Pranking A Hackerspace IRC For April Fool’s Day


Like most hackerspaces, when the folks at DIYode, the Guelph, Ontario hackerspace, aren’t in the workshop, they’re on IRC. It’s a great way to build a community, complete with a bot that collects and catalogues to-do items, meeting topics, posts events to IRC, and even does a bit of text-to-speech so members currently at the DIYode can listen in on the IRC room. There’s also a webcam for the DIYode space that members check constantly. [Simon] thought it would be a great prank to freak out those members that constantly check the webcam, and we’ll say he succeeded with a little help from the Alabama Face Guy.

The build listens for a specific phrase in the IRC room – “Hey, someone just entered the shop without the doorbot noticing” – and sends a command via Python to an Arduino to raise and lower a cardboard cutout of a sneering face in front of the web cam. For an April Fool’s build, this is probably one of the most creative and creepy we’ve seen this year.

6 thoughts on “Pranking A Hackerspace IRC For April Fool’s Day

  1. I’m not very familiar with some of the syntax or commands of Python, but It looks more like the bot is listening out for the phrase ” ‘hello?’ “? I don’t see any reference within the linked code to the phrase you’ve mentioned above?

    I’d be glad for someone to confirm (or otherwise) this?

    1. It appears to be watching for any message that begins with “!speak: hello?” (case insensitive). The post never says what the command is that triggers the event (beyond the code itself). The “somebody entered the shop..” bit is a hypothetical setup to get people looking at the webcam.

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