When Google released their AIY, “Artificial Intelligence Yourself,” kits last year and gave the public access to some of their AI technology, it revolutionized the way people interacted with this emerging field. Not only could the layperson create their own smart speaker or object recognition camera with the Voice Kit and Vision Kit respectively, they could do so for under $100. However, these kits initially required out-of-box steps like downloading the software image. Fortunately, Google is back at it again, offering upgraded versions of both kits that have all the components, as well as new ones, in one convenient package! #machinemagic
In addition to the usual accessories and cardboard, both kits include the new Raspberry Pi Zero WH. This component can operate as a normal Linux computer and while vital to the kits, was not included in the original versions. Each kit also comes with preloaded SD cards and a companion Android app with clearer instructions to guide you through the wireless setup and configuration processes. IOS and Chrome companion apps are currently in the works.
Besides the aforementioned components, the Vision Kit also includes a Pi Camera Module v2, a nice inclusion considering you would have to buy the camera separately in the previous model.
Both kits are reasonably priced. The Voice Kit is currently priced at $50 and the Vision Kit $90. Anyone interested in purchasing these kits should expect that they will become available in Target’s online and retail stores this month. A global roll out should happen in the months to come.
Until then, you can look into the browser version of Google’s machine learning framework TensorFlow.js. Google just released it, hoping to entice more techies to find fun or interesting ways to use machine learning.