DIY HAL Replica Wants You To Close The Pod Bay Doors, Dave

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Everyone’s favorite electronics hobby shop, Adafruit has posted instructions for building your own HAL 9000 replica out of a big red button, an Arduino board, and some cleverly cut plastic. Best of all? With the press of a button you can make HAL tell you what to do – until you kill it.

Devoted film fans will spend countless hours and hundreds of dollars (occasionally even thousands) to create flawless replica props for their personal collections. The iconic eye of HAL 9000 from 2001: a Space Odyssey is one such object of desire…popular enough that detailed (and pricey) licensed reproductions exist. This is cool stuff! But if we relax our criteria just a bit, you or I can turn out a pretty decent, recognizable facsimile in a weekend for just a small fraction of the cost. The 80/20 rule in action!


HAL is mostly made of laser cut plastic parts and a few nice decals. His brains are an Arduino Uno R3 with speakers attached and his jolly red button is a $10 arcade button. Best of all, the buttons come in white, blue, and green so you can make your own weird version of HAL that lives in an alternate 2001 universe.

To be clear, this is not an exact replica. However, it’s cool enough to, say, act as a cubicle charm or workspace novelty that will allow you, the human, to triumph over the encroaching hellfire of technological domination.