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DIY Text-to-Speech Teddy Ruxpin: Creepy Ruxpin

by Lambert Varias
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It may no longer be the cheapest chip on the block, but Next Thing Co.’s C.H.I.P. is still a pretty good computer. But in this case, it’s been used for a very bad mod. Next Thing Co.’s software and hardware developer Andrew Langley used it to extend a Teddy Ruxpin’s speech feature, allowing it to say anything you want. Like, “Hi kids! I’ll eat you as soon as you fall asleep”, or “Trump for President.”

teddy_ruxpin_c.h.i.p._text_to_speech_by_next_thing_co_1

Put simply, Andrew used C.H.I.P. to take over the speaker as well as the jaw and eye motors of a used Teddy Ruxpin. He then wrote a Python program that sets up a local web page where you can type text or search for and copy a tweet via your Twitter account. A free text-to-speech synthesizer called eSpeak then turns the text into a WAV file.

teddy_ruxpin_c.h.i.p._text_to_speech_by_next_thing_co_2

Aside from playing the resulting WAV file on the stuffed toy’s speaker, Andrew’s program analyzes the WAV file to time the jaws’ movement: “If the audio level is loud, the motors in the jaw will activate, opening the bear’s mouth. If it’s quiet, it will close. Mouth synchronization makes it magical.” Here’s the result:

Head to Make: or Hackster to read Andrew’s instructions. Happy Halloween in advance.

[via Make:]



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