Whether it’s a Furby or Buzz Lightyear’s button that plays, ‘To infinity and beyond’, most digital audio applications inside toys are actually simple affairs. There’s no Arduino and wave shield, and there’s certainly no Raspi streaming audio from the Internet. No, the audio inside most toys are one or two chip devices capable of storing about a minute or so of audio. [makapuf] built an electronic board game for his kids, and in the process decided to add some digital audio. The result is very similar to what you would find in an actual engineered product, and is simple enough to be replicated by just about anyone.
[makapuf]’s game is based on Game of the Goose, only brought into the modern world with electronic talking dice. An ATtiny2313 was chosen for the microcontroller and an AT45D 4 Megabit Flash module provided the storage for 8 bit/8khz audio.
The electronic portion of the game has a few functions. The first is calling out numbers, which is done by playing recordings of [makapuf] reading, ‘one’, ‘two’, ‘three’, … ‘twelve’, ‘thir-‘, ‘teen’ and so on. This data is pumped out over a pin on the ATtiny through a small amplifier and into a speaker. After that, the code is a simple matter of keeping track of where the players are on the board, keeping score, and generating randomish numbers.
It’s an exceptional exercise in engineering, making a quite complicated game with a bare minimum of parts. [makapuf] estimated he spent under $4 in parts, so if you’re looking to add digital audio to a project on the cheap, we can’t imagine doing better.
You can see a video of [makapuf]’s project after the break.
Continue reading “Giving toys an electronic voice”
Meet Moostar, the fortune-telling Moose inspired by Zoltar. You remember Zoltar, the coin operated fortune-teller who made [Tom Hanks] a rich movie star? Maybe you didn’t see that flick, but [Sketchsk3tch] did and he pulled this show piece together for a company-wide conference with relative ease.
If you’re good at choosing parts for your projects it makes things a lot simpler. He started with a singing Christmas moose, a mini plasma ball to act as the crystal ball, and somehow came across a collector’s basketball case which was the perfect size for the enclosure.
The electronics also came together remarkably well. He uses a thermal printer to spit out the fortunes — which are actually security tips for employees since that’s the dcpartment he works in. The coin acceptor is a Sparkfun part and he tried two ready made solutions to make the moose talk. The first is seen below and uses pre-recorded messages played by an Arduino Wave shield. This was improved upon by using an EMIC2 text-to-speech module that really opens up the moose’s range of chatter.
Continue reading “Moostar — fortune telling moose knock-off of Zoltar”
Still trying to solidify that reputation as the office Grinch? This project will let everyone know you’re a complete jerk in no time. It’s called the 8-bit Annoying Person Remover. It detects when someone enters your office at which point it starts to play the Super Mario Bros. theme song while the display counts down 400 seconds. Just like in the game the music gets faster at the end and when it stops they know it’s time to get the heck out.
The hardware inside isn’t too complicated. An Arduino and a Wave shield do most of the work. The song played is stored on an SD card and can easily be changed. There’s a speaker mounted under the top heat vent of the enclosure. The device defaults to displaying the time of day, but monitors a motion sensor on one side to detect when someone comes through the door. This also works when someone leaves, cutting off the music and resetting the display. Don’t miss a video of it in action after the break.
It’s as if this was made specifically for the Comic Book Guy
Continue reading “NES annoyance timer makes no friends at your work”
Halloween is just around the corner, so of course we’re looking forward to a bunch of awesome costumes put together by Hackaday readers. In an effort to match his voice to his costume, [Phil Burgess] over at Adafruit (and former Hackaday alumnus) put together an Arduino-powered voice changer to give his voice the gravitas of [James Earl Jones] or the lightheartedness of a member of the Lollipop Guild.
If you’ve ever played with a turntable, you’ll know playing a 33 RPM record at 45 or 78 RPM turns your treasured copy of Dark Side of the Moon into a lighthearted aural experience with a pitch that is much too high. Likewise, playing a single at 33 or 16 RPM means those once dulcet tones are now recordings of tormented souls in an acoustic hell.
[Phil]’s voice changer operates on the same principle by recording sounds from a microphone into a circular array and playing them back at a different rate; faster if the desired effect is a Munchkin, and slower if this year’s Halloween costume will be a Sith lord.
The completed build incorporates a 10k pot to dynamically change the timbre of the voice changer, as well as an Adafruit Wave Shield to play back a few pre-recorded sounds of lightsabers clashing. In all, a very cool project for your Halloween costume that’s also a very good introduction to DSP and real-time audio modifications with a microcontroller.
Continue reading “Arduino voice changer turns you into [Vader]”
Congratulations to [John Scancella] and his wife to be. Their recent engagement was aided by one of [John’s] projects. Since [Betsy] is a big fan of Zelda, he thought it would be fun to present the ring with the Zelda music playing in the background. He and a friend combined forces to build what you seen in this image.
The music is played by an Arduino with the help of a wave shield. This is pretty much a one-use item so battery life was never a concern. A magnetic switch was used to detect when the box was opened and start the music playing.
You can see the full-sized images after the break, but we can tell that [John] went with a traditional engagement ring. We’re still waiting to see if 3D printed rings are going to catch on in the geek scene. If you just can’t give her anything but precious metal there’s always the idea of encoding messages on the band itself.
Continue reading “Zelda engagement ring box seals the deal”
The Babel fish from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of the strangest things in the universe. After inserting a Babel fish into your ear, it feeds off brain wave energy and excretes a matrix from the conscious frequencies into the speech areas of the brain. It’s invaluable as a universal translator, but until Earth is targeted for demolition we’ll have to make do with [Becky] from Adafruit’s Babel fish language toy.
[Becky]’s Babel fish is still able to feed off the energy given off by language, but in this case the energy comes from a set of RFID cards on which Chinese characters are written. After waving these RFID flash cards in front of the Babel fish, a wave shield connected to the Arduino plays a recording of how the logogram on the flash card should sound when pronounced.
While it’s not a biologically engineered fish that simultaneously proves and disproves the existence of god, every human endeavor – learning a language included – needs more [Douglas Adams] references. You can check out [Becky]’s Babel fish demo video after the break.
Continue reading “Learn a new language with the Babel Fish”
We never imagined that [David Lee Roth] would mesh well with an Arduino, that is until Flickr user [tgtsfkncld] showed off his [Roth] Scream Box a few days ago.
The unassuming box resembles sort of a nondescript “Easy Button”, but its payload is far more entertaining than whatever Staples could have possibly recorded for their device. Once the Scream Box is powered on, each press of the button rewards the user with a short sound clip of [Roth] singing the lyrics from [Van Halen’s] “Runnin’ With the Devil”.
[tgtsfkncld] took snippets of the isolated vocal track from the song, playing them back using an Arduino along with an Adafruit Wave Shield. The circuitry behind the device is not overly complicated, though the final result is great. With the wide array of isolated vocals floating around online, it would be very easy to create one for your favorite band/singer as well.
Continue reading to see the [Roth] Scream Box in action.
[via Adafruit Blog]
Continue reading “Re-live 1978 in all its glory with the [Roth] Scream Box”