Sep 02, 2023

Raspberry Pi Brings ChatGPT AI to Clippy

"It looks like you are building a cool project..."

There is no escaping Microsoft's Clippy. The intelligent Office Assistant may have been discontinued, but some have remarked how ChatGPT could be Clippy in disguise. This Raspberry Pi 3-powered project from David Packman, via Hackster, brings the power of ChatGPT to Clippy, converting the "beloved" Office mascot into an AI-powered digital assistant.

The glue for this project is the Raspberry Pi and Python. An OpenAI Python library is used to run ChatGPT queries, and Microsoft Azure's speech services are used to handle converting speech to text, and the reverse. This means we can say "Hey, Clippy" to trigger it to life. We then ask questions and Clippy will run the query through ChatGPT and respond with the information via text-to-speech using Azure.

The project uses a 3D printed case and animatronic Clippy, which adds fun and novelty to the project. The motion is created by two SG90 micro-servo motors, commonly found in Raspberry Pi and Arduino kits. All through the detailed build process we can see how Packman has really thought about how to build the final product. A great example is how threaded inserts were used for screw holes. Sure, we could use some self-tapping screws, but it won't be long before they eat into the plastic, causing it to wear down or crack. Instead, threaded inserts are melted into position using a soldering iron, maybe even one from our list of the best soldering irons and stations, and provide a stronger point to which machine screws can grip.

The Raspberry Pi 3 is nestled safely inside the 3D-printed case. On top of the Pi is an Adafruit CRICKIT HAT, not one that features on our list of Best Raspberry Pi HATs, but this HAT is a smorgasbord for electronics fans. Offering servo control pins, DC motor outputs and a class D audio amplifier Adafruit's CRICKIT is an excellent base for many different projects.

This is a great project that mixes key maker skills (soldering, electronics and 3D printing) with programming and APIs (OpenAI and Azure's speech service) to create an exciting and fun approach to creating an AI assistant.

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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

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