Introduction: Pi-Assistant

This is Google Assistant project using Raspberry Pi 3 A+ board.

This was design for my colleges IEEE project so people will be more interested in technology and making stuff.

I will go though the basic installation of the OS for the raspi, setting up google assistant on the raspi, and auto start.

Lets start!

Step 1: Parts List

We will be using Raspberry Pi 3 A+ board

The reason using the A+ board is just because I was it is cheaper than the B board and I was wanting to use it since it just got launched.

1x Raspberry Pi 3 A+

1x Micro USB cable (for power)

1x ethernet cable

1x USB to ethernet

1x USB hub

1x Microphone

1x Speaker

It will be useful if you can get a USB hub + Ethernet port cable.

Also, you will need another computer to work on this project.

Step 2: Raspi Setup

You will need to install Rasbian OS on the sd card.

Go to and download the latest Rasbian.


Use Etcher and burn the img file on the sd card.

*The sd card will be erased make sure to take a backup if needed.


Use Rufus and burn the img file on the sd card.

*The sd card will be erased make sure to take a backup if needed.


Enable SSH by placing a file named “ssh” (without any extension) onto the boot partition of the SD card

If you are going to use a monitor you do not need to do this.

Step 3: Connect Hardware

Now connect the hardwares together.

Use a usb hub and connect the mic and the ethernet cable. Plug the speaker into the 3.5mm stereo jack.

Now connect the other side of the ethernet cable to your computer.

Finally, plug in the micro usb cable to the raspi.

Step 4: Login to Raspi

Open terminal or use putty and ssh in to the raspi


ssh pi@raspberrypi

To log in as

username: pi

password: raspberry

Now you are in raspi!

You can go to sudo raspi-config to change the password and connect to wi-fi.

Step 5: Setting Up Audio

You will need to configure the audio system on the raspi to be able to use google assistant sample code.


arecord -l
aplay -l

and write down the card number and the device number.

For the speaker, you will want to choose the on that says bcm2835 ALSA.

Then you will make a file .asoundrc under /home/pi


nano .asoundrc

Now copy paste the code below and replace the card number and the device number with your number.

pcm.!default {

type asym

capture.pcm "mic"

playback.pcm "speaker"


pcm.mic {

type plug

slave {

pcm "hw: card number, device number"



pcm.speaker {

type plug

slave {

pcm "hw:card number, device number"



Now use the code below to test the functionality of the speaker and the mic.

speaker-test -t wav
arecord --format=S16_LE --duration=5 --rate=16000 --file-type=raw out.raw
aplay --format=S16_LE --rate=16000 out.raw

Step 6: Install the SDK and Sample Code

Install the SDK and the sample code on the raspi by running these commands.

First you will install Python 3

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python3-dev python3-venv # Use python3.4-venv if the package cannot be found. 
python3 -m venv env 
env/bin/python -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel 
source env/bin/activate

Get the Google Assistant packages

sudo apt-get install portaudio19-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev libmpg123-dev 
python -m pip install --upgrade google-assistant-library<br>
python -m pip install --upgrade google-assistant-sdk[samples]

Step 7: Register Your Pi-assistant

You will need to register your project and the device to be able to use Google Assistant.

Step though the following instructions.

1. Enable Google Assistant API

a. Open the Action Console

b. Click on Add/import project.

c. Create a new project, type a name in the Project name box and click CREATE PROJECT.

d. Click Device registration near the bottom of the page.

e. Enable the Google Assistant API

Go to link and Click Enable.

f. You must configure the OAuth consent screen for your project in the Cloud Platform Console.

2. Re-open Action Console to register the device model.

a. Fill in information

b. Once you are done Click Register Model

c. Next you will download the credentials

You will also need to place this file on the raspberry pi

To do this, you can type the command in terminal (replace client-id with your own id)

scp ~/Downloads/client_secret_<strong><em>client-id</em></strong>.json pi@raspberrypi-ip:/home/pi/Download

d. You can skip the Specify traits

e. If you edit the model you will need to re-download the credencial

Step 8: Generate Credentials

Install or update the authorization tool:

python -m pip install --upgrade google-auth-oauthlib[tool]

Generate credentials to be able to run the sample code and tools. Reference the JSON file you downloaded in a previous step; you may need to copy it the device. Do not rename this file.

google-oauthlib-tool --scope \<br>      --scope \
      --save --headless --client-secrets /path/to/client_secret_client-id.json

Step 9: Try the Sample Code

Now you can run the sample program.

To do this run the following command replacing the my-dev-project and my-model

googlesamples-assistant-hotword --project-id my-dev-project --device-model-id my-model

Once it starts running try

Hey Google whats the weather like?

What time is it?

If it gives you an error about audio try and run this command

sudo apt-get install matrixio-creator-xxxx

Step 10: Setup Autostart: Generate Script

To make the raspi able to automatically start the google assistant software, we will edit the autostart file.

First make a script called


Then you will type



source env/bin/activate



& at the end of the line will make the software run on the background.

When ever you make a script, the file won't have permission to execute.

You can check by running

ls -l

it should result you with

-rw-r--r-- l pi pi date time google_autostart

To give this script permission to be a script run

sudo chmod +x

Now if you check the file the color of .sh file should change and say

-rwxr-xr-x l pi pi date time

Try and if it works you successfully generated a script file to auto start google assistant.


Step 11: Setup Autostart: Set the Script to Autostart

Now you have to set the script in to the start up file in the raspi.

Go to



nano autostart

in the file, add the directory and the script information on the last line.


Now you should be able to unplug the ethernet cable and only have the speaker, mic and the power on the usb and the google assistant software should automatically startup.

Step 12: Extra

The instructions we went though here is just for the basic Google assistant sample code.

You can upgrade the software by installing different libraries.

The link below will add you pi-assistant little more fetures

If you set up the Google Cast SDK you will be able to do things like

Ok Google, play Spotify

You can also use google assistant and the other pins and ports on the raspi to do more Actions

like controlling LEDs, Motors, and anything you can think of !!!