This Guy Turned a Furby Into an Amazon Echo and the Results Will Haunt Your Dreams
01 December 2017
If you were alive in the 90s, you probably remember Furbies: those furry robots that were supposed to learn to speak English but actually just woke you up in the middle of the night speaking in “Furbish” and demanding you hang out with them and their weird lifeless eyes.
This week a web developer in Tampa, Florida figured out how to turn his Furby into an Amazon Echo, with truly unnerving results.
via: Getty ImagesAnyone who was anyone in 4th grade had a Furby, a small furry robot resembling an owl or maybe a hamster? Some sort of rodent-bird lovechild that had also visited an over-enthusiastic hair stylist and/or colorist.
via: Getty ImagesAs scary as they were, Furbies were pretty cool. They arrived speaking only “Furbish" but over time, the little furry robots were programmed to gradually unveil new English words, giving the appearance that they had learned how to speak from their owners.
via: ShutterstockOn Zach’s channel howchoo he frequently posts videos about how to tinker with electronics to make them do new things.
via: ShutterstockEssentially he replaced Furby’s operating system with a Raspberry Pi, a tiny computer used to teach programming and robotics. You can learn about his process in more detail here.
via: howchoo.comZach worried that because he was putting in a new operating system which got much hotter than Furby’s original system and Furby is covered in fur, it might catch on fire. To be sure it wouldn't, he did some very scientific tests where he burned the skinned pelts of Furbys in his firepit. Anyone have marshmallows!?
via: howchoo.comThrough a lot of trial and error Zach was able to create a working Furby-Alexa hybrid, retaining the original movements of Furby but now with the voice and technical abilities of Alexa. All your nightmares have come true: Furby, once restricted to indecipherable babbles now has a voice! And can take commands, or maybe eventually give commands and rule over human society? Just a conjecture.