Build Your Own Amazon Echo Speaker Using a Raspberry Pi

If you have minor coding experience, you should be able to tackle this cost-saving DIY.

3. 28. 16 by Sarah Marquart
The Verge
Image by The Verge

Do-It-Yourself Alexa

If you’re interested in the Alexa capabilities of the Amazon Echo, but not the $180 USD price tag, keep reading. One of Amazon’s employees, Amit Jotwani, has released a step-by-step guide to building an Alexa-powered speaker using a Raspberry Pi Model 2. 

If you have minor coding experience, you should be able to tackle this cost-saving DIY. The guide is quite visual and seems to be relatively easy to follow. 

Credit: Amit Jotwani

Cost Savings

As was noted, the official Amazon Echo is on sale now for $180; however, the newly released and smaller $130 Echo Tap starts shipping on March 31st. Assuming you already have an ethernet cable lying around the house, the DIY model will only cost you about $52.54 in total.

The instructions are kind enough to link you to all the accessories you need to buy, via Amazon, of course. 

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Obviously, this version doesn’t quite measure up to the Echo. The one major downside: You can’t wake it up and talk to it with a keyword like “Alexa,” as you can with Amazon’s products. With more than $100 in savings though, customers will probably be able to suck it up and physically press a button to issue voice commands.


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