Internet is filled with all kinds of useful information. We are going to build a gadget in this Instructuble using Intel Edison that you can easily use to gather the information and speak out the information using TTS (text to speech synthesis software).

The information available on Internet is aggregated into what is known as RSS feed which stands for Rich Site Summary/Really simple syndication.

This web technology is used to update frequently changing information such as News, Stock price, weather etc... Let's say you need to know the stock price of a corporation. There are plenty of web services that update this particular information and each service provider assigns an unique address for the stock price of your favorite corporation when you access this address, as a response you get the current stock price (with some added meta data). For user input, we are going to use an infrared proximity sensor such as this one to detect the user action and to determine what information the user wants from the Internet.

How does it work? The main interface between the user and the device is an IR proximity sensor. These sensors get triggered whenever some obstacle is placed in front of the sensor. Various operations are triggered depending on number of times the sensor is triggered (operations are configurable). Here are the features:

  • Reads out the RSS feeds
  • Displays number of unread emails in inbox (gmail only)
  • Changes LCD back light depending on number of unread emails in inbox
  • Reads out temperature
  • Reads out emails (sender and subject)
  • Control digital pins.

Have a look at the attached video to see the above features in actions. For TTS, espeak will be used. We will also need an USB sound card which when connected to a speaker, will speak out the information.

This is same as this project done on Galileo.

Step 1: Installing the Required Packages

We need to have access to the Edison console to install packages have a look at this post to know how you can do that.

The packages that we need are on different server than the default one. We need to add additional repository.

Add additional repos by editing the base-feeds.conf file using vi

vi /etc/opkg/base-feeds.conf

hit 'i' to start editing the file and paste the following lines

src/gz all http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/all
src/gz edison http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/edison src/gz core2-32 http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/core2-32

Then press 'Esc' key and then ":wq" to save the file and exit.

Install the espeak using following commands:

opkg update

opkg install espeak

Next, we need to install python packages for parsing the RSS feeds and managing the gmail account related features.

But before that, we will need to boot strap setup utilities in python so that we can install Python libraries. Following steps will install python setup tools and "pip" onto your Edison.

wget     http://peak.telecommunity.com/dist/ez_setup.py
python ez_setup.py
easy_install pip

Install feedparser with following command

pip install feedparser

Next, we need to install GMail for python

wget --no-check-certificate https://github.com/charlierguo/gmail/archive/master.zip
unzip master.zip
cd gmail-master
python setup.py install

<p>Thumbs up very nice</p>
<p>The repos for espeak are incorrect. Should be </p><p>src/gz all-2 http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/all</p><p>src/gz edison http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/edison</p><p>src/gz core2-32 http://repo.opkg.net/edison/repo/core2-32</p>
<p>Thanks for pointing out the mistake. I've corrected it now.</p>

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