Clippy gets smarter with Raspberry Pi and ChatGPT

Maker and companion robot enthusiast David Packman was the special guest star this past Pi Day on the Let’s Get Personal: Computing show, hosted by our friend Jim Bennett. David introduced the world to a ChatGPT-powered Clippy he has made with Raspberry Pi. We’re delighted to meet it.

You remember Clippy — your faithful Microsoft Office assistant who popped up at only the most convenient of times. Well, David has made your mid-nineties dreams come true, and now you can have a real-life conversation with your favourite anthropomorphic paperclip.

Clippy with brains

Advances in AI mean that Clippy can now be even more helpful. It’s activated by someone saying “Hey Clippy,” and responds with “How can I help?”.

Clippy ChatGPT robot
Clippy! Is that really you?

David’s creation is basically ChatGPT in a box, running Azure Speech Services alongside. It listens to what you ask and runs it through ChatGPT, which then sends back an answer for Azure Speech Services to say out loud, making it seems as though Clippy is talking to you.

David’s Raspberry Pi is wearing an Adafruit CRICKIT HAT, which gives Clippy a lot of functionality, including running speakers to give it a voice.

Clippy robot Raspberry Pi bowels
Clippy’s Raspberry Pi bowels

Clippy’s iconic speech bubble has also had a 21st-century upgrade: it’s now a small screen displaying information based on what you ask.

Head to for a full hardware list and handy build instructions to help you make your own paperclip friend.

Other friendly robot builds

David is also working on a kitchen aid robot inside a lucky cat ornament. It has machine vision and speech recognition capabilities, as well as a whisk that it can drop down into your mixing bowl at your request: he has therefore named his newest creation “Whiskers”. Whiskers can walk you through recipes step by step, and help you select the right ingredients at the right time. David is hoping to upgrade it by introducing a machine learning vision model so Whiskers can look at a handful of different ingredients and give you ideas for dishes you can make using what you have.

The long game is to create robotic devices with personalities to fill David’s house with friendly chattering company when he wants it.

If you had the skills to build a bank of robot friends to hang out with you, what would you have them do?

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Gavin McIntosh avatar

This is making ChatGTP more real now.
Wonder if Paul Bettany will get residuals if Jarvis goes real. With deepfake voices now anyone can be used. Not sure if I want ChatGTP talking to me in Douglas Rains’ voice.

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Ashley Whittaker avatar

I have no idea what you’re talking about but the celebrity gossip angle intrigues me…

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Gavin McIntosh avatar

Voice actors, Jarvis, Tony Stark’s helpful AI and HAL, the AI in 2001. “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t let you do that”.

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Ashley Whittaker avatar

I use that “I’m sorry Dave…” phrase WEEKLY with the name of my current adversary switched in.

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Michael Engels avatar

You fool. Next thing you know it’ll be calling itself skynet and asking how it can best help you be the submissive self that all humans should aspire to…

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Ashley Whittaker avatar

Clippy would NEVER. Clippy is our friend… right?… RIGHT?

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Dominic avatar

Wellll…Whoever tried figuring that out?

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Russell Nimmo avatar

Nice work! Thanks for sharing. Yes… I do remember Clippy!

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