On Friday I was talked into going to one of the library’s Maker Events focused on turning a Raspberry Pi into (effectively) an Amazon Echo. I know that I’ve been to quite a few student presentations where they talked about using Alexa skills to let them do all kinds of nifty things, but I hadn’t really given much thought to what was involved in using Alexa myself.
We spent most of Friday’s session getting micro SD cards set up with Raspbian on them, and setting up our Amazon developer accounts. Honestly that sounds like it was probably the hardest part of the whole project. After that, it looked like it would just be a matter of following this sample project before we’d be ready to go.
Yes, I am saying “it looked like.” We didn’t actually finish the project. We didn’t have good enough wifi to complete Step 4, where you clone the Git project onto your Pi, in a reasonable amount of time.
Most of the other people at the event had bought their own equipment, and thus were able to take it home and continue working on the project. I’ll be curious to talk to them and see how the rest of it went. For myself–well, I was using the library’s equipment, which had to be turned back in before I left.
I’m pretty ok with that, though. I don’t particularly want an Amazon Echo, I don’t have any projects in mind that would make use of being able to talk to a computer and ask it to do things, and I’m mostly just happy to have gotten a sense of how a project like this works. If I *do* think of a project that would benefit from this, I know where to start and I’m pretty confident I could pull it off.