A Raspberry Pi app; press a button, get a Richard Stallman quote read out to you.


We want to make our flat next year a welcoming environment for visitors. What better way to welcome people than a Richard Stallman quote?


Originally we tried using a Microbit using the built-in text-to-speech function. In fact, we spent most of Saturday trying to get that to work and work well.

Unfortunately, we encountered many problems with the Microbit:

  1. Text-to-speech was limited to only a few words at a time
  2. The Microbit is very limited in storage size, meaning that we could not store all the quotes in a file, and had to limit ourselves to only a few selecteed quotes
  3. Sound output required wiring up headphones using crocodile clips

So we switched to using a Raspberry Pi at the last minute: this meant that:

  1. We could scrape Wikiquote live, giving us the latest quotes
  2. We could use a more advanced TTS library
  3. We could develop faster, as we didn't need to flash the program

On the hardware side we use:

  • A Raspberry Pi 2 running Raspbian
  • A button wired up with a breadboard to the Pi's GPIO pins

On the software side, it's a Python app using:

  • The Raspberry Pi GPIO library for the button
  • Wikiquote to scrape Stallman quotes from the net (technically IoT)
  • Espeak (en-scottish) for text-to-speech

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