AIY Projects with Raspberry Pi & Google

AIY Projects with Raspberry Pi & Google

The Raspberry Pi has just been voted the ‘most innovative consumer product since the iPhone‘, beating the Tesla in the grand final. Since 2012 the Raspberry Pi has completely changed the accessibility of computer science, and it’s innovative community have continued to bring us amazing resources, projects and support for edutech. So it’s not surprising that they have also delved into the world of AIY (Artificial Intelligence Yourself), and with the help of Google, April’s edition of the MagPi magazine brought AIY into thousands of homes across the UK.

AIY Projects is a free hardware kit which enables you to add voice interaction to Raspberry Pi projects, and it was issued free with the print edition of MagPi 57. Included in the kit you receive a Google Voice HAT accessory board, stereo microphone voice HAT board, a speaker, an arcade button, a selection of wires and a cardboard case to house everything in. You’ll need to supply your own Raspberry Pi 3, so the potential full cost of your first AIY project is £38.98. Not bad considering Google Home is retailing at £129.00…

It doesn’t come with a cat, but that’s probably a good thing, as they’re not very helpful with AIY Projects. In fact they rather get in the way.

There’s a full breakdown in the magazine on how to put the kit together for your AIY Projects Voice Kit. If you get stuck, you may find the tips below useful:

  • When securing the lamp by rotating it until it clicks into place in the button, don’t try to force it. If it’s not going in easily, you may need to widen the notches in the lamp holder that allow the button to clip into place.
  • When taping on the microphone, use some bluetack to temporarily hold the board in place while you secure with tape.

Other than that, I managed to put the whole kit together in about an hour or so!

Next you’ll need to set up the AIY Projects software using the Google Assistant SDK. As part of this process, you’ll need to login to the Google Cloud Platform and create your AIY project. Google Cloud Platform projects form the basis of creating, enabling, and using all Cloud Platform services including managing APIs and managing permissions for Cloud Platform resources.

You’ll enable the Google Assistant & Speech APIs, set up OAuth consent, create an OAuth client ID and credentials, and download and move these to your home folder on the Raspberry Pi. Once done, simply activate the relevant controls on your Google account and you’re ready to power up your voice unit.

My Google Assistant is always listening, and responds to hand claps. It can tell me the weather in Hong Kong, and even tells me Goodnight.


From here, it’s up to you. Use the kit to hack your other projects and add voice control, such as a magic mirror, voice controlled robot, and anything else you can think of! So how are you going to use the kit? Tell us in the comments below!


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