Mycroft Community Forum

Mycrof Ai Devkit day 2 impressions/general questions

Hi! I’m excited to join this community. I just got my kit a few days ago and wanted to share my impressions and some general questions coming from a complete Newbie. My background: I’m a Mechanical Engineer with a Doctorate in Materials Science. I’ve built some Rasberry based robots in the base before but I’m definitely not that good of a programmer.

Putting it together:

  1. The kit was really well made, and I appreciate the tools being included. It was a really nice touch.
  2. The electronic connections went together easily and structure was in place in less than an hour.
  3. The sound is really good and I’m currently using the Mycroft to play music which works well.
  4. Some of the inserts bunched up acrylic that can clog some of the holes. Maybe add “Clear the holes with a toothpick” to the instructions on instructables.
  5. The noise isolators for the top boards. 3/4 had no issue. the 4th one split. Everything still went together ok but thought I’d mention it.

Newbie questions for using the unit:

  1. I can’t figure out the light scheme to the led circle on the top board. Sometimes it’s two lights, sometimes it’s a ring. Also when the unit is asleep the ring is completely lit up which is a lot of unnecessary light. Is there a dark mode?
  2. On your website there is no instructions for using “I Heart Radio”. I saw that it was installed but that skill is not in the marketplace with instructions with “use cases”
  3. From the website I can’t figure out how to change the wake word, yup I’m using precise. Curiously “Hey Mycroft, how do I change the wake-word” doesn’t give an answer.
  4. Same thing with voice tone and other configuration settings. It doesn’t seem like you can change configuration settings by having a discussion with Mycroft. Which was my first instinct.
  5. There are three buttons on top of the board. I don’t know what they do. Sometimes pressing the center one has a desired effect. Sometimes mashing the center one when I’m frustrated just makes me feel better.

Suggestions/Questions about availability:

  1. In the DEV kit creates a pretty nice integrated package for folks that like building stuff. Do you have any plans for selling the microphone, LED board or another round of these Dev kits? I ask because It’d be fun to incorporate these electronics in homemade wood radio’s and 6 DoF robotic arms with additional motor control boards. But I don’t see a place to order the Mycroft microphone array board, the rest I assume I can find/hack together.
  2. The top board: Since the sound isolators were weird and it’s kinda open to the elements: (my kids sticky fingers). I might try to pour a thin silicon sheet from SMOOTH-ON materials. That will let the light through and can handle the heat while still being flexible enough for button pressing. But where the heck is the microphone array, I don’t want to mess with how the unit can hear?
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the microphones should be the two dark colored rectangular ICs, about an inch from the front of the board (Pi connector edge)

this link explains some of the functions: https://mycroft.ai/get-started/mark-ii-dev-kit
HTH - I too got my dev-kit a few days ago -am learning some of the ins & outs
the ‘chat.mycroft.ai’ (creates account on mattermost server -afaikt) is a place with info also
Gary - aka “Olzeke51”

2 Likes

Sweet, thanks! it looks like the sensors are up top? I might try to design a 3D printable piece to create a mold from.

For question 3, you can say “switch listener to precise” (or pocketsphinx). To change what word it is, hit the precise repo and look at the training guide.

For suggestion 1, they’ve mentioned selling the sj201 boards at a later date previously.

Hey Stephen,

Welcome to the forums, and great to hear the Dev Kit is going well!

I’ll add your putting it together notes to our list of improvements to the instructions.

Unit questions:

  1. As Gary mentioned we’ve started documenting the LEDs and light patterns here:
    Mark II - Mycroft AI
    The whole ring staying on for an extended period of time is a bug, so hopefully we tick that one off shortly. I’m also keen to add a setting to change the brightness of the LEDs overall.
  2. We’re actually removing the iheartradio Skill for the moment. We were giving it a quick test just before shipping to see if it could be a default music Skill but it’s not quite ready. I do think it has huge potential though. There are a list of suggested ways to trigger in on the Skills repo.
  3. Changing the wake word is done via the Device Settings: home.mycroft.ai/devices
    However “Hey Mycroft” is by far the best performing at the moment.
    There is also a section of our docs for defining custom wake words though results will vary wildly.
  4. Currently a lot of configuration parameters are consumed during initialization which limits the ability to switch everything on the fly. One of our devs Chris is looking at that issue currently. There are different ways that config settings are implemented meaning it’s inconsistent for users about how to change them, and whether a change will require a restart etc.
  5. The buttons are documented here:
    Mark II - Mycroft AI

Availability questions:

  1. We will have a small number of Kits available to purchase. We may in the future sell the SJ201 (audio daughter board) independently, but that is unlikely to be this year as we are focused on putting them in Mark II’s. I do think it solves a very real use case - which is the whole reason we built it, because we couldn’t find something that already provided this all in one package. Unfortunately adding new products adds complexity and to the whole process, even if they are a subset of a larger product. So it’s not something we can “just do”.
    Because it’s all open hardware, if you’re really adventurous you could build your own but one off units will be relatively expensive. All the details are in this repo:
    hardware-mycroft-mark-II/mark-II-Rpi-devkit at master · MycroftAI/hardware-mycroft-mark-II · GitHub
  2. The mics are at U10 and U11. The two black boxes near the front screws. This Dev Kit certainly wasn’t made for little people usage. Though we’ll have FDM compatible 3D print files for a case up shortly. This might be a viable option for you?