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Amazon Alexa on the Pi

A couple of months ago details were released explaining how to use a Raspberry Pi to build an Amazon Alexa device. At the time the instructions looked complicated and I put this onto my “things i will do one day (probably!)” list.

I had mostly forgotten about this project until a couple of days ago Matt aka The Raspberry Pi Guy published a very polished and comprehensive set of instructions for setting up your own Alexa. After following his guide and downloading his very nicely packaged code I had alexa up and running within 20 minutes. This projects uses the SenseHat both as a trigger and to display a nice graphical sound level and useful icons.

I’ve embedded his video here as it is a really good resource to follow.

Matt’s detailed instructions can also be found here on his blog.

This a project definitely worth looking at even just for the bragging rights to say you have Alexa and Siri at home!

A couple of observation (not a reflection on Matt’s work but on Alexa)

  • If you are outside of America you can’t set your location
  • Temperature measurements (e.g. for the weather) are in Fahrenheit
  • You can get your local weather by asking for the weather in a certain location
  • I couldn’t get Alexa to play my music or read my audio books to me

Do give it a go, it is definitely a lot of fun.

Matt recommends the following USB microphone. I am using a ProSound USB mic from Maplin.

So if you have a few minutes to spare give it a go.

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