As we approach the End Times there will be great signs and portents. They say the dead will rise and walk the earth. Great fire will come from the sky and burn the wicked and the good alike. A Furby will speak in the voice of Alexa. The Turtle of the Universe will cough up her young to pass judgement on our collective consciousness.
At least one of those things has just come true. In this clever DIY project we learn how to add a Raspberry Pi Zero W to an old Furby and essentially train this little monster to tell us if our paper towel order shipped.
The project uses an original 1998 Furby and essentially replaces the obfuscated CPU in the original model with a single-board computer, amplifier, and microphone. The Raspberry Pi is connected to Furby’s facial expressions and there are plans to connect to Furby’s IR sensor and emitter although that is beyond the scope of this project.
The Furby runs Alexa Voice Services to offer complete Amazon Echo functionality. This means you can ask Furby the weather or even to turn off your compatible lights.
The project took months to figure out but should only take you a few hours to complete with the right parts. The creator, Zach Levine, wrote that this project was particularly tricky.
“This was probably my longest-running project – I worked on it on and off for a year, struggling through many setbacks (and Furbies). Furby’s small size was the biggest limitation,” he said. “I always knew I’d use a Raspberry Pi Zero but the Raspberry Pi Zero W (wireless) version didn’t exist when I started — and WiFi is needed for this project. Luckily, it was released midway, so this solved many, but not all, of the issues.”
So whether you are praying that the dark gods don’t strike you down in a rain of hail or checking to see what time it is in Tokyo, expect this strange and mysterious electronic chimera to protect you… or spell your doom.