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Hacking the Google AIY Voice Kit - Part 1

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Today we'll put together the Google AIY Voice Kit and see how to program it to use a "wake word" and a pushbutton.

Corresponding article at https://dbot.ws/aiy01

This is the first of three videos about hacking the Google AIY Voice Kit. In this video, we will assemble the Voice Kit and test it out.

The Google AIY Voice Kit was originally offered as a gift to subscribers of MagPi, the official magazine of Raspberry Pi. It is now available to everyone from the following sources:

Micro Center (only ships to US customers) - http://www.microcenter.com/site/content/Google_AIY_Preorder.aspx
Adafruit - https://www.adafruit.com/product/3602
Pimoroni - https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/google-aiy-voice-kit
Seeed - https://www.seeedstudio.com/Google-AIY-Voice-Kit-p-2956.html

For the record, I picked mine up from Pimoroni.

The kit comes with all of the hardware you will need to add to a Raspberry Pi 3 in order to create a little cardboard box that you can talk to, sort of a cardboard version of Google Home. It does not include the Raspberry Pi 3 itself, you’ll also need a Micro-SD card (8 GB or more) and a suitable USB power supply. To work with the kit you need to hook up a mouse and keyboard and HDMI video monitor to the Pi (it is possible to SSH to the box instead but I don’t show that here).

Assembling the hardware is very easy. Getting a project running on the Google Cloud to use the Google Assistant API is not too hard but if you haven’t done it before you might benefit from the instructions I provide - this is especially true if you are following the otherwise excellent guide provided with the kit as the Cloud screens have changed a bit since the guide was published.

Here is a breakdown of what we will be doing:

00:00 - Introduction
01:53 - Kit Contents
04:17 - Checking out the Voice HAT
07:30 - Assembling the AIY Voice Kit
10:36 - Burning the SD-Card with Etcher
12:48 - Hooking it all up
13:25 - First Bootup
14:20 - Testing the Hardware
15:23 - Google Cloud Project Setup
23:16 - Demo 1 (with wake word)
25:06 - Demo 2 (with push-button)

Hopefully, you enjoy the video and will be inspired to order an AIY Voice Kit of your own. If you do be sure to stay tuned for the next video in the series where I will take the unit “out of the box” and start hacking it.

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak