Maker and companion robot enthusiast David Packman was the special guest star this past Pi Day on the Let’s Get Personal: Computing show, hosted by our friend Jim Bennett. David introduced the world to a ChatGPT-powered Clippy he has made with Raspberry Pi. We’re delighted to meet it.
You remember Clippy — your faithful Microsoft Office assistant who popped up at only the most convenient of times. Well, David has made your mid-nineties dreams come true, and now you can have a real-life conversation with your favourite anthropomorphic paperclip.
Clippy with brains
Advances in AI mean that Clippy can now be even more helpful. It’s activated by someone saying “Hey Clippy,” and responds with “How can I help?”.
David’s creation is basically ChatGPT in a box, running Azure Speech Services alongside. It listens to what you ask and runs it through ChatGPT, which then sends back an answer for Azure Speech Services to say out loud, making it seems as though Clippy is talking to you.
Clippy’s iconic speech bubble has also had a 21st-century upgrade: it’s now a small screen displaying information based on what you ask.
Head to Hackster.io for a full hardware list and handy build instructions to help you make your own paperclip friend.
Other friendly robot builds
David is also working on a kitchen aid robot inside a lucky cat ornament. It has machine vision and speech recognition capabilities, as well as a whisk that it can drop down into your mixing bowl at your request: he has therefore named his newest creation “Whiskers”. Whiskers can walk you through recipes step by step, and help you select the right ingredients at the right time. David is hoping to upgrade it by introducing a machine learning vision model so Whiskers can look at a handful of different ingredients and give you ideas for dishes you can make using what you have.
The long game is to create robotic devices with personalities to fill David’s house with friendly chattering company when he wants it.
If you had the skills to build a bank of robot friends to hang out with you, what would you have them do?