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Raspberry Pi Helps 3D Printed Gorilla to Recite Shakespeare

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: YamS1)

Maker and developer YamS1 has gone bananas with this 3D printed gorilla project we found at Instructables. The 3D print is designed to use a round display module for a head. The gorilla sits on top of a pedestal with a Raspberry Pi inside that's used to control the circular display. On the display we see video of a gorilla reciting Shakespeare with audio coming from the base of the pedestal. 

The inspiration is just as interesting as the project itself. Google's parent company, Alphabet, owns X Development—a moonshot factory known for a particular blog post with a metaphor beginning with the phrase, "Let's teach a monkey how to recite Shakespeare while on a pedestal."

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: YamS1)

The idea was that one might not give much thought to the pedestal when tackling such a project as they would teaching the monkey to recite Shakespeare. In other words, focus on the core product first. What does this lesson have to do with maker YamS1’s project? Not much, but they put a Raspberry Pi inside of a 3D printed gorilla on a pedestal and we love it.

The project relies on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and a round display module known as a GC9A01. The screen has a resolution of 240 x 240px and measures 1.28-inches across. It’s connected to the Raspberry Pi via GPIO, specifically the SPI interface rather than through HDMI like most displays.

The best Raspberry Pi projects are ones you can recreate, and YamS1 was awesome enough to break down exactly how to set up the GC9A01 display module to work with a Raspberry Pi. Thankfully, if you didn’t go ape over this project, the instructions are easily adaptable to other projects. Check out the original project page at Instructables for more details and some behind-the-scenes images of the printing process.