The Gentleman Maker’s Auto-Apologizer: A Clever, Polite Device for the Everyday Brit

March 28, 2018 by Robin Mitchell

One of the biggest fears many British people face is forgetting to say sorry. This project is designed to automatically apologize when the user bumps into an object.

One of the biggest fears many British people face is forgetting to say sorry. The Auto-Apologizer is a device that will ensure this situation never happens to a polite Brit ever again.

When bumping into someone, the first thing that a British person will say is “sorry”. But there are times where we forget to say this, either because we are in a rush or we simply were not thinking.

This scenario is one that happens all too often, and when it does, it leaves us feeling ashamed and embarrassed. Just like how I’d never want to miss out on a cup of tea because I can’t put the kettle on, I personally do not want to be the victim of this dire problem. So, in this project, we will build an auto-apologizer.

Auto-Apologizer BOM

To make your auto-apologizer, you will need the following:

How It Works

This project is designed to automatically apologize when the user bumps into an object. The PyBoard has an inbuilt accelerometer that is used to detect changes in velocity, and if the change in velocity has gone beyond a predefined trigger value, the PyBoard sends a signal to the ISD1820 to play the prerecorded apology.

The ISD1820 is a simple record/playback module that can record up to 10 seconds of audio and then play it back upon a pulse on the PLAYE pin.

The Schematic

The schematic shows the PyBoard directly connected to the 9V battery, which is possible thanks to the PyBoard’s onboard regulator. The ISD1820, however, draws its power from one of the 3.3V outputs from the PyBoard.


Auto-Apologizer Scheme-It Schematic


You can find the full Scheme-It schematic here.


This project is a wearable, which means that the electronics need to be fitted into an appropriate enclosure. Such an enclosure could be made using many different materials, including wood and cardboard, but for added strength, I used a 3-D printer to create an enclosure.

The model was designed in Google SketchUp and then exported as an STL file. This file was then imported into XYZware and sent to a XYZ Da Vinci Jr. 3-D printer. The result was a robust box that housed the electronics, as well as the battery and speaker wires.

PyBoard Code, KiCad Files, and 3D Printer Design

If you’re making your own apologizer, you can download the code and everything else you'll need below. 

Happy apologizing!

  • R
    ronsoy2 April 06, 2018

    I prefer the American way! Have it say, “Get the f__k out of my way!” He, he, he!

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  • ArdRhi April 06, 2018

    Ronsoy2, the proper American way, at least on the East Coast is “Heyyyy, I’m WALKING here!”

    This is a nifty little project. It makes good use of an accelerometer and a sound module, two useful tools.

    But why the “we’re out of time” at the end? That was about 8 minutes. You DO realize that Youtube videos can be ANY length, right? In fact, monetization has a “sweet spot” at just over 10 minutes, so why not do another few minutes, to both illustrate things more completely AND potentially make some more monetization cash?

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    • K
      Kmpres April 06, 2018
      Those may be common expressions but I think you put the shoe on the wrong foot. It is the person doing the bumping that says "sorry" (or the other verbalizations), not the person being bumped. As for your "East Coast" [removed]really a NYC expression), I find myself generally impressed by the politeness of New Yorkers on my infrequent visits to the city. I should know, I grew up there. It's the other cities I've lived in where people are more impolite. Nice project by the way. I'd probably make mine say "Gomen nasai", especially during hay-fever season when people wear masks in my city to keep out the pollen thus hiding their faces from view.
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