I’m a complete newby to Mycroft and digital assistants in general. One reason for not having paid attention to them before, is my reluctance to get into bed with companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, etc. Recently I ran into Jasper, a project similar to Mycroft, and also got my first two Raspberry Pi’s. Because the Jasper project hasn’t seen any activity for at least 4 years, I searched a bit and stumbled upon Mycroft.
I am not a Linux whizz-kid and don’t know anything about electronics. However, I have been a self employed programmer for more than 35 years and know my way around Linux and its command line. Enough to do my job at least. I also managed to install and get Mycroft up and running from the enclosure-picroft on Github. Not that difficult, as the image creation recipe is very clear and the update.sh script very mature and stable apparently. My sincere compliments for that.
Because it is still an experiment, I connected an extremely old Logitech desktop microphone and a set of almost equally and incredibly cheap unpowered speakers to the Pi. Results are bad to say the least. I did manage to have Mycroft respond to two or three commands, but no more than that. I have to glue the speakers to my ears to hear anything useful and have the distinct feeling the microphone isn’t very helpful in making Mycroft listen to me. So I spend several hours reading forum posts and browsing the internet, trying to decide which components to get. I still have now idea,
The way I see it there are two directions:
- Get an all in one, wired USB speakerphone like the Jabra 410/510 or a wired USB microphone + USB speakers.
- Get a microphone array like ReSpeaker Core v2 or Matrix voice and connect a speaker directly to the Pi somehow.
Both have there advantages and disadvantages. The first options seems simple and straight forward, but I have read quite a few stories of people struggling to get it up and running and keeping it that way. The second option takes me into the world of more advanced Pi usage, which I’m not quite sure I’m ready for yet. It feels like the proper Pi thing to do, but I’m hesitant because I haven’t the foggiest idea what I need exactly, let alone how to connect it and get it all to work.
I really want something that’s fail safe and bullet proof. I’m not a wealthy guy (understatement) but I prefer to spend a few euro’s more for good quality components that work without issues out of the box, than spending a lot of time and getting frustrated, just because I made poor choices for the components. So some help with picking the right components is very much appreciated.