Google is making a computer vision kit for Raspberry Pi

Image: Google AIY

Google is offering a new way for Raspberry Pi tinkerers to use its AI tools. It just announced the AIY Vision Kit, which includes a new circuit board and computer vision software that buyers can pair with their own Raspberry Pi computer and camera. (There’s also a cute cardboard box included, along with some supplementary accessories.) The kit costs $44.99 and will ship through Micro Center on December 31st.

The AIY Vision Kit’s software includes three neural network models: one that recognizes a thousand common objects; one that recognizes faces and expressions; and a “a person, cat and dog detector.” Users can train their own models with Google’s TensorFlow machine learning software.

Google touts this as a cheap and simple computer vision system that doesn’t require access to cloud processing, because of the extra processing unit. It suggests several simple uses, including setting up cameras to detect your dog or car. But it also offers more interesting possibilities, like identifying plants and animals with the kit.

This is the second project released through Google’s AIY program, a partnership with Raspberry Pi’s creators. The first was called Voice HAT, and it added microphones that let users issue Google Assistant commands to Raspberry Pi-controlled devices.


This is neat. They also made a Google Home for the Raspberry Pi.

I’m loving Google Home! Especially with the new AI improvements.

Isn’t this a bit like that camera thing they released this year? Just, kinda made of cardboard…

Yeah, it even uses the same exact Movidius Myriad 2 MA2450 VPU. Interestingly, this makes Google’s AIY kit the cheapest way for developers to acquire the chip. Intel (who owns Movidius) sells their own Myriad 2 MA2150 "Neural Compute Stick" for $80. And that version only has 1Gb of memory compared to Google’s 4Gb.

I guess Google’s not particularly worried about cannibalizing their own products with these kits. Their Voice Hat let anyone turn a Pi into a much cheaper Google Home (before the Mini was released).

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