The Fairy Godfather Chatterbot from WowWeePosted by GWJax on Monday, 19 May 2008
Welcome to my Fairy Godfather Chatterbot introduction. The anticipation was killing me for him to arrive! And, now that he’s here, I would like to introduce you to him!
He is not your typical Fairy Godmother, but rather, a laid back fat Mafia Fairy Godfather that loves to talk. The trigger keys and miscellaneous phrases are quite lengthy (1382 of them to be exact) so you’ll hear him talk a lot! He holds a remote in his left hand and the wand in his right hand that shines a blue light from it and also moves up and down. While sitting in his lazy boy chair, his legs will move back and forth. He also has a tattoo on his right arm with a heart and the word MOM on it and a ship's anchor on the forearm. I guess he loves his mother and the Navy, as we all do ;) On his belly you’ll find a slice of pizza and, of course, he's got wings, a tutu, and ballerina shoes to complete the look. His voice has a New Yorker’s accent that is hilarious to hear.
The software is easy to install - even though the directions say it will auto load, mine did not. However, once I ran the setup program from the CD drive, it was flawless. One thing though; make sure you install the software first, then attach the Godfather with the supplied cable. You do not need to add batteries in him if you are only using it for the PC. Once I ran the program, I forgot to set up the audio defaults so everything was coming out of the Chatterbot's speaker. Follow the instructions that are given to you in the manual to correct this problem.
Two things that I am disappointed in are the loudness of the motors (but a good greasing in his one motor gear box will correct this loud noise) and the speaker volume is not loud enough to really hear him talk. You can turn off the motion of his limbs, and this improves the sound a little bit. Stay tuned - I'm looking to publish a hack that will help you to take him apart and grease this gear box to alleviate the problem, and also to help the volume issue. The nice thing is that there is an audio jack for your MP3 player to be connected to it in the back using the supplied cable, but you must install 4 AA batteries in it to use this function (assuming that you do not have it connected to the PC) If you do have it connected to the PC, then the audio will come out of the Fairy Godfather and no other sound from him, but you will get motion from his legs and arm as you type.
The software is very easy to understand and it will allow you to do the following:
- 1. Factoid - makes the chatterbot say random factual tidbits.
- 2. Random - makes the Chatterbot say random comments.
- 3. Wish - make a wish and he will grant it sometimes. Hehe
- 4. Sleep/Wake up - toggles sleep mode which temporarily stops all remarks and movements. Click it again and he will resume his antics.
- 5. Search field - This allows you to type in a term for which you want to search for. Useful to find unwanted trigger words so you can uncheck them.
- 6. Search button - this will highlight the trigger word you typed in the search field so you can check or uncheck it. If nothing shows up then it is not within the trigger terms.
- 7. Advance - click on the advance arrow and this is where you can see the trigger words and the plugin list
- 8. Plugin list - Allows you to disable or enable the chatterbot components
- a. Motion - toggles the chatterbot's movements on or off.
- b. iTunes - toggles the iTunes plugin for the chatterbot software. Makes it so you can have the Chatterbot make remarks when you run iTunes.
The software will auto detect when it needs an update if you are connected to the Internet. Mine updated right away to version 1.12, and you can find the version number on the bottom right corner of the advanced menu. Remember that these functions are for the Fairy Godfather, while other Chatterbots will have different functions and commands to use.
As with the Dog/Cat Chatterbot, you can change the wav files to whatever you want as long as it's the same file name, just don't erase the original wav file incase you want to change it back. If you feel really creative, you can change all of the files to suit your needs. Just record what you want and name it the same name of the wav file that you're replacing. Warning: make a backup file before doing this and remember to have fun with it. With a little hacking to the Fairy Godfather, I will give this item a big thumbs up. This is a very unique robot that I see a lot of fun with using around the clock or while I have it connected to the computer.
For all you hackers out there, there is plenty of room in the chair for your own circuits, I know I’ll be using this space for my add-ons. Also in the gallery you’ll find what’s inside of him and how he works.
Stay tuned for the hacks from me as we transform the Fairy Godfather into a robot that I'll be proud to show off and that you'll love to see, too!
Thanks for reading. As always, if you have any comments or questions or ideas on hacks please leave a comment on the article or drop me a line!