More conversations with robots in Max

Using Google speech API and Pandorabots API

(updated 1/21/2021)

This project is an extension to the speech-to-text project: You might want to try running that project first to get the Google speech API running.


  • Everything runs in one Max patch
  • menu selection of chat bots and voices (currently disabled)
  • filtering of non speakable text (like HTML tags)
  • python script now runs under current directory of patch using relative path
  • refinements to recording and chatbot engines


folder: google-speech

main Max patch
  • robot-conversation7.maxpat
abstractions and other files
  • clean-html.js
  • xml2json/
  • JSON-google-speech.js
  • JSON-pandorabot.js
  • ms-counter.maxpat (timer for recording messages)
  • pandorabots.txt
Max external objects
external programs:

sox: sox audio conversion program must be in the computer’s executable file path, ie., /usr/bin – or you can rewrite the [sprintf] input to [] with the actual path. In our case we installed sox using Macports. The executable path is /opt/local/bin/sox – which is built into a message object in the subpatcher [call-google-speech]

get sox from:


  • Open robot-converstaion7.maxpat and turn on audio
  • select chatbot as destination
  • Press the spacebar to start recording.
  • Ask a question.
  • Press the spacebar to stop recording. 


Need to fix the selection of voices.

revision history

  • 1/21/2021: complete rewrite for Max8 and Catalina
  • 4/24/2016: need to have explicit path to sox, in the call-google-speech subpatch. In my Macports version the path is /usr/local/opt/bin/sox.
  • 6/6/2014: re-added missing pandorabots.txt (list of chatbots) – also noticed that was not available. May need to look for another site.
  • 5/11/2014: The newest version requires Max 6.1.7 (for JSON parsing). Also have updated to Google Speech API v2.
  • Note: Instructions for getting a real key from Google – which will need to be inserted into the patch. – so far we have been getting by with common keys from a github site (see notes in next link)

Also please see these notes about how to modify the patch with your key – until this gets resolved: