thread (55, 60, 47.5) or for other stuff taper angle and type (Jacobs, morse, bt etc).
Another app might identify obscure collets from a yard sale.

I forgot to mention that I was also going to work on milling speeds and feeds. I could actually program it to recognize "not many" and "loads of little ones" as well as the exact number.

I like your idea about the phone app. That would take more developing than I have the ability or time for, but I would gladly pay for an app like that, if it worked well.

mrobertson
12-02-2016, 08:01 AM
Does the tapping drill size reel off a set of sizes as appropriate for different materials or does it give you a 100% thread size and expect you to allow for the material to be tapped?

It replies with the standard drill bit size that you would see on your everyday Tap and Drill chart, but I guess I could make it allow for different materials. I've never had a chart with that information.

loose nut
12-02-2016, 10:07 AM
What the 'ell is an Amazon Echo?

CCWKen
12-02-2016, 03:04 PM
A high priced method of accessing the Interweb by voice commands in the form of a question. It requires high speed access as well as paid subscriptions to various services.

mrobertson
12-03-2016, 03:40 AM
I understand that internet access does very from place to place in the US. I also understand that people don't value time, and are willing to save $20 a month for a slower internet connection, but will spend hours of time waiting to watching one youtube video. Yet, charge $50/hour to machine a piece. If your time is worth $50/hour, why are you losing money on waiting for buffering and slow downloads? Time is money. I realize that I'm posting on a "Home Shop" machinist site, but seriously common sense should take over even in the home. I know common sense isn't common.

My father grew up very poor. I was fortunate enough to have a loving father, and I respect what he went through. I am humble enough to realize that there will always be someone that knows more than I do. Look at ornamental turning. If you haven't searched Google for "ornamental turning" you are missing out on one of the most fundamentally important revolutions of machinist work in the history of the world. If you don't know what a Rose Engine Machine is, you don't really know anything about true machinist work. You are a novice.

Richard T
12-03-2016, 08:53 AM
I came home from a business trip and the wife had one setup. It is real nice for music and she can add items to her shopping list and then access it online. My 10 year old uses it also.

I can see using it in the shop. I often listen to audio books from my phone to a Bluetooth speaker. It puases automatically when a call comes in.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

CCWKen
12-03-2016, 09:33 AM
It's a little more than $20 for the next step up in speed for me. I'm paying $79/mo. (+tax) now just for internet access. The next step up is $129/mo. but the ISP still doesn't guarantee the use of streaming services. It's listed as 5Gbs average. There's one more step at $219/mo. that they consider commercial at 9Gbs average. And then there's still an additional charge for most streaming services. That would put IA in the range of a car payment, heating bill or a significant portion of my food bill. I value my time but I don't place that much value on internet access to be able to talk to a toy. I already think $79/mo. is outrageous for what I get. There are no other options in my area except satellite and that would limit streaming too.

If I had to choose between country living and fast internet, I'm sure you can figure out the answer. :cool: