Tony Stark may have built the first J.A.R.V.I.S., but he has nothing on Binghamton University’s own Iron Man.
Mustafa Celebi, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, built his own version of the artificial intelligence computer system Stark uses in the “Iron Man” movies.
“It’s almost like a Siri but rather than being on your phone, being on your life,” Celebi said.
With the system, Celebi can use voice commands, received by three microphones set up around his room, to control the lights and music and to ask J.A.R.V.I.S. — Just A Rather Very Intelligent System — for news and weather reports. And J.A.R.V.I.S. replies in plain English — complete with a British accent.
“Welcome home, sir,” J.A.R.V.I.S. greets Celebi as he enters his room. The salutation is accompanied with the opening riff of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” If he’s not in the mood for classic rock, Celebi can tell J.A.R.V.I.S. to switch to “relaxation mode,” which triggers the system to play classical music and lower the lights, or “party mode,” playing dance music accompanied with colored lights.
“It will actually start picking up the sound with the microphones and change the color [of the lights] with the beat,” Celebi said.
J.A.R.V.I.S. has a number of other modes as well.
“The guys next door said ‘one of the modes that you should have is setting a romantic [mood]’ and so what happens is it turns the lights red, starts playing some cheesy romantic music,” Celebi said.
In research mode, J.A.R.V.I.S. uses the Internet to search terms and read back the top results, giving Celebi the link to its online source.
Celebi began building J.A.R.V.I.S. in early June at his home in Rochester, using Microsoft’s speech recognition engine and a whole lot of coding.
“I got a few books from Barnes and Noble … as well as help online, and then I just coded,” Celebi said.
Over the summer, Celebi worked tirelessly to build the system, which he said cost him only $80. Celebi said he worked on coding from the time he woke up in the morning until early the following day.
“Sometimes, if I had a problem with it I’d wake up at night and be like, ‘I figured it out!’ and jump into my computer,” Celebi said.
Though Celebi said he began the J.A.R.V.I.S. project out of boredom, a personal experience inspired him to keep working on it.
“My professor actually had muscular dystrophy so he’s in a wheelchair,” Celebi said. “He always discusses how his hands are starting not to work as well, but he’s still a professor and he still wants to do research — so what if he could do research just by the sound of his voice?”
Celebi said that J.A.R.V.I.S. has made his own life easier, too.
“The only switches I turn on and off now are the bathroom ones,” Celebi said. “It makes you really lazy.”
Having J.A.R.V.I.S. has given Celebi a reputation in Mountainview College’s Marcy Hall, where he is a third-year resident assistant. Friends have called him Stark, “The Oracle,” and “Mad Scientist.”
A number of Marcy residents have said they would like to have their own J.A.R.V.I.S., Celebi said, although he admitted his constant talking to the system has raised a few eyebrows.
“People think I’ve gone insane,” Celebi said.
Celebi’s parents, who he said are relieved he hasn’t yet blown up Marcy, were skeptical when he first began J.A.R.V.I.S.
“My parents were at first reluctant — they were like, ‘Oh, it’s another one of his projects,’” he said. “I’ve done a lot of these weird things.”
Celebi’s other projects have included building a four-wheeled Segway scooter, inventing a fuel out of rubbing alcohol, creating a go-kart powered by compressed air and building three particle accelerators.
Celebi said he likes to think about where technology will be 10 years from now, and plans to follow his passion at the University at Buffalo next year, where he will study aerospace engineering.
“Engineering fascinates me,” Celebi said. “My view on majors is that it should be something you love doing.”