If you’re going to put a smart speaker in your home that disregards your privacy and functions only to rake in profits from you in any way possible, it might as well be a disembodied interactive version of Futurama’s Bender instead of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. “Bite my shiny metal ask me anything.”
Redditor Zen_Kong shared a video of their custom creation in action, which started with a 3D-printable model of the sass-talking robot and is now available for download over on Thingiverse. Multiple 3D printers were used to create Bender’s head, with one handling the bulk of the parts while another was used to make the translucent parts that allow the robot’s eyes and teeth to glow.
Inside the head is a Raspberry Pi Zero W which runs a combination of Pocketsphinx speech recognition software as well as custom Python code to process voice requests and trigger responses, which in this case are small clips of Bender speaking that were harvested from various episodes of Futurama. The whole thing works completely offline, so while Bender might not be especially helpful at keeping up on the news and weather, there are no privacy or security concerns about using this smart speaker. At worst, you might feel a bit insulted by one of his responses.
Zen_Kong has made his custom Python code open source, and it’s available for download over on GitHub if you’re interested in trying to build your own. The video doesn’t reveal a lot of what the Bender smart speaker is capable of; can you actually play music from a connected device through it? Streaming music doesn’t seem like an option without an internet connection. As a result, “smart speaker” might be a generous description of this creation’s capabilities, but if you’re a Futurama fan, do you really need more than a wise-cracking Bender head perched on your desk?