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RF-enabled Raspberry Pi add-on brings Google Assistant to gizmos, speakers, and robots

Jan 17, 2018 — by Eric Brown — 2132 views

JOY-iT and Elector have launched a $42 “Talking Pi” RPi add-on that enables Google Home/AIY compatible voice activation of home automation devices linked to the Pi’s GPIO, and includes a mic board, PWM servo controls, and support for a 433MHz SRD radio.

Elektor has begun selling a $42, open source voice control add-on board that is programmable via the Google Assistant SDK. Built by Germany based JOY-iT, and marketed by Conrad Business Supplies, the RF-enabled Talking Pi enables voice control of home automation equipment such as smart lights, power sockets, and other gizmos via addressable extensions to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO.



Talking Pi board with attached microphone board
(click image to enlarge)

The Talking Pi is compatible with Google’s AIY Projects voice/AI kit and HAT board for the Raspberry Pi, as well as the voice-activated Google Home home automation hub, which similarly provides the Google Assistant voice agent. You can program the Talking Pi using Google’s Python and Raspbian Linux based Google Assistant SDK.


Talking Pi with Raspberry Pi and RF and antenna modules (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

The 64 x 54 x 10mm board offers 6-channel PWM controls for servo controls of robotics gear. It also includes a bracket that supports a 433MHz SRD (Short Range Device) radio module for remote control.

Jumpers make the Talking Pi “switchable between GPIO and an additional servo PWM unit,” says Elektor. A 5V barrel jack supports servo applications. The board includes a “separately addressable” button and LED, and you can add a larger arcade button next to it via GPIO 23.



Talking Pi board (left) and AIY Project-like “coming soon” product
(click images to enlarge)

The Talking Pi provides speaker outputs that support a 3-watt loudspeaker. A separate tethered board houses a stereo microphone with an “integrated I2S sound output driver.” JOY-iT “will soon release and an additional module to connect another speaker for stereo sound output,” says Elektor.

JOY-iT’s Talking Pi product page also show displays s a “coming soon” device that appears to be a version of Google’s open source, cardboard-housed AIY Project expansion kit for the Raspberry Pi. It’s unclear if this is simply an enclosed version of the Talking Pi sold with a Raspberry Pi or another voice-activated gizmo.

 
Further information

The Talking Pi Is available for $42 ($38 for members) at Elektor, which offers a datasheet, and it may eventually be available at Talking Pi marketer Conrad.com. More information may also be found at the German-language JOY-iT website.
 

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