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Google seeks dev feedback for putting AI on Raspberry Pi

Jan 23, 2017 — by Eric Brown 2,216 views

Google will bring its AI and machine learning technology to the Raspberry Pi this year, and has posted a survey seeking input.

Google is planning to deliver tools for the Raspberry Pi later this year built around its artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, according to a Raspberry Pi Foundation blog entry. The announcement links to a Google survey that seeks to determine what kind of tools RPi developers would find most useful.

Raspberry Pi 3

Google’s survey includes questions about the use of software vs. hardware components, as well as plans for near-term development in categories like 3D printing, machine learning, wearables, drones, home automation, IoT, and robotics. The announcement notes that “Google has developed a huge range of tools for machine learning, IoT, wearables, robotics, and home automation,” and provides “powerful technology for navigation, bots, and predictive analytics.”


There’s no mention of what operating system the tools will run on. Eleven months ago when the RPi Foundation and Raspberry Pi Trading launched the Raspberry Pi 3, the first RPi model that would likely be capable of running a high-overhead platform like Android, we thought an announcement of Android support might be forthcoming. Instead, the big corporate announcement was with Microsoft, which announced Windows 10 IoT support. The Android-to-RPi porting project is still a work in progress.

One possibility is that Google will deliver tools based on its lightweight Android Things, a reboot of Brillo. Google’s early stage, non-Linux based Fuchsia can probably be safely removed from the list of possibilities.

Google Home

The RPi’s own Debian Linux based Raspbian distribution may instead be the target. Google’s most visible consumer facing project involving AI is the Linux-based Google Home speaker, which offers Google Assistant, an AI-infused voice agent, and competitor with Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Apple’s Siri. At least one third party project has already attempted to integrate Google Assistant with the Raspberry Pi Zero using IFTTT.

Further information

Google’s AI and machine learning tools for the Raspberry Pi should arrive later this year. More information may be found in the Raspberry Pi Foundation blog announcement. The Google survey is here.

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