The whoopee cushion has been upgraded. No longer a rubber bladder filled with air (or, at times, a piece of foam), it has been enhanced and is capable of playing any noise you can think of, thanks to a Raspberry Pi.
Employing a simple paper plate button, a speaker, and some GPIO-based programming, this prank has revolutionised one of the most popular practical jokes ever. After all, it’s one thing to hear a massive fart when you sit down; it’s another to be stunned by a bird squawking, a lion roaring, an elephant trumping, an engine revving, or whatever sound file has been cued up to play. A battery pack will also be needed to power the pranking project.
As mentioned, this project relies on a paper plate button, which is secreted beneath a cushion. Interestingly, the fact the project uses speakers to play the audio means that you’re not limited by hiding the whoopee cushion beneath a lightweight decorative cushion (this often happens as rubber whoopee cushions cannot be heard if placed beneath the seating cushion on a chair or sofa).
Instead, you can position the paper plate button to trigger when sat on, and run the wires off the sofa (hidden by other cushions, perhaps) with the speaker positioned behind the victim.
Requiring two paper plates, some card, two sheets of aluminium foil, copper tape, and some sponge blocks, the paper plate button can be easily made from scratch.
The end result can be seen above, but is this as far as the Raspberry Pi can go in the pranking stakes? Using the Pi to wake someone up in the middle of the night is one option; building a smart mirror that issues cheeky comments to (or scares) the user is another. Perhaps a compact device that displays ad hoc spooky images, using a Pi Zero and a Texas Instruments DLP2000EVM projector?
As ever, you’re limited only by your imagination...