AIY Projects

AIY Projects website

Its pretty much a do it your self Google Home.

Can we use this as a cheap Google home replacement?


We want to put AI into the maker toolkit, to help you solve real problems that matter to you and your communities. These kits will get you started by adding natural human interaction to your maker projects."

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I don’t see why not.

I built one tonight, and have the necessary hardware (and second magazine kit) for a second one.

Voice activation isn’t there yet, neither is music playback or the like.
Pushing the button works quite well though, and I’m seriously considering tweaking this a little bit, adding a 4g radio module and wiring the audio output up in stereo (mono by default with single speaker connection) and outputting to the aux input on the car radio.

Mobile Google Home, anyone?

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Just built one this week and I’ve played with it for a few minutes. It’s an interesting little beast with some unknown advantages and disadvantages over a Google Home.


  1. This little thing comes with one speaker but has pads for for a second. Reading the manual shows you how to mod the board for stereo. I just need to source a second speaker of the same quality and make a different box if I decide to go that route. So instead of this box having the sound quality of the $179 google home for $35, it turns into a $399 Google home premium for less than $50.

  2. There are holes on the board for servos and for drivers. It also has a slit in the board to allow the Rpi camera module to attach through the board. Between this and the quality Microphones included it could easily be the board for DIY robotics enthusiasts.

  3. An Integrated IDE: All development software for the unit is on board, and you can easily configure this to allow VNC and SSH to log in via wifi.


  1. Bad Marketing: The AIY is being pushed as a $35 DIY Google Home. While it does have google assistant I can’t find any way to get this to talk to the Google Home app on your phone, which is the first step necessary to get it talking to any external devices like your Smartthings. No articles I’ve read even hinted at the robotics features of this board.

  2. Commercially Eclipsed: The popularity of this board was probably one reason why Google put out the Google Home mini for $50. Honestly once you add all the parts you need to run the AIY you’re already over that price anyway. If you are looking at this board for home automation you’re better off getting the Google Home mini as it will be supported.

I hope AIY and Google get together and fix these shortcomings. Being able to build a robot that controls my lights using spare parts would be cool (I mean how many of these are on kickstarter right now?). Right now this is more of an arduino and rpi enthusiast community project than something for mass consumption.

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