Stephen Hawking Forecasts The Weather

Stephen Hawking, although unable to speak himself, is immediately recognizable by his voice which is provided through a computer and a voice emulator. What may come as a surprise to some is that this voice emulator, the Emic2, has been used by many people, and is still around today and available for whatever text-to-speech projects you are working on. As a great example of this, [TegwynTwmffat] has built a weather forecasting station using an Emic2 voice module to provide audible weather alerts.

Besides the unique voice, the weather center is a high quality build on its own. An Arduino Mega 2560 equipped with a GPRS module is able to pull weather information once an hour. After the voice module was constructed (which seems like a project in itself) its relatively straightforward to pass the information from the Arduino over to the module and have it start announcing the weather. It can even be programmed to sing the weather to you!

All of the code that [TegwynTwmffat] used to build this is available on the project site if you’re curious about building your own Emic2 voice system. It’s also worth noting that GPRS is available to pretty much anyone and is a relatively simple system to start using to do things like pull weather information from, but you could also use it to roll out your own private cell phone network with the right equipment and licensing.

15 thoughts on “Stephen Hawking Forecasts The Weather

  1. To be pedantic, Hawking doesn’t use an Emic 2, he uses a DECtalk — which the Emic 2 emulates. A real DECtalk is huge though so he probably uses a similar recreation rather than the real thing these days.

  2. To me this feels really disrespectful. Not “Text to Speech weather announcer” concept but the title, article wording choices and project wording choices. I am struggling to articulate exactly why though.

    I try not to be offended on behalf of others, and I appreciate that humor around disability can be a difficult subject.

    But this seems ill judged.

    I know Dr Hawking has a sense of humor, but something about the language of this post (and the project language itself) seems… Off.

  3. The only thing catching my eye is: Dat PSU**….
    Presuming either the 100W or 200W model from Ebay.

    Looks so small in that above picture. The Ebay photos make them look the size of house bricks*!

    Do those PSUs do CC down to 0v (Dead short)?
    Couldn’t make sense of most of those Ebay listings (They say these have said features and don’t have said features at the same time).

    *UK Std house skinning/lining bricks, not the main cinder-blocks+reinforcement types: I.E. the ones normally visible on the outside of the houses.

    **The PSU on the right-hand breadboard.

      1. Our house system uses one of the UK voices and slows it down so that our “House Elf” sounds as if he is a bit bored with everything. He announces various things, time, current weather or forecast, security camera status and detections etc. I even get him to troll the kids from time to time, which usually results in them all opening up a terminal to use the command line to fling espeak insults around the room. :-)

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