You could argue that the project to add a round screen to a Raspberry Pi from [YamS1] isn’t strictly necessary. After all, you could use a square display with a mask around it, giving up some screen real estate for aesthetics. However, you’d still have a square shape around the screen and there’s something eye-catching about a small round screen for a watch, an indicator, or — as in this project — a talking head.
The inspiration for the project was a quote from a Google quote about teaching a monkey to recite Shakespeare. A 3D printed monkey with a video head would be hard to do well with a rectangular screen, you have to admit. Possible with a little artistry, we are sure, but the round head effect is hard to beat. Honestly, it looks more like an ape to us, but we aren’t primate experts and we think most people would get the idea.
The IPS screen is tiny at only 1.28 inches and has a 240×240 resolution. Interfacing is simple with an SPI interface. You’d think video playback might be tough, but the flexfb library knows how to drive these. The only problem is the library isn’t compatible on Linux kernel 5.4 and beyond.
To solve that problem, [YamS1] used a Raspberry Pi 3 with a specific software load. For a dedicated device like this, that shouldn’t be a problem and gives you a good excuse to recycle those older Pi boards you have sitting around.
We’ll be honest. You probably don’t want a talking monkey sculpture on your desk. But if you do, this is your lucky day. However, the possibilities for a round screen are numerous and one that can play video has even more usefulness. Maybe the thing for your next robot or cosplay mask eyes or why not 3D print a tiny replica of a vintage oscilloscope and use this display for the CRT? Of course, a smartwatch is too easy but would work, too. You could also make some very cool replacements for magic eye tubes.