Chatter uses the Plushie Message Framework (chat-parsing script to Arduino to wireless module) to send selected instant messages from your computer to the message pillow. Often times I leave my message client open just to get that “emotional check-in” or other brief snippet from my sweetheart, but I don’t want messages from anyone else. With the Chatter Pillow, I just alter a few parameters in the script to filter all but three messages from him: “xo,” “on my way,” and “talk to me.” That way I can be on the couch or ready for bed and still get the message. The pillow lights up with the appropriate symbol indicating whether he’ll be home soon or if I should make my way to the computer to answer a question.
The PHP script parses the Adium log (so you can use whatever chat channel you like), then sends the specified messages out through the Arduino board, which activates a wireless trigger in the toy. Jonah and I used the Laipac TLP434A and RLP434A wireless transmitter/receiver pair along with the Linx Lical-enc-LS001 and Lical-dec-LS001 encoder/decoder pair. (Chipset similar to this one from Rentron)
You can download all the source code (Including PHP scripts and Arduino sketch) here (open source, of course).
Here’s the Flickr set of this project in progress.