The expression “word vomit” is usually applied to humans where nonsensical, or perhaps unwise, words spill out of one’s mouth. As AI has progressed, this ability has sadly been skipped on robots… up until now.
As seen on Reddit, the Vomit Comic Robot is not only able to spew words out of its thermal printer mouth, but generates actual pictorial comics via a Processing sketch running on a Raspberry Pi. A simple user interface consists of a button on top, which causes the robot to barf, along with several lights and a “halt”— power off — button in the back.
The robot itself is quite well made, first mocked up with foam core and masking tape, then finally laser-cut out of birch plywood, using Ponoko to do the actual manufacturing. In order to create a robotic effect worthy of its vomitous comics, the wood was stained using clothing dye and decorated further with coffee grounds, also with a marker transfer technique using a toner-based print.
As with many projects, fitting the electronics inside presented quite the challenge (no one ever asks for a smaller enclosure), but worked out in the end. If you’d like to build your own, code for the project can be found on GitHub.