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The Internet Monster

About the project

We are going to build a cute monster that repeats whatever the internet says, what can possibly go wrong?

Items used in this project

Hardware components

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 x 1
Fake Fur Fake Fur x 1
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Raspberry Pi 3 Model B x 1
Google Voice Kit (V1) Google Voice Kit (V1) x 1
SG90 Micro-servo motor SG90 Micro-servo motor x 1
Flower Pot Flower Pot x 1
Wood/Cardboard Wood/Cardboard x 1
Plastic ornament balls Plastic ornament balls x 1
Felt furniture pads Felt furniture pads x 2
Spray paint (White) Spray paint (White) x 1
Glue Glue x 1
Hinge Hinge x 1

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Software apps and online services

Raspberry Pi Raspbian Raspberry Pi Raspbian
Remo.tv Remo.tv

Hand tools and fabrication machines

Soldering iron (generic) Soldering iron (generic) x 1
3D Printer (generic) 3D Printer (generic) x 1

Story

Overview

Below an overview of the content:

  • Project video
  • Toaster
  • Electronics
  • Chat/Voice bot
  • Remo.tv

Project Video

We are going to build a cute monster that repeats whatever the internet says, what can possibly go wrong?

Body

The body of our monster is an old flower pot. It's best to take a plastic one to keep the weight low.

The rest is completely up to you, small or giant, anything goes.

Flower Pot

Once happy with your choice, we drill a hole in the back. This makes sure that any wiring can leave the monster without showing too much.

Drill

Mouth

With the body sorted out, it's time to make the mouth.The mouth will work like a lid, so we need to make one, and add a hinge.

You can make the lid with just about anything, in this case we've used some leftover wood. It's important that the lid is slightly bigger then the pot opening, so it can comfortably rest on the edges.

Lid

As a hinge we use this 3D printable one by RelixTay. A trip to the hardware will also do the trick.

Hinge

The last thing to do is to attach the hinge to both the pot and the lid.

Attached lid and hinge

Movement

To make our monster talk, we move our newly made lid up and down. A small servo is the prefect solution.

Attaching it to the inside and we are almost done.

We just need to add a popsicle stick to the servo hub. You can saw it to the correct size and that concludes the movement step.

Servo with servo hub

Control

Now is the perfect time for a small test. To get started, here'a tutorial on setting up a Raspberry Pi.

First we attach he AIY Hat to the Raspberry Pi, after which we can attach to servo to the Hat.You might have to solder some pins to extend the HAT, no worries there's a great tutorial.

AIY Hat and servo

AIY Hat overview

Here's the python script the make our little pot friend flap violently:

Note, in this case the servo is attached to the servo 5 spot (see image)

import time# Servo setupfrom gpiozero import ServoleftEyebrowServo = Servo(24)while True:leftEyebrowServo.min()time.sleep(0.2)leftEyebrowServo.mid()time.sleep(0.2)

Flapping about

Decoration

The title promised a cute looking monster, and so far we have a overly excited flowerpot.

Let's change that.

The plan is to give him two massive eyes and cover him in monster skin.

To make the eyes we take a see-through Christmas ball and spray paint the inside white. Adding black felt furniture pads gives us two adorable eyes.

Spay painting the eyes

Finished eyes

Next up is the monster skin, we went to he nearest sewing store and spend some time looking for the perfect fit. We ended up buying a blueish fake fur.

Monster Skin

Now we can glue on this new outfit and add the eyes.

Voila, one cute monster!

Looking cute

Looking cute

Internet Control

Now to the most questionable part of the project, connecting our hairy friend to the internet. We start by attaching a speaker, microphone and a Camera Module.

Speaker

Speaker

Microphone

Microphone

Camera

Camera

With the hardware taken care of, we move on to the software. Remo.tv makes it very easy to connect your creature to the internet. We do need to implement our own Text-To-Speech handler, so the file is attached.

Remo Screen

And with that our project is complete. Anything that is send to our monster via chat will enthusiastically be repeated.

​Here's the link to our monster, let's hope the internet will behave...

Code

Custom TTS handler

Credits

Photo of 8BitsAndAByte

8BitsAndAByte

We’re Dane & Nicole, two makers that create tremendously terrible tech, which we happily share with you on our channel! https://www.youtube.com/c/8bitsandabyte

   

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