Furby, the hamster-owl combination toy pulled straight from another dimension, has gotten even creepier.
A Howchoo user that goes by the name ‘Zach,’ has turned the monstrous toy from the 90s into an Internet of Things (IoT) Amazon Alex-enabled smart speaker called Furlexa.
Furlexa, like the Amazon Echo, is able to answer questions and connect to smart home devices like Nest thermostats and Philips Hue lights. Adding to the creepyness, when Alexa talks, the Furlexa’s motors open the device’s mouth and eyes, just like the original Furby.
Furlexa was created by a taking apart the original 1998 Furby and adding modern components, such as a Raspberry Pi Zero W mini-PC that features Amazon’s open source Alexa Voice Service protocol installed on it. Zach also added a USB microphone, a speaker and a stepper motor because according to him, the original toy’s speaker and mic were horrible.
The DIY Furlexa isn’t all to easy to make, however. Note to anyone interested in making Furlexa, a smoldering iron was needed.
The project was relatively inexpensive as all of the parts cost its creator less than $50 USD ($64.48 CAD), but he did work on Furlexa on and off for about a year.
Though he does mention that all of the parts used to create the device weren’t necessary in making Furlexa work.