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Sound Parameters

Vector's sound engine is designed to give a more life-like quality to his sounds. It does this by varying the sounds it plays when an audio event is received by the audio engine. Instead of playing a single, fixed sound file, a sequence of semi-randomized sounds is played. Some events have many possible sequences that could be played. The audio engine selects the sequence based primarily on Vector’s current level of stimulation.

Input parameters (inputs from the animation system and engine)

Audio parameters are settable values passed to the audio engine, guiding it in how it selects and plays the sounds. (These are called "game parameters" in Wwise parlance.) Vector mainly uses these to adjust the sounds based on his current mood and activity. Like the action, these parameters are on a per object (within the audio engine) basis.

The sound engine is connected to the high-level state of the other major robot sub-systems, so that the sounds could reflect what Vector’s body is doing, his mood, emotional state, level of stimulation, and even to respond to the environment. Although many parameters are provisioned in the soundbanks, only few are used: they were too hard to get right.

The parameters linked to the emotion state & mood:

Parameters Description
Robot_Vic_Confident This captures the emotion dimension "confidence"
Robot_Vic_Happy This captures the emotion dimension "happy"
Robot_Vic_Held_Trust This captures the emotion dimension "trust”
Robot_Vic_Purr_Level
Robot_Vic_Social This captures the emotion dimension "social"
Robot_Vic_Stimulation "This stimulation variable is a distillation of all possible environmental affects Vector experiences. For example, ‘hey Vector’ or touch automatically triggers a 1.0, getting stuck drop the stim to about 0.5, etc. .. We adapted the audio system to gradually lower in probability and volume as the stimulation level lowered. The goal being that active Vector users get a more lively sounding robot, and Vectors left on but not being interacted with wouldn't be so chirpy." (Ben Gabaldon)

The parameters linked to the body’s posture and movement:

Parameters Description
Robot_Vic_Head_Accelerate How fast the head is changing speed.
Robot_Vic_Head_Position This captures the heads position: where it is looking.
Robot_Vic_Head_Speed This is linked to the speed that the head is moving at, and the direction it is moving in.
Robot_Vic_Lift_Accelerate How fast the lift is changing speed.
Robot_Vic_Lift_Position This is the position of the lift.
Robot_Vic_Lift_Speed This is linked to the speed that the lift is moving at, and the direction it is moving in.
Robot_Vic_Tread_Accelerate How fast the treads are changing speed.
Robot_Vic_Tread_Speed This is linked to the speed that the treads are moving, and the direction they are moving in.
Robot_Vic_Tread_Spin_Speed This is linked to the speed that the robot is spinning, and the direction it is spinning in.
Parameters Description
Event_Volume
External_Shape
External_Speed
Robot_Alexa_Volume_Alerts
Robot_Alexa_Volume_Master
Robot_Vic_Environment_Ambient_Volume
Robot_Vic_How_Old_Speed
Robot_Vic_Screen_Shift_Interpolation_Time
Robot_Vic_Meter_Bus_SFX
Robot_Vic_Meter_Bus_TTS
Robot_Vic_Meter_Bus_VO
Robot_Vic_Planning
Robot_Vic_Sdk_Volume
Robot_Vic_Shaking
Robot_Vic_Timer_Countdown
Robot_Vic_Volume_Animation
Robot_Vic_Volume_Behavior
Robot_Vic_Volume_Master This is linked to the volume preference setting, controlled by the mobile application (or SDK).
Robot_Vic_Volume_Procedural
Ss_Air_Fear
Ss_Air_Freefall
Ss_Air_Fury
Ss_Air_Month
Ss_Air_Presence
Ss_Air_Rpm
Ss_Air_Size
Ss_Air_Storm
Ss_Air_Timeofday
Ss_Air_Turbulence
2324555758
847280258

Derived sound settings

Many events trigger a sound which is made of a sequence of smaller sounds. In some cases there are several possible sequences, selected by a switch setting.

Those inputs above are smashed and mashed down into a switch setting, that the sound banks used to select from different sound alternatives. A switch, for those familiar with software, is a variable that has an enumeration type. Except that, in Vector’s sound banks, the enumeration is unique in each case.

Parameter Switch States Description
Robot_Vic_Head_Speed Robot_Vic_Head_Direction_Down
Robot_Vic_Head_Direction_Up
Robot_Vic_Lift_Speed Robot_Vic_Lift_Direction_Down
Robot_Vic_Lift_Direction_Up
Robot_Vic_Screen_Shift_Interpolation_Time Shift_Short
Shift_Long
Robot_Vic_Stimulation Stim_01
Stim_02
Stim_03
Stim_04
Robot_Vic_Tread_Spin_Speed Robot_Vic_Tread_Drive
Robot_Vic_Tread_Spin
Robot_Vic_Tread_Speed Robot_Vic_Tread_Backward
Robot_Vic_Tread_Forward