Twitter, Talking Fish, And More


[Dan Ros] and the mbed team sent in their hack of a twitter talking Big Mouth Billy Bass. Originally the hack simply had an mbed micrcontroller and an SD card with some wav files allowing Billy to say classic quotes. Wanting to go further however, they used the mbed’s HTTPClient library to grab Twitter updates, and then have Billy say them out loud! Check out some other cool projects the mbed team has in the cookbook.

But wait, whats an mbed? We didn’t have a clue either!

Some researched reveals it is a powerful new microcontroller and prototyping board. With some features such as direct ethernet and USB connections right on the chip, as well as PWM, serial, analog, and more. What really stoked us is how it acts much like a USB thumb drive. Drag and drop your binary files, and it’s programmed! The only downside, at $100 it can be a bit more of an investment compared to an Arduino PIC. Could this be the next big prototyping tool that beats all others? Lets hear it in the comments!

[Update:  The mbed can be had for a  limited time pre-order price of $60  not $100 – Thanks Dan and the mbed team!]

29 thoughts on “Twitter, Talking Fish, And More

  1. For US customers it might seem a bit dear compared to the arduino, but in the UK, where we have to pay for importation on top of any *duino board, £31.25 from Farnell (I love their free courier shipping) is a damn good price.

  2. I too have had a chance to play with one of the beta mbed units. It really is absolutely great! The USB-storage emulation for programming is so great. Finally (?) the need to install any software locally is gone.

  3. I’ll agree with the other beta testers, this is a great board and has massive potential. I don’t think any of us came close to stretching it. This puppy can do a lot out of the box and is well worth a look


    15.) this video made it on hack-a-day. i’m embarrassed for the submitter and for . why can’t anyone make something cool while being cool. this is nice tech with dim-witted presentation

    14.) what the hell do stupid movie/simpsons audio clips have to do with the tweets which trigger them. you might as well have a light turn on, or a beeping sound, or perhaps a hammer that is launched at your head. any of those is less annoying than some stupid fish.

    13.) generic white text on blue screen intro. never saw that before… except for EVERY youtube video ever made.

    12.) looooong intro. i love sitting around listening to some bad music while gazing at text waiting for the actual video to begin.

    11.) the stupid fish! there is nothing cool about some novelty item targeted for the walmart shopping, nascar watching, tooth missing, hillbillies.

    10.) flatulence. yeah. got to live the witty class that goes hand and hand with some good old preschool bathroom humor. it’s nice to see that some people never grow up.

    9.) nothing kills momentum like some more of that awesome text right in the middle of the video. of course, i’m not implying that this video ever had any momentum.

    8.) lies. some text said “and now for something completely different.”, but nothing changed. following the text was more worthless video of a table full of garbage.

    7.) it turned in to a musical. need i say more.

    6.) video much too long = boring + annoying

    5.) the last THIRD of the video (about a minute, maybe more) is nothing but credits accompanied by even more bad music.

    4.) last THIRTY seconds of “video” is nothing but some static text, a website, printed on the screen and more bad music. no the most effective way to plug yourself.

    3.) has to do with twitter

    2.) dan ros

    1.) again, that retarded fish

  5. @walt – The music is from a very funny movie which, judging by your absolute lack of humor, you will never see nor fully appreciate. Please, next time you forget to take your meds stay off of the internet.

    This video was absolutely hilarious! Seems like a fair amount of attention was payed to syncing up the audio with the fish’s movements, great touch… I cannot wait to play with an mbed!

  6. Bravo lagspike! I agree, walt has no sense of humor or ever seen anything from Monty python. and speaking of long and boring, what about his post . . .zzz although i DO agree with him that it is a stupid fish, being re purposed in this way is way cool. I still think a tour De force of this would be great fun to do, maybe with Christmas carols?

  7. You can buy a single-chip speech synthesizer for like ten bucks. You have to send it phonemes, rather than human-readable text, but that parsing could be done on the computer sending twitter updates.

    Anyway, then this thing really could speak the twitter updates. And in a creepy vocoded robotic monotone too.

  8. Another addition to the arm controller trend, which is nice to see… The biggest roadblock in easy use is the toolchain imo, most of the free stuff like winarm is pretty messy compared to what’s available for pics and avrs. So they have a good looking toolchain/compiler – based on the defacto ARM RVDS 4 commercial compiler – but it’s all online web apps (you can’t code or compile locally)?? That is something I’d really have to consider before jumping onboard.

  9. Any bears out there looking for a baby chipolata to chow down on? I am 5’4″, uncut, endowed with at least 3 cm and can bring my own train. Sorry but I am northern.


Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.