As part of an ongoing initiative to make its AI tools accessible to digital tinkerers, Google is teaming up with the creators of the Raspberry Pi. A new hardware accessory called the “Voice HAT” adds stereo microphones to the credit card-sized computer, and helps anyone use Google’s Assistant to control Pi-powered projects.
With a Voice HAT and Raspberry Pi, Google Assistant can answer all the usual queries, talking to users about things like the weather and sports scores. But it can also be used to add natural voice commands to other DIY projects. This could mean making a Pi-powered robot that follows your instructions (“robot, pass the butter”) or a Pi-powered mirror that you can chat to in the morning (“magic mirror, what’s my commute like?”).
The Voice HAT kit (it stands for “Hardware Accessory on Top”) is only available in the latest issue of The Mag Pi — the official Raspberry Pi magazine. The magazine (which can be read online for free here) also includes step-by-step instructions for connecting the Pi to Google’s cloud-powered voice services.
This isn’t the only way to get Google’s AI assistant working on the Raspberry Pi. Google released the Assistant SDK to developers last month, allowing anyone to install the software on a Raspberry Pi. But it is perhaps the most straightforward.