f you were alive in the 90s, you probably remember Furbies: those furry robots that were supposed to learn to speak English but actually just woke you up in the middle of the night speaking in “Furbish” and demanding you hang out with them and their weird lifeless eyes.
This week a web developer in Tampa, Florida figured out how to turn his Furby into an Amazon Echo, with truly unnerving results.
Furbies were a must-have toy in the 90s.
Anyone who was anyone in 4th grade had a Furby, a small furry robot resembling an owl or maybe a hamster? Some sort of rodent-bird lovechild that had also visited an over-enthusiastic hair stylist and/or colorist.
Furbies were kind of amazing technology for the 90s.
As scary as they were, Furbies were pretty cool. They arrived speaking only “Furbish” but over time, the little furry robots were programmed to gradually unveil new English words, giving the appearance that they had learned how to speak from their owners.
Web developer and designer Zach took a Furby and rewired it to act as Alexa, the voice of the Amazon Echo.
In a video on YouTube, Zach explains how he dismantled the Furby and reassembled it to connect to the Amazon Echo. So while the Furby still looks like a Furby, it performs all the tasks Alexa does.
Zach frequently makes how-to videos on YouTube.
On Zach’s channel howchoo he frequently posts videos about how to tinker with electronics to make them do new things.
The first step involves removing Furby’s outer fur.
And it’s terrifying! Furby was scary to begin with, if we’re being honest, but seeing it’s eyes and beak attached to a stripped down robot body is downright nightmare fuel.