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Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for you.

In this instructions, we will walk you through the main steps to complete your own Alias and start training a new wake-up-word for your smart device.

Step 1: Requirements and Materials

Picture of Requirements and Materials
alias_selected-10.jpg

The main components used in this build are:

Tools needed for this project are:

  • Access to a 3d printer
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire stripper
  • Screwdriver
  • A way to flash a micro SD card on your computer

Note: this project has only been tested with these components, but if you are confident with making, parts can be changed for others.

Would an Arduino work with this project???
Chessfreak1 month ago
I've followed everything by plan (except for the --no-cache-dir for the pip3 install), and the Alias gets activated constantly like it didn't record anything and gets activated by silence alone.
Tried switching from Raspbian Buster to Raspbian Stretch, but that didn't help.
Even tried recording background sounds up front but that also didn't do much.

The 2-Mic hat itself works fine, and the noise/activation sounds are getting played back as expected.

Am I missing something?

Edit: Also the raspberry pi gets really hot and it noticable heats up the Echo Dot, too.
AnthonyR1962 months ago
Is there an updated version for dot v3?
I've looked but found nothing. The current design doesn't fit Dot. You might try Prusa Slicr (or FreeCAD or MeshLab) to
scale the STL but the angle top is still a problem and speaker
placement is incorrect for the Dot. A new design is needed both for fit, and
due to errors in the downloaded STL (after multiple attempts, it just
will not print past about 8 mm in height, regardless of orientation. It
also pops off the print bed unless a brim (of about 20 mm) is added.
And that's on a Prusa MK3S, same as shown in their pictures. I even
tried to line up the holes so they'd look like those in the picture but
no luck. Worse, after about 8 mm, the extruder stops extruding - I have
not experienced this with any other 3D model/STL. Others report
problems with the software too, including installation problems.
The instructions on Git need improvement. Reading through the
code, and to answer a question somebody else had, it does not appear
that a server connection is needed, as the neural network is resident on
the RPi (but it's not working here yet either). The Echo (or Dot, if it can be made to work) will of course
still need wireless access. The RPi should only need it for ssh to build and test and tweak (see below for a suggestion to improve that
and completely eliminate RPi network dependency).

It's
difficult to look this "gift horse in the mouth", but the introductory
articles were all about how this is a revolutionary approach to
intrusive devices. Much follow-up is needed to realize that goal. For
now, Alias doesn't appear usable except by those who can muster up time
and money to overcome the obstacles. Suggestions for the team:
-
Get rid of the cute moldy look. A simple tube should do the trick and
might even be better (for example, a small amount of acoustic foam would
reduce false triggers). If I manage to get a top to fit the Dot, I'll
submit it. Same for code fixes.
- Verify the STL files and modify them so they are printable without trickery
- Improve the installation notes, separately by host platform if possible
- Verify the app still works with the latest libraries and RPi images (including ssh)
-
Consider adding a small switch to press for training, and perhaps a
few hidden LEDs to prompt the user when
training. This would get rid of the quirky cell phone trainer link, the need for
ssh or even a network, etc etc
KeithD23 months ago
Love this project!
Is the wake word being processed on the rPi or through the cloud? I am wondering if it is necessary to have the rPi constantly connected to wifi or if it can operate as a stand alone device.
I have usually connected my rPi to a monitor and keyboard for set up of various projects rather than having to ssh in. Would that be possible with the Alias?
jorgemath4 months ago
Great job.
User_8944 months ago
Hello,
I have a question regarding the project. The software I have installed on my Raspberry. At first with problems, but now it works. My question now is whether it can be that the servers are down? I tried to access alias via raspberrypi.local:5050 ... unfortunately without success. Is the project still up to date and does someone have a solution?
hong3 User_8944 months ago
any update on this? would love to find a way to make it work...others having any luck?
I´m running into the same problem. Seems to be a problem with the DNS. I can connect via Putty only withIP and not the hostname.
A little nnline resaearch brought me to the conclusion that I should install Bonjour Service on Windows and on the Pi but that did not work for me.
You're right. I also just tried to install "Bonjour" on my windows machine. That worked, but I still could not find the raspberrpi via raspberrypi.local. I also think, since there is no answer here, that this project can officially be regarded as failed ... really a pity.
Does anybody know if this plan works with the Google Home Mini's?
Since the Microphones on the mini are so near to the speaker itself, I don't think that it would sound well.
steviebevie8 months ago
Great idea! I've tried to get it printed by an online 3d printing company. However, they claim that the base beneath the speaker holder is too thin, so they won't print it. Is there any software that I might use to edit the stl file by making the whole bottom layer of the speaker holder a bit thicker?
www.tinkercad.com is a very usefull, free tool for this. But on my printer at home it wasn't a problem.
I used Repetier to flip the main piece(as shown in this article), adding a brim, then lay the speaker hold flat instead of standing up, and all is well.
hong3 shibadad7 months ago
Did you print with support or just brim?
shibadad hong37 months ago
Just a brim
I printed the Alexa cover at 3D hubs. They had no problems printing it. It just doesn't fit in an echo dot. I don't know the big echo but maybe it is smaller. That was my fault of course but @BjørnKarmann. Maybe you can add a version for the dot as well. Thanks for sharing your project. I did not assemble everyhting yet. Beeing a bit more precise on where you soldered the power supply would be helpfull. I think a simple hole for a micro USB cable plug in the case woudl be the best.
FYI
I heightened the base of the speaker holder just a little bit in the Meshmixer app and the 3d printing company happily accepted it. I'll keep you updated on the process.
HouseDany6 months ago
It's a really cool device, thanks for sharing!
I have now spent countless hours trying to figure out why it's not working for me.
First the sudo pip3 install tensorflow keras command doesn't work.
I worked around this by installing tensorflow 1.8.0 manual from lhe lontra on github (newest version could not download) and installing keras seperatly.
Now I did everything else the same, but I cannot find raspberrypi.local:5050 on my phones browser or anywhere else. Does someone have an Idea?
Rivale7 months ago
When I do this step:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo pip3 install tensorflow keras

I get this:

Collecting tensorflow
Downloading https://www.piwheels.org/simple/tensorflow/tensor... none-linux_armv7l.whl (82.2MB)
99% |████████████████████████████████| 82.2MB 3.8MB/s eta 0:00:01Exception:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/basecommand.py", line 215, in main
status = self.run(options, args)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/commands/install.py", line 353, in ru n
wb.build(autobuilding=True)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/wheel.py", line 749, in build
self.requirement_set.prepare_files(self.finder)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/req/req_set.py", line 380, in prepare _files
ignore_dependencies=self.ignore_dependencies))
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/req/req_set.py", line 620, in _prepar e_file
session=self.session, hashes=hashes)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 821, in unpack_url
hashes=hashes
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 659, in unpack_htt p_url
hashes)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 882, in _download_ http_url
_download_url(resp, link, content_file, hashes)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 603, in _download_ url
hashes.check_against_chunks(downloaded_chunks)
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/utils/hashes.py", line 46, in check_a gainst_chunks
for chunk in chunks:
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 571, in written_ch unks
for chunk in chunks:
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/utils/ui.py", line 139, in iter
for x in it:
File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/pip/download.py", line 560, in resp_read
decode_content=False):
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/urllib3-1.19.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl/urllib3/res ponse.py", line 432, in stream
data = self.read(amt=amt, decode_content=decode_content)
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/urllib3-1.19.1-py2.py3-none-any.whl/urllib3/res ponse.py", line 380, in read
data = self._fp.read(amt)
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/CacheControl-0.11.7-py2.py3-none-any.whl/cachec ontrol/filewrapper.py", line 63, in read
self._close()
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/CacheControl-0.11.7-py2.py3-none-any.whl/cachec ontrol/filewrapper.py", line 50, in _close
self.__callback(self.__buf.getvalue())
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/CacheControl-0.11.7-py2.py3-none-any.whl/cachec ontrol/controller.py", line 275, in cache_response
self.serializer.dumps(request, response, body=body),
File "/usr/share/python-wheels/CacheControl-0.11.7-py2.py3-none-any.whl/cachec ontrol/serialize.py", line 86, in dumps
data, separators=(",", ":"), sort_keys=True,
File "/usr/lib/python3.5/json/__init__.py", line 237, in dumps
**kw).encode(obj)
File "/usr/lib/python3.5/json/encoder.py", line 198, in encode
chunks = self.iterencode(o, _one_shot=True)
File "/usr/lib/python3.5/json/encoder.py", line 256, in iterencode
return _iterencode(o, 0)
MemoryError

What's going wrong?

I just followed the steps.. but now I'm stuck...

Please help....
Rivale Rivale7 months ago
I found out myself.. memory error..
I installed it without cache:

installing without caching:
pip install --no-cache-dir tensorflow

if you don't use --no-cache-dir, pip stores the installation files for future use. --no-cache-dir skips that step.
TerryT737 months ago
Is there any way to get a straightened / level version of the speaker holder? It is tilted and up-right, impossible with my software to get it level onto the printer...
hong3 TerryT737 months ago
I updated the file using Slic3r Prusa - it made it much easier to print!
RandyR867 months ago
I don't have the tools or expertise to build one of these, anyone out there willing to build and sell one to me? Google's to damn stubborn and caught up in it's own ego to let people pick their own hotword, I knew it would be just a matter of time before someone came up with a solution...Thanks / Randy
RobT448 months ago
Does this actually cancel out the speaker from listening to you in your house or just the wake up command.
epenak RobT447 months ago
The speakers have a little adhesive around the outside diameter. Each one is placed over a microphone hole. The mic supposedly can then only 'hear' what that speaker delivers. You need to insure that your speaker completely covers the little hole. So the device mic is always active, but receives only what the speaker delivers.
I don’t have a 3D printer and would be willing to purchase this product
OlivierR298 months ago
It's possible to simplify the need for speakers and wire using this sound card that uses microphone + stereo speakers in a small form factor https://www.raspiaudio.com/raspiaudio-aiy/
ychsel OlivierR297 months ago
Doesn't the speakers have to be on the opposite of the mic for our pupose? Otherwise the mic gets the white noise?
OlivierR29 ychsel7 months ago
Not necessarily, because you are not playing the message and recording at the same time.
xyzzy20158 months ago
Has anyone used a service that 3D prints projects? I don’t have anyplace in my area nor do I have a printer.
ychsel xyzzy20157 months ago
I printed it with 3D HUB service
Gene'sG xyzzy20158 months ago
I’ve used MakeXYZ before with good luck. https://www.makexyz.com/
Lwvining7 months ago
Love it but my add on will look like this!
51B85DAC-AAEC-4045-BBAE-F5C6063631FC.jpeg
ychsel Lwvining7 months ago
Is is permanently vibrating or why is the picture that blur :-)
Protholl7 months ago
The 3d printing models aren't working for me at all using a FlashForge Finder.
The STL object model print result was messy and barely usable for the speaker mount and I'm OK with that. When I tried to print the Alexa isolater I wound up with a messy ball of plastic being dragged around by the print-head. I've printed literally dozens of objects from Thingverse and never had this issue. Help please!!!
shibadad Protholl7 months ago
I ran into the same issues. Eventually I used Repetier to flip the cover upside down, added a brim, and you have to use your 3D software to lay the speaker holder flat to print. It all came out good after that.
joginet7 months ago
Hi there! I have just built my Alias today (on top of an Echo Dot, 2nd gen.) and apart from some (minor) trigger-issues I ran into two problems:

1) When my trigger-word is recognized, Alias says "Alexa", Alexa wakes up and I can continue saying my command. After Alexa has finished executing the task, Alias keeps saying "Alexa" for about three more times which keeps Alexa busy. I takes quite a while before I can continue with another command starting with "my" trigger-word. The issue happens in a silent room without any background noise. Also, it is not Alexa's reply that wakes up Alias again as Alexa just says "OK" after switching on a light. Does anybody have a clue?

2) On my raspbian, I have created a systemd-service in order to restart Alias after reboot. Unfortunately, once I have ended and restarted the service, Alias has lost all the training data and I have to start training again. What am I doing wrong ?
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