Raspberry Pi 5 brings Futurama's Bender to life as a ChatGPT powered personal assistant

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Manuel Ahumada)

Making your own personal assistant is one of the more fun ways to join the world of smart electronics. When building from scratch, you can customize everything from how it looks and talks to how it reacts when interacting with it. Today we've got a great personal assistant created by maker and developer Manuel Ahumada. Using our favorite SBC, the Raspberry Pi, he's managed to bring Bender to life from the classic sci-fi animated series 'Futurama'.

Voice assistants are nothing new, Microsoft is well known for bringing Halo's Cortana to Windows, Apple has Siri, Amazon has Alexa. However, this project takes the idea even further. According to Ahumada, his Bender assistant looks like Bender's head but it can also move and uses ChatGPT to generate responses and interact in real-time. 

The head listens for audio which is then translated into text so it can be parsed to ChatGPT for interpretation. Once a reply is constructed, the text is transposed into audio which has been programmed to sound like John DiMaggio, Bender's voice actor. In addition, the eyes are able to animate and look around while the mouth animates to simulate speech.

It's helpful that Ahumada designed Bender's head recently as a helmet for a Bender costume, however, the design had to be modified to fit the electronics inside. The end result is also a tad smaller than the helmet he previously created. Inside the head is a Raspberry Pi 5 which is connected to a microphone, speaker, camera and even a few servos to turn some gears.

Ahumada was kind enough to share plenty of details about the inner workings of this Bender head. Bender requires quite a few tools but the end result is more than worth the effort. It uses OpenCV to help with image recognition, ElevenLabs for the text-to-speech functionality and OpenAI to interface with ChatGPT.

If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project and see it in action, check out the full video shared to YouTube and be sure to follow Manuel Ahumada for more cool projects as well as any future updates to this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.