# Loquino - the Loquacious Arduino

Early last year I agreed to exchange something hand-made with a couple of friends. One is an English teacher so I decided to implement an idea I'd had in the back of my mind for a while: a small box with a large vocabulary, the "Loquino". Its sole purpose is to display a sequence of random words on a small LCD. The words are included in the sketch (PROGMEM), so with less than 32k available I had to employ some "heroic" coding techniques

• Huffman coding - To compress a list of about 1800 real words taken (with permission) from the Grandiloquent Dictionary (http://www.islandnet.com/~egbird/dict/dict.htm).
• Markov chaining - To generate random pseudo-words which look like real English words (have the same statistical properties).

I liked the idea of the box being self contained and optionally able to run off batteries, so I spent some time working on using an LDR to put the ATmega to sleep when the enviroment went dark, and wake when it became light again. I found it difficult to get consistent results and didn't really have time to find out how long batteries would last, because the two Loquino's I made, I sent to my friends.

My flickr set Loquino | Flickr has pictures of the build and videos. The sketch is available from my site Mark Wilson's Home Page - Software/Arduino/Loquino.

This is the main circuit board. The socket is for the ATmega, the LCD mates with the strip along the bottom (and covers the ATmega), top-right is the LDR:

Some Time Later by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

And the second, lower, board with power via USB B, a pot for the LCD contrast and two buttons to configure the box:

Lower Board by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

This is the first one, fully assembled and showing a pseudo-word, "spoone":

Power Side by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

This is the second one, fully assembled and showing a real word, "psychomancy" (Divination by talking to the dead):

Together (Top + Base) by funnypolynomial, on Flickr

And here's a video of it running:

You'll see the splash screen then:
shurocracy (A government based on consensus)
orneflass? (? denotes a pseudo-word)
psychomancy (Divination by talking to the dead)
rindiable?