Alexa can be used on the manufacturing shop floor to control devices with barcodes. Want to see how? scroll down to the video below
First off, DO NOT use Alexa to turn on harmful devices like saws or presses. Bad idea!
Here’s how to control things on the shop floor with Alexa:
- Set up Wi-Fi enabled plugs with names you recognize
- Create prerecorded messages saying “Alexa, turn on XYZ”
- Save those audio messages to your hard drive
- Connect a barcode to an audio message in Standard Time®
- Scan the barcode associated with a message
- The prerecorded message will play on your computer speaker
- Alexa will hear the message and do her thing
- Watch the video, then scroll down for more detail
The genius behind this is method of shop floor automation is prerecorded messages. You can create as many as you like. Each one tells Alexa to do something. Record them with the Windows Voice Recorder app. Save the files to your hard drive. (Beware that you’ll likely need to convert these goofy Windows audio files to MP3. The Voice Recorder is too goofy and backwards to support that, so consider using another recording app instead.)
Now that you have sound files in MP3 format, you can play them with Standard Time® scripts.
What’s Standard Time?
Standard Time (Or, ST for short) is a manufacturing shop floor time tracker. Employees track their time and materials with it. Google it, and you’ll see.
ST plays MP3 files by use of scripts. Scripts have names, which you can scan as barcode labels. So, create a script that plays a sound, then create a barcode label with that script name. Scan the label to call the script. Magically, your Alexa commands will come out the speaker and she will do what you want.
Yeah, I know… it sounds a little sketchy. Contact the support folks at Scoutwest for some help. It’s really not hard, but there are some details you can mess up. The support folks will have you up and running quickly.
Yeah… but… why not just skip the barcode thing and yell commands at Alexa? Two reasons… 1. Your operators may not know the commands, and will need training and retraining. Computers don’t. They never forget. 2. Your Alexa commands may be so numerous that operators forget them all. See reason #1. So… it’s just better to let the computer handle all communication with Alexa.
Go ahead and download Standard Time if you haven’t already. Good luck!