I was very excited when I first heard about the AIY Voice Kit and rushed all over to try and find issue number 57 of TheMagPi but had no luck finding one. A few months after this the release of the AIY Voice Kit at retail was announced and I quickly preordered on from my local (well not that local) MicroCenter. At the time of the preorder MicroCenter offered two options. You could order just the Voice Kit for $25 or get a bundle that included a Raspberry PI 3 Model B 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU, 1GB RAM and the Google AIY Voice Kit, for me that was a no brainer and I ordered the combo package. Fast forward a few months and my Kit was finally available for pick up and I am very excited!
For the price of this kit and the community that is behind the Raspberry Pi the possibilities are nearly endless for this kit. The kit gives you everything you need to get up and running (assuming you have a functioning Raspberry Pi).
Included with the kit are:
- Voice HAT Accessory Board
- Voice HAT Microphone Board
- (2) Plastic Standoffs
- 3” Speaker
- Speaker Wire
- Push Button
- Button Cable
- Daughter Board Cable
- Cardboard Enclosure
This will certainly get an entry level tinkerer up and running and you will have a nice looking cardboard ert your SD Card that has the Voice Kit SD Image (you can download the SD Image from the AIY Projects Website), plug in a monitor, a keyboard and mouse and boot up the Pi. Once booted you can configure your Wi-Fi and test your audio.
This hardware combined with the Google Assistant API and the Google Cloud Platform should lead to some interesting development and I for one am excited. My vision for this is seamless integration of Google Assistant into my home. Using high quality materials and components we can build Assistant into the decor of a room, so you no longer have this weird shaped white thing sitting on a table. There is nothing to stop someone from building this into a nightstand in a bed room (which I think is going to be my first project) or into a smart mirror in a bathroom, the possibilities really are endless.
If you are excited about the AIY kit or have and projects planned or already in the works, please share them in the comments I would love to hear what people are thinking about doing. Stay tuned for updates on my own projects as we get moving along here at IoTRantbox sitting around in the end. I must admit I am not a fan of the cardboard enclosure or the supplied speaker but then again it is a starter kit meant to be easy accessible by anyone who wants to tinker, and I had never planned on using them for any finished projects.
Assembly is straight forward and if you get lost there is a handy instruction manual included which will walk you through everything from folding the box to inserting the components. I will say though that the enclosure is cardboard so do not expect the best fit and finish, but it will certainly work to get you going with assembly done you are ready to ins
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.