When I got my first Arduino in the fall of 2010, I knew I wanted to build something that would create real-world interaction based on things that happened online. (Sometimes referred to as “The Internet of Things.”) When I saw Bubblino, I thought connecting it to Twitter made sense, so that’s what I did. I ended up grabbing the Alertuino code, and somehow got it to work. (I wasn’t quite versed in Arduino serial communications yet, so it was a challenge.)

A bit of light hacking to build a small wooden stand, mount two servos, and place a monkey hand puppet on it resulted in the Twitter Monkey. I debuted the Twitter Monkey at the November 2010 Web414 Meeting, and instructed people that as they posted on Twitter and included the hash tag #web414, the Twitter Monkey would get excited and wave it’s arms up and down. We saw a lot of hash tags that night!

The Twitter Monkey was a simple idea, but really seemed to capture people’s attention. It was mentioned on Make, Gizmodo, and a number of other blogs, and the video saw over 6,500 views. A few people were interested in having their own. (I should probably write a Processing application to replace the Perl script and consider the offers.)

(At some point I’d like to clean-up/rewrite the code a bit and publish it here. I know I’ve been saying that for months, but I still mean it.)

Note: The “Twitter Monkey” is sometimes referred to as the “2XL Monkey” (especially on Twitter) since it’s frowned upon to use “Twitter” in the name of things.

Blog posts about this project:

Twitter Monkey