Alexa from Amazon to Bixby from Samsung and Cortana to Google Voice Assistant, all these digital tech innovations made our life easier, exciting, and convenient. You can turn on/off your home lights, order food online, open or close your garage door and many other routine task becomes easier to do with these digital assistants. Google is a valley of knowledge which lets you explore and get the information about anything you want to know on the web. As per the company, they have recently provided support to the Raspberry Pi with a self API assistant. It will make your routine life even better and easier.
Educational institutes, hobbyists, electronics enthusiasts, tinkerers, or even professionals started building awesome/useful projects using Google Assistant with Raspberry Pi.
Topics covered in this how to guide
Here, I have covered information on the DIY project of making a Google Assistant powered by Raspberry Pi. A wooden box will be used to work as the final setup.
You will see
- how to setup your Pi
- how to program the digital voice assistant
- how to make a matching sized wooden box
- and finally how to attach and expand your personal voice assistant.
So, let’s get in the details.
What will you get by completing this project?
You will get a DIY Google home voice assistant powered by Raspberry Pi. You can easily create prototypes with the help of Raspberry Pi which means you can have different personal digital voice assistants at your home and office which works the same. Python programming resources, a lot of tutorials and documents are available on Google and Raspberry Pi communities. You can also expand the current cloud services and can make your custom voice commands.
- You can save your shopping lists on ‘Google Keep’
- You can order food online; you can hear the latest news
- Messages and email sending and receiving and even calling is possible
- You can check the local forecast
- Even you can see live update on traffic to decide the best route to reach your office in time
All these are possible with the Pi powered Google voice assistant.
I hope I have convinced you enough to take on this project. So let’s cover the details about it now. It is advisable to do a few beginner’s Raspberry Pi projects first if you are working on it for the first time.
Hardware and some accessories you will need for this project:
- Raspberry Pi 3 board (I recommend you to buy a starter kit)
- A 2.5A power adapter for Pi 3 (this will be included in the starter kit)
- A USB microphone and speaker,
- SD card with pre-installed OS (Raspbian recommended), (included in starter kit)
- A slim & slick wooden box (oak wood is preferred), and
- Other essential accessories for connection and working.
How to start?
Andrew Jones (Andii) has done such project and provided step-by-step instructions. You can see the project details here. Or if you want to take a quick look, then read ahead for setting up and using the Raspberry Pi Google Assistant.
Step-1: First, you need to setup your Raspberry Pi 3. For this, connect all the accessories like a display, mouse, keyboard, etc. with your Pi. As the assistant depends on real time commands and the Pi does not come with a real time clock, you can set up an NTP or even can add manual commands for it. Then, update the Raspberry Pi OS on the SD card.
Step-2: Almost, all the digital voice assistants are cloud based and so is Google’s. So you need to connect the API in the cloud with the SDK of Google assistant. You will generate a client secret, create a self-Google cloud storage, and enable the API.
Step-3: Now, the configurations using Python needs to be done. Here, you have options to divert your Google Assistant. Either you can code the basic version of it, or you can add the functionality by adding the LED lights in your project.
Step-4: It’s the time to build and prepare the wood box now. You can do it at earlier stages too. Get the help of the tools needed like a hacksaw, wood screws, etc. to match the ends of the timber with your Raspberry Pi setup. You can adjust the holes as per your requirements to attach extra accessories.
Step-5: Now, with the use of Python and GPIO codes to install the library on your assistant quickly and easily. Make required soldering to the LEDs and do proper wirings. If you complete all these correctly, the LEDs will turn on when you say “Ok Google” and turn off when the task finishes.
Step-6: After you cut the piece of the wood in the proper and matching shape to your Pi, it is the time to drill the holes according to your setup and layout electronics at their relevant places. Cut the USB cords according to the requirement and do the soldering. Finish the design of the box with the help of necessary tools and accessories.
Step-7: At last, extend your Google Assistant with the help of some online apps and Python coding. You can find resources on the web which covers the information on the same.
Which voice assistant is good?
Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant all have strength and weakness. I will encourage you to dig into the capabilities more. You can go with either of them, but the Raspberry Pi Google Assistant is what you can proudly show as your own, unique, helpful and interesting Hack.
I hope you like the coverage. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.
Note: You can also use a ready-made plastic box or cardboard box in the place of the wooden box if you do not wish to tinker with lumber.