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Furby and Amazon Echo Are Merged into an Unsettling Creation

Furby and Amazon Echo Are Merged into an Unsettling Creation

Nearly two decades ago, the world was introduced to the strange hybrid of cuddl ystuffed animal and animatronic demon that is the Furby. In the years since that iconic first model, updated Furbies have become more and more complex. The latest variant on the little creature is a Furby that can run your smarthome thanks to its fusion with an Amazon Echo.

Via Laughing Squid and Howchoo, engineer Zach Levine chronicled his melding of the Furby and the Echo, a combination that he dubbed “Furlexa.” Like a regular Amazon Echo, Furlexa has a built-in quote to assuage any fears about an A.I. uprising: “I have nothing to do with Skynet. Don’t worry.” But that’s exactly what Skynet would say! Oh, we’re on to you, Furlexa.

Surprisingly, Levine used an older Furby model from 1998 for his Furlexa experiment, although a modern day Furby would have probably also worked. To finish his creation, Levine placed a Raspberry Pi computer inside the Furby and used it to run Amazon’s Alexa Voice Service software. Additionally, Levine set up the new CPU to control Furlexa’s movements, while also upgrading the speaker and microphone. But even with those additions, Furlexa is still pretty quiet for a Furby.

The finished version of Furlexa has most of the Echo’s functionality, although Levin intentionally decided not to utilize its infrared and light sensors. That means it won’t be turning the TV on or off at your command. However, Levine hinted that he might implement those features for a future Furlexa build. Let’s just hope that Levine isn’t so preoccupied with whether he can give Furlexa new powers that he didn’t stop to think if he should.

What do you think about the Furlexa? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Images: Zach Levine/Howchoo

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