Google AIY Projects

Google’s new Cardboard Gadget – a AI Vision Kit that can Watch your Dog and Guard your House

  • 1 December 2017
  • Jermaine Wright

Google has a new cardboard gadget – the search giants announced Google AIY Vision Kit today.

Google made headlines a few years ago when they released Google Cardboard – a cardboard headset that transformed phones into a rudimentary virtual reality device. Google's cardboard/electronic hybrid is an AI-powered camera which includes a new circuit board and computer vision software.

The camera comes with a cardboard box included, along with some supplementary accessories. The kit will ship through Micro Center on December 31st and will cost $44.99.

The AIY Vision Kit’s software includes three neural network models that allow it to learn several things:

  • One that recognizes a thousand common objects
  • One that recognizes faces and expressions
  • And a person, cat and dog detector

It can also learn to how to identify various types of plant and animal species, tell you when your car was in the driveway, and when someone else's pulled up, as well as become your personal security assistant.

With Google’s TensorFlow machine learning software, users can train their own models.

With electronic devices like this, that can “learn” from experience, Google’s idea is to enable so-called “machine learning” on a small scale.

Now paring this concept with a camera enables vision-based machine learning, just as how a person might learn from seeing something with their own eyes.

Google is promoting the kit as a cheap and simple computer vision system that doesn’t require access to cloud processing due to the extra processing unit.

After Voice HAT this is the second project released via the partnership with Raspberry Pi’s creators through Google’s AIY program.

The AIY Vision Kit isn't a device aimed at casual electronics consumers. It's a do-it-yourself build – pretty much for people who like to tinker or for who are either willing to learn a lot about Raspberry Pi, the computing platform based on plug-and-play circuit boards, or those who already have that knowledge.

Therefore, users will have to buy several other components to make the Vision Kit work.

Depending on the chosen components, which are circuitry, the total range between $45 and $60.

About Jermaine Wright