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I really like Counting to a Billion by Che-Wei Wang. It uses an Arduino and a speech module to count up to 1 billion, and then it stops. The real question is, how long will it take? Will it even make it? I’m not sure, but it’s a cool experiment.

Counting to a Billion is a device created to fulfill the desire to count. The electronics consists of a microcontroller, a speech module, and a speaker powered by a rechargeable battery. There is no/off switch. The voice begins counting at one, two, three and continues counting up until it reaches one billion at which point in time it will stop.

More about Counting to a Billion by Che-Wei Wang

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Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. Mig says:

    …is it up to now?

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      That’s a good question. I’ll try and find out.

  2. Fingers and Toes says:

    By my quick-and-dirty estimates, given that it took 17 seconds to pronounce about 30 syllables, it’ll finish off in 375-ish years.

  3. Alex says:

    If robots could get bored, this would be the most suicidle robot in the world!

  4. ehrichweiss says:

    “continues counting up until it reaches one billion at which point in time it will stop.”

    Did anyone read the last part of that sentence as “at which point, time will stop”?

    Silly counting thingies…also time machines. ;)

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      “so 2000′s” too funny!

  5. hurf durf says:

    Counting to a billion is so 2000s. He needs to count to a trillion at LEAST. Keep up with the times, slowpoke!

  6. Gilberti says:

    Who wants to bet the speaker gives out before it makes it to a billion?

    1. Marc de Vinck says:

      My guess is after 1-200 years someone forgets to change the battery! I can barely remember to feed my fish!

  7. Kdog says:

    Next project on his list: making a soundproof box to contain a robot counting to 1 billion….

  8. GaryG says:

    …when it reaches a billion will the stars start going out?

  9. T.C. says:

    well this will take a really long time to find out if it works
    i figure that if it takes 1 sec (average prob more) to say each number that is almost 32 years of counting. im sorry i dont think my ADD will let me follow this story that long.
    the math
    1,000,000,000 / 60 secs in a min

    16666666.666666666666666666666667 / 60 mins in an hour

    277777.77777777777777777777777778 / 24 hours in a day

    11574.074074074074074074074074074 / 365 days in a year

    31.709791983764586504312531709792 years to complete

    just something to think about
    i like the idea though
    T.C.