As if snatched straight from the world of Pokémon itself, an inventor has created an actual, working Pokédex using generative AI.
YouTuber abe’s projects has made a seeing, talking Pokédex using a 3D printer, ChatGPT, and some electronic components. It’s extremely cool and highly nostalgia-inducing for Pokémon fans of the 90’s.
A Pokédex is a device from the Pokémon anime and games that the protagonist uses to scan and identify the Pokémon they encounter. It then provides information about that Pokémon back to the user.
Abe recreated the device’s distinctive red case using a 3D printer, switching to beige for the bezels around the screen and buttons. Abe chose to use a black and white screen for his Pokédex despite the anime featuring a color screen because he wanted to call back to a toy from the ’90s which also had a black and white screen.
Abe incorporated a small camera in the front of the device for scanning Pokémon. It then connects with ChatGPT and the Pokémon API to determine what creature it’s seeing. Abe used a tool called PlayHT to modify the AI-generated voice to make it have the sound and cadence of the Pokédex in the anime for an even higher nostalgia hit.
Abe overcame many bugs in his quest to recreate the Pokédex
In the YouTube video, Abe outlined some of the bugs he had to overcome to get the device working. Early on he mentioned how fragile the miniature display screens are, having already broken one before completing the project. He also faced multiple software bugs and crashes, but his ingenuity allowed him to overcome them.
This included a strange ticking sound in the audio. Abe couldn’t identify how or why the sound was being added to his audio output but he was able to find the sound signature and manually code in a fix.
If you’re a fan of Pokémon, cool personal electronics projects, or both, the video is very much worth watching.
Featured image credit: abe’s projects YouTube video