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Version 1.0
Initial Release December 26, 2020
Last Updated December 26, 2020
File Size 1.81 MB
Downloads 1,143
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<< --- This app is my christmas present to the community but please consider it as in beta stage still! --- >>

PushbackZoomer is a tiny little utility, that allows to perform pushbacks just by speaking voice commands!

As you don't need to configure anything it as the most simplistic GUI ever: the GUI is just a blank window with literally zero UI elements on it. Start it, put it in the background an forget it!
How do you use it? Talk with it! Using the standard audio input, you need to speak a realistic and comprehensive set of voice commands, which trigger step by step an improved pushback procedure. For each command you hear a response via the standard audio output.

Here is a list of supported features:
  • Freeware Windows 10 app
  • Distributed via the Microsoft Store, was well as a *.msix file (packaged Windows app) from freeware portals
  • Zero-controls GUI
  • The only feedback, that the GUI provides, is the connection state to the sim via SimConnect (GUI in grey = idle / GUI colored = connected)
  • Minimal resources footprint. By intelligent context sensing, the app only activates voice recognition during phases, when a pushback could occur. For the rest of the flight, the app will be running idle.
  • Speech commands in english only
  • Speech commands follow the real world protocol as much as possible.
  • Freely spoken commands are not understood, but the phrases need to match a set of predefined commands (see list of minimal commands below).
  • A healthy number of variations is supported both for spoken phrases as well as for the responses.
  • Depending on the mood of the virtualpushback driver, the conversation will have a different character. For every pushback any of the moods TightLipped, Formal or Expressive will randomly be applied to our virtual pushback driver.
  • Literally hundreds of millions of different conversations with the pushback driver are possible.
  • Robust speech recognition, even as non-native English speaker I easily get confidence values of 0.95 or more
  • Any action can be canceled by saying “no, no, no”, if something was not understood correctly by the speech recognizer.

This is the minimal set of commands:

  • Ground from flightdeck -> Start the converstion
  • Brakes released -> Confirmation that the parking brakes have been released
  • Turn  -> Requests a 90° turn to the right or left
  • Turn by degrees -> Requests a turn by the specified angle to the right or left
  • Turn facing  -> Requests a 90° turn, the direction is derived from the cordinal direction
  • Stop turning -> Stop turning and continue with current heading
  • No, no, no -> Cancel started action
  • Stop the pushback -> Terminate the pushback
  • Brakes set -> Confirmation that the parking brakes have been set


User manual
For more details please refer to the user manual PDF.

Also watch this video, to see the tool in operation:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8qo4O00slA


System Requirements
The language packs for english need to be installed.


How to install?

Extract all file from the zip into a folder.


How to use?
 
Start
PushbackZoomer.exe and place the window in the background. Start talking to the pushback drive once you brought the aircraft in the correct state for pushback.


How do you get support?
Please ask questions or bring up support issues in this thread.

Pretty empty over here.


Pretty empty over here.

  • Launched December 26, 2020

    Initial release of this file just launched. Welcome aboard!


Pretty empty over here.

19 Comments
  • image
    Totti64
    February 26, 2021

    Very good job, thanks for it. Would it be possible to change the voices in the future? Take care

  • image
    WokkelP
    February 14, 2021

    If this works, perfect for VR.
    But unfortunately it doesn't work. The app is enabled and the Tug connects but it doesn't respond to any voice commands. I also tried the MS Store version.
    My headset works, I tested this, it is the default audio recording device and Speech recognition works for Windows Mixed Reality.

    Did an update brake it?
    Also, The Forum thread on the official MSFS forums got closed.

  • image
    dcrowe24
    February 11, 2021

    Hi flightzoomer,
    This looks like a great app, as well as an avid flight simmer, I am a professional voiceover artist. I'd love to offer my services to bring a realness to the tug operator/ground crew rather than the robic system generated sound. I'm not sure how you have built the app, but it it works on mp3 files this would be an easy and beneficial development. If you're interested or what to hear more of my work details and voice reels are on danielcarlin.co.uk/voice would love to help!

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    February 13, 2021
    Hi Daniel
    Thanks for the feedback and the suggestions. I fear, the app architecture does not allow easy intregration of nicer mp3 sound pieces. The app is using the integrated Windows text-to-speech capabilities, which unfortunately sound as they sound.
    Changing the sound engine to speak own mp3 sounds is tricky, because I vary the statements randomly to make it more lively. E.g. the greeting by the driver looks like this in code:

    BasicFeatures.GetWeightedOneOf(new[] {
    new WeightedText("Good " + strDayTime + " captain! ", mood == Moods.Expressive ? 50 : 10),
    new WeightedText("Good " + strDayTime + "! ", mood == Moods.TightLipped ? 50 : 30),
    new WeightedText("Ground here, ", Mood == Moods.Formalistic ? 50 : 20)
    })

    This means, that if the mood (which is randomly set itself) is expressive, the sentence starts with probability weight = 50 with the sentence "Good morning captain" (-> "morning" adjusted for the given time of the day). In all other moods, this sentence has a weight of only 10. The simple variant "Good morning" is spoken with weight 50 if the mood is tightlipped or 30 in all other moods. The variant "Ground here" is spoken predominatly (weight 50) if the mood is formalistic. That said, it might be a bit hard to generate the spoken voices using mp3 pieces. The sound engine would have to play multiple mp3 sound snippets one after another.
    image
    dcrowe24 replied
    February 14, 2021
    Ah I see! Not a problem, do let me know if I can be of any help in your future developments :)
  • image
    ashwad
    February 04, 2021

    Are you still working on this? The English script needs to be tweaked a bit. Overall the app is outstanding!

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    February 05, 2021
    Sure, new versions will come, I only need to find some time slots for dev work. But any suggestion for improvement is welcome. I might even allow the user to load own SRGS grammars (see the implemented one in the pdf document for reference).
  • image
    multimediawill
    January 28, 2021

    I think this is a really great mod! Thank you.

    I also had issues with "stop pushback", but it looks like you addressed it below.

    My only other comment is that if you start the app before loading into VR, the app does not seem to recognize your voice (my guess is that it's probably not recognizing the switch in audio input). My workaround has been to load the app only after I have launched VR from the main menu.

    All in all, this app is basically a requirement for me for VR airliner flying and it works excellent for that.

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    February 05, 2021
    Yes, thats correct, the app does not recognize when the audio input source changes. Your workaround is the only way I can think of right now to deal with that (workaround => start the app only once the audio hardware is connected, that you want to use). Maybe I find a solution in a future update to handle that automatically.
  • image
    Djeez2
    January 17, 2021

    Very nice! Should it also work for GA aircraft with the little pushback cart? It did not work for me. Furthermore, the "test pushback zoomer" command does not work for me. Is there a debug option that I can see what the app thinks I am saying?
    Considering this is only a beta version, I am looking forward to the real thing!!
    Btw, I noticed that the wheels of the tug and the plane keep turning after pushback finished.

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    January 22, 2021
    There is no debug option unfortunately. Does only the "test pushback zoomer" command not work or all the others too?
    The wheels keep turning because I am just interupting the default pushback procedure at this point by forcing the aircraft to stand still. I need to do this, because per default, after ending pushback (shift+p) the tug moves away quickly which looks silly if in my app the conversation is not yet finished. For this reason, I cant work around the brute force position lock of the plane, which as a minor weakness results in the wheels turning.
    image
    Djeez2 replied
    January 22, 2021
    The other commands worked with the A320. I used that aircraft to test because the GA aircraft like C152 did not seem to work. Are GA aircraft supported?
  • image
    mc1102
    January 05, 2021

    This is amazing! I almost feel embarrased to give feedback.

    It would be nice if the pushback tug can be called more than once. If after pushing back and taxiing return to the gate (i.e. technical problem) and then want to push back again, the tug won't come. Not even after both "ground from flightdeck" and "request pushback" commands.

    Minor nitpick. An employee who responds with "fine" after an instruction, doesn't sound like an employee who likes his work. A bit more "energy" in the voice (vocally) and response (verbally) would be nice.

    Every command works well except "stop pushback". I have to say it 2 - 3 times before getting a response. (it could be me)

    However still 5 stars! And I'd really to see how this develops :-)

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    January 22, 2021
    Thanks for the feedback. Your points are noted on my list for improvements!
    image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    January 22, 2021
    Just noticed: the "stop pushback" is hard to recognize because the actually checked statement by the voice engine is "stop the pushback" (this is my fault, in my documentation also says "stop pushback"). I will correct the documentation and add "stop pusback" as a valid statement too.
  • image
    Drawyah
    January 03, 2021

    A fantastic start with lots of growing potential! Using your voice to speak to ground crews for pushback is certainly a new concept for any flight simulator and the execution of it is definitely getting there! A few little fidgety areas with connection, voice and a notable bounce when everything is held in position, but I must admit I'm very excited to see where this is going!

  • image
    flightzoomer replied Author
    January 22, 2021
    Thanks for the feedback. The bounce is coming from interrupting the default procedure when the tug has arrived in front of the aircraft (per default, the tug arrives and immediately starts moving the aircraft).
  • image
    massimo
    December 27, 2020

    Excellent work. It works as supposed. I am wondering whether other functionalities can be added, i.e. conversation with the ground staff for jetways, fuel, cargo etc. If so it will be a superlative addon. Happy holidays
    Massimo

  • image
    exocet72
    December 26, 2020

    Doesn't seem to work. OK after help from the developer this now works as it should do.

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This Flight Simulator 2020 Mod was created by Martin Rüedi and shared in Utilities » Applications for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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