Voice assistants should be helpful, surely that’s why maker Jürgen Pabel decided to design his Raspberry Pi-powered voice assistance after the ominous villain HAL 9000 from 2001 A Space Odyssey. Not only does this voice assistant look the part, it functions as a real voice assistant with the help of open-source tool Kalliope.
This HAL 9000 voice assistant looks just like the original design with a custom 3D printed housing and a round TFT display used to make the glowing red eye. It listens for voice commands and connects to the internet to complete tasks just as a regular voice assistant would — but with a spooky HAL 9000-themed design.
According to his Hackaday profile, Pabel is a software and hardware hacker from Germany with a strong affinity for 3D printing. Not only does he tinker with microelectronics but you can also find a history of custom 3D-printable designs on his Thingiverse page.
The brains of this project is a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W which functions as the main board. It’s aided with the help of a Seeed ReSpeaker 2-Mics Pi HAT and an Adafruit FT232H. The round display is a 1.28-inch TFT screen from Waveshare which is housed behind a 1.8-inch fisheye dome. A Visaton K20.40 speaker is used for audio output. There are a few input controls used as well including four buttons and a couple of rotary encodes. The 3D-printed HAL 9000 housing was designed using OpenSCAD and is available at Thingiverse for anyone who wants to print it for themselves at home.
As far as software goes, Pabel explains that some modifications were made to the Kalliope source code. He also created a custom plugin that integrates the TFT display with the Kalliope application to get the eye to animate in real-time.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project yourself, check out the original project page over at Hackaday and check out the demo video of it in action. Be sure to follow Pabel for more updates as he plans to share an additional GitHub repo with all of the code used in the project.
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Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.