Yesterday I received my Google AIY Voice Kit from Micro Center via FedEx. This kit was from a pre-order I made over a month ago. This kit was originally shipped out with the Magpi issue 57. I did not have a subscription, so I wasn’t lucky enough to get one, even after checking with my local Barnes and Noble. I signed up to receive an email from Google to be notified when the kit would be available for pre-order. There were a limited number of pre-orders, so I chose to go with Micro Center online. I am glad I did, because they were very responsive in helping me find out when my kit would be shipped.
Today I had a chance to put it together. I am going to write about my experience with the kit. The first thing I did was grab a laptop, micro SD Card / Reader and download the aiy image from https://aiyprojects.withgoogle.com/. Next I powered down my Raspberry Pi 3 and unplugged everything. While I used Etcher on Windows 8 to write the image to the Micro SD Card, I began to assemble the kit. Putting the pieces together was pretty simple. I had the Magpi Magazine that came with the kit and I had seen enough YouTube videos to figure it out. Getting the Voice Hat onto the Raspberry Pi took some force using the clips that came with it, as well as getting the hat pressed down on the GPIO pins. After that, it was a matter of getting the wires plugged into the voice hat and microphone hat. For the speaker, you need a very small Phillips head screwdriver. That was pretty simple as well. The hardest part was getting the inside part of the box to fit into the outside box. I ended up cutting off some of the cardboard and taped down the bottom but all is well now. Once I had everything in the box, I taped the microphone hat onto the inside lid and wired up my push button with the guide in the magazine.
Once I had the box put together, I was ready to insert my newly created SD card, plug up all the peripherals for power, mouse, keyboard and monitor. Once I powered on the Raspberry Pi, it took some time to boot up. I followed the instructions on the Google AIY website. It showed me how to test out the speaker and microphone, which worked perfectly. You can also test out the wifi and cloud. I’m plugged in directly to the router so I was good to go on the network. The next part was setting up the api. Some of the steps were tricky and I suggest that you follow them exactly as stated. The problem that I came across was when I downloaded the. Json file. It had you rename it, and then move it to your home. Pi folder. Put it directly into the home. Pi that has everything in it, even non sdk files. I copied and pasted it in. You have to set credentials and enable the Assistant api as well as enable certain features in your Google activity settings. Again I suggest you follow the link https://aiyprojects.withgoogle.com/ for all of your needs in getting set up. Once I had all of the settings in place, I was able to run the demo in the dev terminal. You can choose to run code to activate it by saying “OK Google” or use the push button. I tried both, but ended up going with the code word.
Right now my kit is running in demo mode so I am connected to the monitor running the dev terminal. You can set up cloud speech api, I will probably do that later. It requires billing if you use it for more than the allotted time in a month. I am using my kit to ask basic questions, as well as having it set an alarm and give recipes. You can do a lot with this kit. I would suggest that you search videos on YouTube to see what others are doing. I will leave some helpful links below as well as videos I made.
GOOGLE AIY VOICE KIT SINGS SONG!
I hope that you enjoy seeing some of the things this kit can do, and hope that you are able to get your own.
Instagram Videos : https://www.instagram.com/p/BbCvQIMjW8s/
Until next time,
James Virgil Boggs
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