Tag Archives: Mycroft

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


ŌURA

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This ring-sized computer analyzes your daily activities to help you sleep and perform better. ŌURA has already well surpassed its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Mycroft

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This A.I. platform is an open source alternative to Amazon Echo that allows you to play media, control lights and much more. Mycroft is currently seeking $99,000 on Kickstarter.

Fotokite Phi

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This GoPro-carrying quadcopter can capture bird’s-eye view photos while being leashed to your wrist. Fotokite is currently seeking $300,000 on Indiegogo.

Mayday

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This standalone machine learning device can detect when your drone is about to crash and deploy a parachute. North UAV is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

LightBug

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This solar-powered tracker lets you find nearly anything (or anyone) using GPS. LightBug is currently seeking $77,782 on Kickstarter.

Ohm

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This intelligent car battery will never need to be jumpstarted, works reliably on the coldest winter days, and lasts twice as long as the average lead-acid battery. Ohm is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Formaker

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This four-in-one machine allows you to laser cut, mill, etch and 3D print a wide range of materials. Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Exploride

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This futuristic head-up display provides hands-free access to maps, phone calls, text messages, notifications, music and on-board diagnostics for your car. Exploride is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

OnCourse Goggles

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This pair of point-and-click goggles allow athletes to stay on course, swim in a straight line in open water and receive real-time feedback. OnCourse Goggles is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.

uStepper

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This ultra-compact, Arduino-compatible board features an integrated stepper driver and 12-bit rotary encoder, enabling it to be mounted directly on the back of your Nema 17 motor. ON Development IVS is currently seeking $8,882 on Kickstarter.

OMO+

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This portable battery-powered gadget can illuminate your pool or hot tub for an awesome light show along with sound through its Bluetooth speakers. Andreas Haase is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Pearbuds

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This pair of super small, Bluetooth-enabled buds fit comfortably in your ear without a single cord and boasts a battery life of six hours. Pear Designs has already well surpassed its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Trekz Titanium

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This pair of wireless, open ear headphones offer runners, cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts superior safety, comfort and high-quality sound through bone conduction technology. AfterShokz has already well surpassed its $65,000 goal on Indiegogo.

Verti

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This Bluetooth tag clips and sticks onto anything you’d like to keep tabs on, all of which can easily be tracked right from your smartphone. Verti is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

OrbMi

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This voice messaging system is reinventing the answering machine by having you communicate with family and friends using an orb. Retropreneur Labs is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

go-e ONwheel

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This lightweight, add-on motor can transform your bike into an e-bike in a matter of seconds. Frank Fox has already well surpassed his goal of $55,253 on Kickstarter.

Lumma

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This smart appliance tracks, sorts and dispenses your pills whenever it’s time to take them. LITE is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Knut Water

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This connected detector can sense water, temperature and humidity to protect your home from water damage. Amperic is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Luvit

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This standalone “like” button gives you the ability to express your adoration for anything and everything, while also collecting input and other forms of crowdsourced data. Luvit is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

iGia

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This smart home security kit is comprised of a central control unit, an HD camera, a motion sensor, a door/windows sensor, a smoke detector and an alarm trigger. iGia is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Nixie

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This highly-customizable, privacy-enhanced robot not only can serve as your personal companion, but can learn by doing, keep an eye on things, snap photos, receive weather and traffic reports, connect to household devices, and much more. Nxt Robotics is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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Mycroft is opening up artificial intelligence to everyone


Mycroft is an open source alternative to Amazon Echo and Google Now. 


No longer just something you see in sci-fi licks, artificial intelligence has arrived. From autonomous cars to household robots, it’s only a matter of time before it will be implemented everywhere and in everything. While larger corporations have been the ones lucky enough to have access to the technology, Mycroft is looking to change that.

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The brainchild of Joshua Montgomery, Mycroft is the world’s first open source A.I. platform for the home. Based on Raspberry Pi 2 and Arduino, the system uses natural language processing to respond to your voice and make online services like Netflix, Pandora and Spotify instantly available to you. In other words, no more having to pull out your smartphone, enter log-in credentials, select a network, load an app and search for a feature.

With this nifty device, if you want to hear your favorite tunes before heading out for the night, all you’ll have to do is ask, “Mycroft, can you play ‘Baby Got Back’ from YouTube on my Chromecast?” and seconds later your video will begin to play.

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As Montgomery points out, its capabilities extend well beyond streaming gadgets. In fact, Mycroft can emit music and sounds directly from its built-in, high-quality speaker. Just tell it to play your Pandora summer playlist for a day at the pool, then sit back, relax and enjoy the tunes.

Beyond that, Mycroft integrates with the smart devices in and around your house, including SmartThings, WeMo, Nest and Phillips Hue. This enables you to command your lights, thermostats and appliances with nothing more than your voice. If it’s connected to the Internet, Mycroft can control it. Turn on the lights? Yep! Lock the doors? Of course! Make your morning coffee? You betcha! Water the plants? Phew!

“Mycroft is an open source and open hardware platform. It allows developers, Makers and tinkerers to explore their own ideas. Want Mycroft to post to your Facebook account? Control a Roomba? Start your 3D printer? You can do it. Our community will include comprehensive documentation on the hardware inside Mycroft and the software that makes it go,” Montgomery explains.

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The system works is as follows:

  1. Mycroft listens for its name. When an end user says “Mycroft, ” it listens for a command or question. If it doesn’t get one, it beeps softly to prompt you.
  2. Once it has received a command, Mycroft connects to your home router through Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  3. Mycroft sends the command or question to the cloud.
  4. The cloud sends the audio to two or more online APIs that translate speech to text (STT).
  5. The STT APIs respond with a text translation of the audio phrase.
  6. The Mycroft cloud compares the results and selects the best one based on past performance, response time and other factors.
  7. The text translation is sent to at least two artificial intelligence APIs.
  8. The artificial intelligence APIs respond with a data structure that translates the text into intents, objects, entities, contexts and other categories.
  9. The Mycroft cloud combines the data structure with the user’s profile information and sends the information back to the Mycroft unit.
  10. The Mycroft unit uses the data structure to select the appropriate action.
  11. Mycroft performs the action.

In terms of hardware, Mycroft is equipped with a Raspberry Pi 2 at its heart, along with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, and an ATmega328 to power its Tron-like LED display. Not only Maker-friendly and affordable to all, the $129 unit uses a variety of open APIs to process language, determine intent and obtain results. On the software side, Mycroft is powered by the Snappy Ubuntu Core. This makes creating, distributing and installing new apps simple and easy. And since it is open source, developers will have the ability to add more features over time.

Interested? Head over to its Kickstarter campaign, where Mycroft is currently seeking $99,000. Delivery is expected to get underway next year.