Fortunately it used parts I already had:
- An Arduino Uno microcontroller
- Adafruit RFID Breakout
- Adafruit EMIC 2 Speech Module
- Rainbow hookup wire
- Robot Head (mini servo for mouth)
- Radio Shack vintage amplifier
The hookup was a bit of a challenge as the breakout only supports a 4 pin SPI interface at 3.3 volts with the Adafruit library. The included CD4050 chip translates the signal levels to 5 volt for the Uno. The EMIC 2 communicates over a TTL serial used with the Arduino softserial library to keep the standard serial port free for debugging over USB. The audio signal is amplified via a vintage Radio Shack hobby speaker. The mouth moves via a servo. I burned out my original trying to make the movements match the speech so I went to Microcenter to get a replacement microservo with metal gears for ruggedness.
Then it was time to come up with a good Carnac-type joke ("Carnac" says answer, card contains question to make the punch line). So the one I picked was:
Question: "What's in Sausage?" (oh, groan!)
Many of the classics were pretty dated. This is not a direct joke Carson used, I modified it to make it more 6 second friendly and avoid copyright, if any.
I'm thankful the servo was the only real issue. Rather fun project. I'll post the code on github when I get it cleaned up.
With Intro graphics: