We all love the Arduino, but does the Arduino love us back? There used to be a time when the Arduino couldn’t express it’s deepest emotions, but now that [Nick] hooked up a speech synthesis chip from a Speak & Spell, it can finally whisper sweet robotic nothings to us.
The original 1980s Speak & Spell contained a fabulously high-tech speech synthesizer from Texas Instruments. This innovative chip predated [Stephen Hawking]’s voice and went on to be featured in the numerous speech add-ons for 80s microcomputers like the Apple II, BBC Micro, and a number of Atari arcade games.
[Nick] has been working on his Speak & Spell project for several months now, and he’s getting around to testing the PCBs he made. By his own admission, connecting an Arduino to a Speak & Spell is a little difficult, but he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve to get around the limitations of the hardware. The final goal of [Nick]’s project is a MIDI-controllable Speak & Sound speech synth for the Arduino. This has been done before, but never from a reverse-engineered Speak & Spell.
You can check out [Nick]’s progress in interfacing the Speak & Spell speech chip after the break. There’s still work to do, but it’s still very impressive.