is this project... do-able?

hey im swapping the engine in my 88 fiero and while i was working on it, it got me thinking. would i be able to voice control EVERYTHING? by that i mean is is possible to simply while driveing say, "sofi" (my cars name haha), "headlights".."on", or "sofi".. "performance mode".. "engage"? this would be a very creative feature if possible. but is it? and if so how much work and what would be involved? (coding wiring wise) thanks for any help you guys can enlighten me with

It would be very invasive to your car, you would have to find the triggers for all of the systems and wire them to the arduino instead of the buttons which engage them. If they are engaged by a computer system (touchscreen, screen of some sort) it will be very difficult to pinpoint it. I don't know anything about voice recognition but I'm sure it won't be easy.

its an old car so its nothing like the new dashboards with touchscreens or fancy gadgets besides a gauge cluster and obd2 computer for the engine. i would imagine it would be a matter of wiring the buttons to the arduino as a stand alone system

Aside from the whole "interface to the vehicle" part (which on a car of that age shouldn't be an issue - especially since you seem to know what you're doing if you are doing an engine swap - that isn't an easy or quick project); ultimately that will just be some relay interfacing (unless you want to get fancy; personally I would stick with automotive relays - you start gettin' fancy, and things start failing) - your main issue will be the voice recognition part. There are a few modules and/or shields out there to help with this, or you can try to roll your own (not reccommended, though - it isn't easy, though there are people around here that have been playing with simple systems - most of the hard stuff is in the software). Another possibility would be to see if anyone has done some kind of "use your android phone to control your arduino with your voice" software or something - harnessing the power of an android phone or tablet to do the heavy lifting. You could even experiment with using a Raspberry PI or some other small embedded linux PC (nano-itx if you have the cash, mini-itx if you don't); there are voice recognition software and projects out there for that platform (or do it with Windows, and perhaps Roborealm or some other software - I think Roborealm has that capability, dunno). You might also wait for the Due to become widely available...

If you wanted to do this, I'd put in the relays and interfaces right now while you have the car apart - label everything, and stuff it in a box somewhere for later. Remember to bring in power and ground, too. Put everything you want in there - all the relays, connectors, wires, etc - needed for the systems you want to control and maybe a few extra. Add connectors and such so you can look at the OBD data, too (there are more than a few OBD projects out there for the Arduino, btw - so you might start there?).

Then - continue learning with your Arduino (or wherever you are at with it), and try to get a "bench level" voice recognition project working. Maybe just so you can do your two commands or whatever - nothing too fancy. Have the arduino light an LED when it recognizes the command successfully. Then try taking it on a trip with you - set it in the passenger seat; see what kind of noise issues you have to deal with (what about the radio playing, or the windows down, or on the freeway, etc). See if it gets activated when you -don't- want it activated, too. Perhaps install an "emergency override" "big-red-button" on the dashboard as a "just-in-case" feature...

When you have it all working on the bench - at least something more than the basics, then you can go back and install it into the vehicle. Once again, I think this could possibly work. It may be flaky at times, it may not work as easily as you want it to, but I think it would be a good learning experience, and even if it worked half the time, it would be pretty fun and amazing. Just take it one step at a time, bench test it to hell and back, and you should be able to get there.

Oh - one other thing - look into issues and how to combat them (Atmel has an app note on it) when it comes to powering the ATMega and other systems in the noisy (that is, voltage spikes, sags, etc) power of an automobile (keep the power wires well away from the spark plug wires and coil(s), of course!).

Have you ever used a voice control system? In my experience they are a massive PITA in practice and I would always favor reaching out to press a physical button over shouting at it and trying to make it do what I want.

PeterH:
Have you ever used a voice control system? In my experience they are a massive PITA in practice and I would always favor reaching out to press a physical button over shouting at it and trying to make it do what I want.

I’m with you here. It’s easier to just press the button or turn the dial than use voice in my Ford. First epic fail is you need the car stereo on for voice to work in the first place and then you need to press a button to activate voice control. Unless it’s something more complex like making hands free phone calls your better off without it.