I’ve never been a fan of Alexa or Google Home. The devices seem cool, but the companies backing these devices are less cool… However, there’s this open source platform: Open Voice Operating System that seems like a good candidate for a personal assistant that doesn’t harvest information about you. There is a device, the Mycroft Mark II, available for sale that’s powered by this platform, but it costs $400.

My Build

Since the software is free and open source, anyone can put together their own device! So I’ll be working on an audio-only device. I’ll be adding more information as I go along, but so far, here’s the build information:

Raspberry PI 4 / 4GB MemoryAdafruit$55
Raspberry PI Power SupplyAdafruit$7.95
Audio CodecPiShop$20
Total ShippingUSPS$12.42
Total Tax$4.98
Donation to OVOS$20
Total Cost of Parts$120.35
Parts breakdown for a personal voice assistant

Parts Description

The Raspberry PI is the computer that powers the voice assistant. It comes in cheaper options with less memory which might work, but I figured 4GB of memory should be enough. I’d rather have more than not enough at least to start with. It needs a Power supply to run.

The Raspberry PI doesn’t have a microphone or speaker out of the box. The Audio Codec adds a speaker and microphone to the raspberry pi.

Once I get everything wired up, I should just have to install the Open Voice Operating System and test it out! There may be some configuration involved, but hopefully it’s not too bad.