These Three Kits Can Help Connect Your Project to Powerful AI

Maybe you have built a remote pet feeder, or an automatic lock for your front door, or a robot — all good maker projects. But there is usually one thing missing that would make them great: a little bit of intelligence. What if your pet feeder knew to feed the cat and not the squirrels, or you could tell your door to unlock when your hands are full? And who hasn’t wanted a robot you could talk to? AI can make a good project amazing. Here are some new kits that let you capitalize on the power of AI in your projects.


The heart of the Google AIY Voice setup is the Voice Hat, an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi Zero. The Voice Hat doesn’t actually have any onboard speech processing. That is handled by Google’s cloud (or another service like Amazon’s Alexa). The Hat primarily provides a decent speaker amplifier and a secondary board with a stereo microphone.

The original Voice Hat, using a full-size Pi, broke out a number of input-output pins with space to easily add servos as well as drive some higher loads (up to 500mA). This makes it easy to give your voice-controlled device some motion or other physical interface. The newer release uses the Pi Zero, so it’s a little more limited — but it does come with the Pi Zero rather than having to supply your own.


Like the Voice kit, the AIY Vision kit also has an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi Zero, a cardboard enclosure, and an arcade button. But this board, the VisionBonnet, has some real power to do onboard image analysis without the cloud. It uses an Intel Movidius MA2450 vision chip along with the Raspberry Pi Camera Module.

Sasha Harriet

Sasha Harriet

As content editor, I get to do what I love everyday. Tweet, share and promote the best content our tools find on a daily basis.

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Sasha Harriet

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