Digital Assistants

Running your Digital Assitant for home automation locally

When getting an Alexa a few years ago I was positively suprised how well speech rexogniton in German was working now. Sadly the way Alexa needed a connection to a server and that always felt a bit wrong to me. During 2020 I decided to check if it might be possible to run a limited digital assistant locally.

There are a few variants but only one that fit the bill when it cames to local only recognition in German: the Rhasspy project.

After some experimentation I was able to get an installation running on a Pi4 with wakeword detection via picovoice porcupine. I had to modify the code a bit initally because a German wakeWord was orginally not working correctly.

Results were sadly a bit mixed and just slightly below the pain treshold owing to false positives and negative wakeword detections as well as some misinterpreted voice commands. Even a high quality microphone array only got me marginal improvements.

Rhasspy development stalled out after 2020 for a bit and I was left with patching in new porcupine versions as the only improvements. The main issue was still false detections and rejections with the sentence detection working resonably well.

With the current improvements in AI I am hoping for something to materialize that I can use and that improves on the status quo.

Hardwarewise I am working on a new semi-animated robotic head that will repace my current mess of wires. I also upgraded to a pi5 for this.