There are tons of great smart home gadgets already out there. You can find smart speakers, lights, thermostats, and more. But, for some of us, many of these products just don’t quite fill the particular niches we want them to. That’s why Zach Hipps decided to create his own Google Assistant-powered HAL 9000 smart speaker.
HAL 9000 (Heuristically Programmed ALgorithmic Computer 9000) is an AI computer that comes on the Discovery One spacecraft in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and the novel the movie is based on. The computer becomes the story’s primary antagonist, but since Hipps’ version is pretty much just a Google Nest Mini, you don’t have to worry about it going rogue.
To create the build, Hipps used a Raspberry Pi Model 3 (though we would recommend using the Raspberry Pi Model 4), a USB microphone, a red 10mm LED, a 330 ohm resistor, a micro-switch button, a plastic dome cupcake container, and a custom made 3D printed enclosure. Unfortunately, the current coronavirus pandemic has made sourcing a suitable speaker quite difficult, so Hipps just used an external speaker connected to the Raspberry Pi’s audio jack for the time being.
The resulting product is a dead ringer for the movie’s evil AI computer. It works just as expected, and it’s definitely more fun than a standard Google smart speaker. If you are interested in learning more about the project or even want to build your own Google Assistant-powered HAL 9000, you can find more information on Hipps’ website.