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How to use Microsoft Agent in C#

, 7 Sep 2004
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An article explaining how to use Microsoft agents in a C# application

Introduction

Microsoft Agent is a technology used to add interactive animated characters to windows application or web page; these characters act according to the user input via speech recognition engine, and also they can speak and tell the user something via text-to-speech engine. Microsoft provides programmers four characters

  • A-Peddy
  • B-Genie
  • C-Merlin
  • D-Robby.

Each character has its own set of animation

Background

I’ve searched well so many sites for code that I can use MS agent to provide help to end user. After searching the C# books , I’ve found some nice code that helped me to create this simple Application . Hope it can help as a basic architecture.

Using the code

At first you should simply open VS.NET and then at the File menu click on New, Project. From the New Project Dialog Box, choose the Windows Application template project and name it WindowsApplication1 like shown below:

After you create the windows add a button to it and name it speak and add a RichTextBox and name it talk , you should add to it Microsoft Agent component , to do that click on the Customize toolbox from tool menu then the following Dialog will appear

Select Microsoft Agent control 2.0 and click ok. Now in your tool box at the end of it you will find a new item added to it “Microsoft Agent”. Drag this item and drop it in your application, after drop “Microsoft Agent” the .Net will generate a new object from type AxAgentObjects.AxAgent as the following

namespace WindowsApplication1
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Summary description for Form1.
    /// </summary>
    public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
    {
           private AxAgentObjects.AxAgent axAgent1;
           /// <summary>
           /// Required designer variable.
           /// </summary>
           private System.ComponentModel.Container components = null;
 
           public Form1()
           {
                   //
                   // Required for Windows Form Designer support
                   //
                   InitializeComponent();
 
                   //
                   // TODO: Add any constructor code 
                   // after InitializeComponent call
                   //
           }

Now create object of type AgentObjects.IAgentCtlCharacter and name this object speaker ,now at the load function write the following

private void Form1_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
           {
                   try
                   {                          
 
       //load the character  in the axAgent1 object -- 
      //axAgent1 can load more than one character
                    this.axAgent1.Characters.Load("Robby" , "robby.acs");   
 
      //give the speaker object the character to show it
                           this.speaker = this.axAgent1.Characters["robby"];
                           this.speaker.Show(0);
                   }
                   catch(FileNotFoundException)   //if the character not found
                   {
                           MessageBox.Show("Invalid charater location");
                   }
           }

In the speak button click function write the following code

private void speak_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
           {
                   if(this.talk.Text != "")
             this.speaker.Speak(this.talk.Text , null);
                   else 
                      this.speaker.Speak("what should i say", null);
           }

In the speaker objects you will find some useful function that help you to control the character such as :

//MoveTo( int x , int y , objectspeed speed);
//Play(string animation);   
// this function make the character to play some animation 
 //The possible animations that the character can play it are
/******************
RestPose, Wave, DontRecognize, Uncertain, Decline,Sad, 
StopListening, GetAttention, GetAttentionReturn,Blink, Idle3_2, 
Surprised,Congratulate_2,Reading,Announce,Read ,ReadReturn,Idle2_2  ,
Writing ,Write ,WriteReturn ,Congratulate ,Confused ,Suggest ,MoveRight, 
MoveLeft,Idle2_1,  MoveUp, MoveDown, 
StartListening, WriteContinued, DoMagic1, 
DoMagic2,Idle1_1,  LookDown, LookDownBlink, LookDownReturn, LookLeft, 
LookLeftBlink, LookLeftReturn,Idle1_3,  LookRight, LookRightBlink, 
LookRightReturn, LookUp, LookUpBlink,LookUpReturn,Idle1_2,
ReadContinued, Pleased, GetAttentionContinued, Process, Search, 
Think,Idle1_4,Greet,Idle3_1,GestureUp,GestureDown,GestureLeft,
GestureRight,Show,Hide,Hearing_4,Hearing_1,Hearing_2,Hearin,
Alert,Explain,Processing,Thinking,Searching,Acknowledge
*********************/

The full code

using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Windows.Forms;
using System.Data;
using System.IO;
 
namespace WindowsApplication1
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Summary description for Form1.
    /// </summary>
    public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
    {
           private AxAgentObjects.AxAgent axAgent1;
           private AgentObjects.IAgentCtlCharacter speaker;
           private System.Windows.Forms.Button speak;
           private System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox talk;
           /// <summary>
           /// Required designer variable.
           /// </summary>
        private System.ComponentModel.Container components = null;
 
           public Form1()
           {
                   //
                   // Required for Windows Form Designer support
                   //
                   InitializeComponent();
 
                   //
                   // TODO: Add any constructor code after 
                   // InitializeComponent call
                   //
           }
 
        /// <summary>
           /// Clean up any resources being used.
           /// </summary>
           protected override void Dispose( bool disposing )
           {
                   if( disposing )
                   {
                           if (components != null) 
                           {
                                  components.Dispose();
                           }
                   }
                   base.Dispose( disposing );
           }
 
           #region Windows Form Designer generated code
           /// <summary>
           /// Required method for Designer support - do not modify
           /// the contents of this method with the code editor.
           /// </summary>
           private void InitializeComponent()
           {
                   System.Resources.ResourceManager resources = 
              new System.Resources.ResourceManager(typeof(Form1));
                   this.axAgent1 = new AxAgentObjects.AxAgent();
                   this.speak = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
                   this.talk = new System.Windows.Forms.RichTextBox();
         ((System.ComponentModel.ISupportInitialize)
                 (this.axAgent1)).BeginInit();
                   this.SuspendLayout();
                   // 
                   // axAgent1
                   // 
                   this.axAgent1.Enabled = true;
                   this.axAgent1.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(0, 232);
                   this.axAgent1.Name = "axAgent1";
                   this.axAgent1.OcxState = 
                       ((System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.State)
                        (resources.GetObject("axAgent1.OcxState")));
                   this.axAgent1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(32, 32);
                   this.axAgent1.TabIndex = 0;
                   // 
                   // speak
                   // 
                   this.speak.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(192, 176);
                   this.speak.Name = "speak";
                   this.speak.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(168, 48);
                   this.speak.TabIndex = 1;
                   this.speak.Text = "speak";
                   this.speak.Click += 
                     new System.EventHandler(this.speak_Click);
                   // 
                   // talk
                   // 
                   this.talk.Location = new System.Drawing.Point(24, 24);
                   this.talk.Name = "talk";
                   this.talk.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(328, 136);
                   this.talk.TabIndex = 2;
                   this.talk.Text = "";
                   // 
                   // Form1
                   // 
                   this.AutoScaleBaseSize = new System.Drawing.Size(5, 13);
                   this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(376, 270);
                   this.Controls.AddRange(new System.Windows.Forms.Control[] {
                         this.talk,
                         this.speak,
                         this.axAgent1});
                   this.Name = "Form1";
                   this.Text = "Form1";
                   this.Load += new System.EventHandler(this.Form1_Load);
                   ((System.ComponentModel.ISupportInitialize)
                         (this.axAgent1)).EndInit();
                   this.ResumeLayout(false);
 
           }
           #endregion
 
           /// <summary>
           /// The main entry point for the application.
           /// </summary>
           [STAThread]
           static void Main() 
           {
                   Application.Run(new Form1());
           }
 
           private void Form1_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
           {
                   try
                   {                          
                    this.axAgent1.Characters.Load("Robby" , "robby.acs");    
//load the character  in the axAgent1 object  
// -- axAgent1 can load more than one character
 
                 this.speaker = this.axAgent1.Characters["robby"];     
                     //give the speaker object the character to show it
                           this.speaker.Show(0);
                   }
         catch(FileNotFoundException)   //if the charater not found  
                       // using IO 
                   {
                           MessageBox.Show("Invalid charater location");
                   }
           }
 
           private void speak_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
           {
                   if(this.talk.Text != "")
             this.speaker.Speak(this.talk.Text , null);
 
                   else 
                           this.speaker.Speak("what should i say", null);
 
           }
    }
}
 

Tip

You should download the TTS “text-to-speech ” engine on your computer to make the character talk. To download the engine see

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

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About the Author

Ahmed jamil Kattan
Web Developer
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Ahmed J. Kattan Bachelor degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology computer science department, Master Degree from University of Essex and PhD student at University of Essex ”United Kingdom”, I have written several applications, designed multiple algorithms and several publications. My favorite languages are C++ and C#.
 

 
see www.ahmedkattan.com to view Ahmed Kattan's online CV.

Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionHow to use this Microsoft Agent in Visual Studio 2010... PinmemberAman Raikwar13-Apr-13 9:37 
Questionerror PinmemberRINKU GOEL30-Mar-13 1:44 
Questionquery Pinmemberamy.shah31-Mar-12 8:05 
Generalthere is no sound generated Pinmemberakramahmed7-May-10 10:01 
GeneralPossible to import this microsoft agent in oracle form6i Pinmembermahlkita1-Jul-07 23:01 
Questionhow i can control the speed of talk for character? Pinmemberwalalno200529-May-07 9:13 
AnswerRe: how i can control the speed of talk for character? PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan29-May-07 10:21 
GeneralRe: how i can control the speed of talk for character? Pinmemberwalalno200529-May-07 10:29 
QuestionPrevent agent character from user mouse drags PinmemberVineel56719-Sep-06 9:34 
GeneralError : Invalid charactor location Pinmembermuralkara10-May-06 0:29 
GeneralRe: Error : Invalid charactor location PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan13-May-06 6:09 
GeneralRe: Error : Invalid charactor location Pinmemberakramahmed7-May-10 9:39 
QuestionHow to use Microsoft Agent in C# on internet Pinmemberheer coot23-Dec-05 9:32 
AnswerRe: How to use Microsoft Agent in C# on internet PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan23-Dec-05 13:04 
GeneralError in some Windows Xp OS Pinmemberl.bart28-Jul-05 0:06 
GeneralRe: Error in some Windows Xp OS PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan28-Jul-05 0:26 
GeneralRe: Error in some Windows Xp OS Pinmemberl.bart8-Aug-05 16:13 
GeneralRe: Error in some Windows Xp OS PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan8-Aug-05 21:44 
GeneralRe: Error in some Windows Xp OS Pinmemberl.bart8-Aug-05 22:03 
GeneralError - Please guide PinmemberArindamkundu13-Jul-05 14:38 
GeneralRe: Error - Please guide PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan13-Jul-05 20:42 
GeneralRe: Error - Please guide PinsussAnonymous14-Jul-05 2:23 
GeneralPlay a Agent PinmemberAmir Jalaly26-Jan-05 0:33 
GeneralRe: Play a Agent PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan26-Jan-05 3:25 
GeneralMSAgent Speak complete Pinmemberkellyjimjik13-Nov-04 1:05 
GeneralRe: MSAgent Speak complete PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan20-Nov-04 7:50 
General&quot;I have write several application and design several algorithms &quot; PinsussAnonymous8-Sep-04 8:30 
GeneralRe: &quot;I have write several application and design several algorithms &quot; PinmemberAhmed jamil Kattan8-Sep-04 10:27 

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