More Build Kits for Mycroft

Hello I would like to mention a few criticisms of Mycroft.
And what suggestions I have for improvement.

As a User, I want to be able to easy build a Mycroft Voice Assistent without looking up all the Parts and struggling to build one.

Mycroft is an open source project that has its strengths in the community and in the DIY area.

Where I have my problems with it is that there are no good building suggestions.
I know there is a Mark 2 dev kit. But I have to find all the parts myself and buy them separately.

I imagine that there are build kits for different versions of Mycroft.
A Mycroft Dot Kit, a Mycroft Show Kit, etc.

There should also be different CAD versions of these kits.
For each kit there should be a list of parts with links to buy them, but it is best to have a finished kit where all parts are included, at least the small parts like screws.

For each kit there should be a step-by-step building instruction, which is based on an Ikea instruction and not like now on a blog entry. In addition, there should be a video build guide.

I find it too complicated and time consuming to build a Mycroft Voice Assistant as it is at the moment. I hope this will change in the future.

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Here’s a parts list:
raspberry pi 3b/4b
USB mic
usb speakers
sd card
power supply
optional, keyboard/mouse/hdmi cable/monitor if you don’t have the means to enable wifi and/or ssh on your sd image before booting (google answers this)

Instructions: Burn the latest picroft image to the SD card. insert into pi. Plug mic and speakers into pi. Plug power into the pi. Connect to pi console via ssh or screen, follow instructions on screen, enjoy picroft.

Sourcing those items is not too difficult if you have amazon or similar access to vendors. The google aiy kits have evaporated, so those aren’t readily available anymore, or I’d say get one of those.

If you were hoping for someone to make a cool case and build it all for you, how much would you expect to pay for that?

Hey Robert, welcome to the Forums.

It’s something that we get plenty of requests for. Our focus at the moment is on getting the Mark II produced and shipped as we have an outstanding promise to our backers that has to be fulfilled.

The other challenge for us is the cost of producing, selling and shipping kits compared to what people are willing to pay for it. Until we have a better distribution process, it’s going to be much more expensive for us to collect parts in the US and ship them out again around the world. There are definitely better ways to do this, however these take time to setup and cost money to run and maintain. So it is something that we’re interested in exploring, just not something we can do right now.

The final aspect is the hardware itself. We found a distinct lack of quality open hardware that provides the whole package. You can buy a random mic and some random speakers but it’s not going to be as good of an experience as a complete audio front end with low-level digital audio processing. This is why we designed the SJ201:

Unfortunately the SJ201 is also the biggest barrier for people creating their own devices as it’s somewhat expensive at low-volumes. This again is something we’re addressing by getting the Mark II’s into mass production which includes mass production of the SJ201’s.

I can’t promise we’ll sell them individually or as kits, but it’s certainly something that’s being discussed and becomes far more possible once mass production and distribution is underway.