Amazon Alexa Virtual Device

Skill LevelArea of FocusOperating SystemCloud Service/Platform
IntermediateAlexa Voice Service,
IoT, Embedded,
Smart Home,
Smart Cities
Ubuntu Core
Amazon AWS IoT

This project aims to provide the ability to bring Alexa to a Linux device including embedded systems like the DragonBoard™ 410c from Arrow Electronics. The binary release is packed into an Ubuntu Core Snap package.

Using the DragonBoard™ 410c from Arrow Electronics, the objective of this project is to get familiar with Ubuntu Core Snap packages and Amazon’s Alexa voice services. The desired outcome is to create a virtual assistant without the need to buy special hardware

Materials Required / Parts List / Tools

Source Code / Source Example / Application Executable

Additional Resources

Build / Assembly

  1. You need to create your own Alexa Device on the Amazon developer portal. Instructions available on GitHub to create your own device and security profile.
    Add http://alexa.local:3000/authresponse to the Allowed Return URLs and http://alexa.local:3000 to the Allowed Origins.
  2. Connect an audio device: a microphone and speakers to your device. It could be a USB headset for example.
  3. Install the PulseAudio snap:
    sudo snap install --devmode pulseaudio
  4. Install the Alexa snap from the store:
    sudo snap install --channel beta alexa
  5. Open http://alexa.local:3000 in a web browser on a local device or a device on the same network. Note: the app provides an mDNS advertisement of the local domain alexa.local. This is very helpful for using with monitor less devices.
  6. Fill in the device credentials that were created during step 1, click 'log in'. Note: the voice detection threshold is a float value for adjusting voice detection. The smaller the value, the easier it is to trigger. You may need to adjust it for your mic and voice.
  7. Fill in your Amazon credentials

Usage Instructions

Now you can speak with Alexa. The app uses voice activation, so simply say 'Alexa' and the phrase that you want to say. The app makes a beep via the speakers when it hears the 'Alexa' keyword and starts recording. Enjoy Alexa without the need to buy special hardware.