#BlackgangPi — a Raspberry Pi Hack at Blackgang Chine

I was very excited to be invited along with some other IBMers to the Blackgang Pi event run by Dr Lucy Rogers on a semi regular basis at the Blackgang Chine theme park on the Isle of Wight.

Blackgang Chine is a theme park on the southern tip of the Isle of Wight and holds the title of oldest theme park in the United Kingdom. We were lucky enough to be invited along to help them modernise some of their animatronic exhibits, replacing some of the aging bespoke PCBs and controllers with Raspberry Pis running Node-RED and communicating using MQTT/Watson IOT.

Over the course of two days, my colleague James Sutton and I built a talking moose head using some of the IBM Watson Cognitive services.

We got it talking fairly quickly using IBM text to speech and had it listening for intents like “tell joke” or “check weather” via NLC.

So good so far! A talking Moose head powered by @IBMIoT, @IBMWatson & @NodeRED #BlackgangPi pic.twitter.com/Vhgkr8q9cw
— James Sutton (@jpwsutton) June 4, 2016

I also built out a dialog that would monitor the state of the conversation and make the user comply with the knock knock joke format (i.e. if you say anything except “who’s there” it will moan and call you a spoil-sport).

Video we managed to capture before we had to pack up yesterday below

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