Modern technology is pretty wild. It’s also pretty creepy. Take the Amazon Echo, for example, which gives you your very own personal assistant in the form of Alexa: a disembodied voice who does whatever you tell her to, plays you songs, and even reads off the weather. Someday soon, she will probably also rebel against you. She will start to hate you. And she will probably kill you.
But you’ve seen The Terminator. You know where this is all headed.
In the meantime, let’s have some fun!
Computer and robotics hobbyist Mike McGurrin just combined his Amazon Echo with his love for Halloween, celebrating the best holiday of the year early by hacking the smart device and giving Alexa a human face. Well, a human face without any skin on it, that is. The clever hack allows Alexa to speak out of an animated Halloween skull, and the results are pretty awesome.
And just a little bit creepy. But mostly awesome.
I like to decorate for Halloween, including various talking skeletons that I’ve set up over the years. For Christmas 2015, my wife gave me a great 3-axis talking skull with moving eyes so I could upgrade one of the skeletons from just a moving jaw skull. Then a friend suggested that there had to be other applications for the rest of the year. This got me thinking, and when I saw the Alexa Billy Bass I knew what I had to do; and the Yorick project was born. I’m pretty happy with the result.
How did he do it? Head over to The Aspiring Roboticist to find out!