ChatterBox - the Object Translator

Introduction: ChatterBox - the Object Translator

About: Hi, we’re Dane & Nicole, two makers that create stuff, which we happily share with you!

A device that makes any object talk!
Use with caution...


  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • Powerbank 2A
  • USB Speaker
  • Switch
  • Button
  • Breadboard
  • Box
  • Telephone Cord
  • NeoPixel Ring
  • Drill
  • TinkerCad
  • 3D Printer
  • Soldering Iron

Step 1: Project Video

Step 2: Pokey Part

Every good invention needs at least two parts, a pokey part and a carrying bit.
We start by building the pokey part. It consists of two 3D printed components, one made with black filament and the other with clear plastic.

The top part has a large indent to hold our NeoPixel Ring.
The bottom component has a button hole and tubing for the wiring.
Both the STL files are included in this step.

To give it the right look and feel we are going to age it a bit. A delightful afternoon with fire, knives and sanding paper does the trick.

The last todo is adding the telephone wire. Solder the wires from the electronics to the telephone cord.

Step 3: Carrying Bit

The starting point for our carrying bit is an old ammo box.
But you can use whatever you might have lying around.

The first adjustment is drilling two holes, one to hold the on/off switch, and another for the pokey part wiring.

We also 3D print a small brace to nicely hold the pokey part.
If need be all these parts can be aged as well.

Step 4: Hardware

Next is putting the Raspberry Pi, USB Speaker and powerbank into the container.
This is also the step where we wire everything together with the help of a small breadboard.

Step 5: Code & Audio

To make it all work, we need to write some code and record some audio.

The code works as following:

  • Check if the switch is on, if not, turn off the NeoPixel Ring
  • If switch is on, check if button is pressed and set the NeoPixel to glow bright white
  • If button is pressed, fetch random audio file and play it, while turning the NeoPixel Ring green.

All that's left to do is record some audio, as every object you want to speak to will need some audio.


Step 6: Result!

We successfully built a make-believe invention capable of translating objects.

Now go out there and be amazed by the awful things stuff has to say!

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