The wonderful Fred from Quadstick.com recommended looking into The Open Voice Factory while we were working with Andrea in Italy last year. The Open Voice Factory provides free, open source, fully customizable speech aid software, thus solving the issue I have with expensive, unimpressive for-fee versions with similar functionality. The system looks perfect for replacing trial software being used at a local (to me) school that teaches kids with developmental and physical disabilities. They’ve been unable to afford the full version of their existing software and thus the kids have been limited, not by their abilities, but by the constant nagware that limits its usage to just a few working cards?! Drives me crazy! I’m hoping to get some time to familiarize myself with The Open Voice Factory and their community in the coming weeks…there’s certainly some excitingly thorough-looking video guides on their website!:
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I first started chatting Quinton (“qdragon”) around 2015 and we’ve been plotting, scheming bickering and conspiring ever since. We met over a YouTube discussion about me wanting to be Han Solo when I grew up…only to find that I’d become C3P0 instead.
Q’s vision for himself was living as a cyborg…which became even cooler a concept when I discovered that he had SMA Type II which severely limited his ability to move. I called him up and was really impressed by him and his youtube-fu! He had a run of pro-atheist anti-religious-hypocrisy videos in which he (as a youngster) debunked creationists with a polite, yet critical candor that I found extremely refreshing! We were both science fiction and science fans and I appreciated his impressive range of expertise and knowledge and our shared excitement over all things science…not to mention our crazed pursuit of random, constantly changing “brilliant” business ideas and all things entrepreneurial!
Talking with Q and collaborating on a number of videos and hair-brained business ideas with him I found myself more and more excited about the technical possibilities I was finding in my cyborg-related research. Could Q’s vision of a cyborg reality for himself be made a reality? The more I dug into the topic of robotics, biomechanics, Brain computer interfaces, the more obsessed I became with the idea. I had always loved the melding of man and machine…often wishing I could rid myself of the boring mundane requirements of physical life in pursuit of a ‘brain in a bucket’ existence as a pure intelligence. While I would never wish SMA on anyone, I was weirdly jealous that due to his disease, Q was able to spend just about every waking second in the pursuit of knowledge…his inability to move had, in-effect, made him more quintessentially “human” than the rest of us. I rapidly disappeared down the rabbit hole of transhumanism, biomechanical engineering, nanotech, biotech…just about anything that could upgrade our existing abilities.
While I lost myself to disability busting technology…Q pursued his love of food. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy eating more than just about anything or anyone else…and I’m happy to do it. But Q is absolutely obsessed with mad science-like culinary creations and the science of food and molecular gastronomy. I do my best to keep up, but he’s way out of my league…I’m looking forward to finally meeting him in person and getting to try some of his crazy culinary creations…I’ve had the opportunity to work with him on a couple of Shape Of Water Cocktails and they were fantastic! Definitely check out his Cooking With Q videos!
So our idea was to pursue, not so much, the creation of a cyborg suit for Q, but a cyborg suite that would allow Q to up his YouTube game with robotic cameras, remote arms and sensors as well as a remotely controlled robotic light box that would allow Q to perfectly lit and film his wonderful finished dishes!