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:
- Text-to-speech was limited to only a few words at a time
- 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
- Sound output required wiring up headphones using crocodile clips
So we switched to using a Raspberry Pi at the last minute: this meant that:
- We could scrape Wikiquote live, giving us the latest quotes
- We could use a more advanced TTS library
- 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