Had too much self-quarantine? [Sharathnaik] had, so he decided to build a robot companion named Ewon. Using a Raspberry Pi, Ewon isn’t a robot that moves around, but rather an expressive Google assistant. Using some servo-driven ears and a display, Ewon reacts to you based on keywords you use in your queries. For example, it might perk up and smile at the mention of ice cream. Or look unhappy if you mention sadness.
The project is simple because of the Google Assistant API. However, we liked the 3D printed body and some of the additional features the robot adds.
If we are being honest, one of the things we were most interested in was the use of Snowboy which is a hot word detector you can use on the Pi. This allows the robot to answer to “Hey Ewon,” instead of “Hey Google.” Unfortunately, the GitHub page notes that the developer behind Snowboy is ceasing operations in December, though the code is open-source so it will still be around. The system works on the Pi, of course, but also on Linux, Mac OS, Android, and iOS in a variety of languages.
We wish there was a video of Ewon, but we couldn’t find one. We’d like to build this and add a feature so Ewon’s ears and expressions would keep time with the music playing.