Mycroft Watchdog (a project proposal)

Inspired by the Alexa Guard functionality I would like to propose a project to build a similar functionality in a Mycroft style (open source and with privacy).

This will require to train a specific model for Mycroft Precise that covers sounds of alarms from smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and breaking glass. That model will probably run on a special Precise-instance (in parallel to the Wakeword listener instance) that can trigger a Mycroft “Watchdog skill” and passes a recording of the detected sound (e.g. glass breaking) to the skill.
Possibly actions of the Watchdog skill could be:

  • send a push message to a mobile phone including the sound recording
  • turn on light in the house in order to make a possible burglar go away

Anyone interested in such functionality and/or willing to participate working on it?

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A similar thing has been discussed earlier on the blog;

It uses a cough as listener. I believe the precise models are even on github. Basically a similar approach as alarms. That has been skill has been mentioned before as well though;

But indeed, really like the idea, however you might need more than a RPI as hardware for it to run multiple instances of precise as the wake word alone is already stretching the RPI to it’s max.

Thanks for pointing out the skill suggestion, I somehow missed that…
Good point on Precise performance on a RPI3 as well.

I will start collection samples of smoke alarms, glass breaking etc. from freely avaible sound libraries…

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There’s another similar use case as well in terms of emergency situations in Australia. Australia is pretty, well, burny, because climate change, and our asshat government is in love with coal. I digress.

Long story short, we frequently get bushfires. We have excellent fire service / emergency procedures, primarily because bushfires are so frequent. Our public radio will broadcast the `“Standard Emergency Warning Signal” if there is an imminent threat. It sounds fairly scary, because it’s supposed to. It usually means there’s a bushfire nearby, or a cyclone on the way.

What if … Mycroft could “listen in” to the radio and determine if it hears the emergency alert? Then wake people up on the Device or start alerting?

There’s so many caveats with this of course; you need internet access to listen in to the radio, in an emergency there may be no internet, the risk of a false positive will make people not trust the system and so on.

But there has to be a way to harness voice for emergency alerting.


Tie this skill together with this and we have the mycroft as sentry skill.

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The SEWS will be added to sound samples

For more warnings you maybe want to check out my Severe Weather Warning skill

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@KathyReid local radio listening is one of the most brilliant ideas I’ve seen in a while! Perhaps such a project could have multiple broadcast monitoring options, and one of them could utilize optional hardware: enter the Software Defined Radio!
or rPi-oriented, even:

Similar possibility with a dTV tuner card. A lot of extra hardware and decoding just to get an audio stream, but often local news alerts go out through TV as well.

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