Listen! … voice interaction with home automation

I have used an openHAB based home automation setup for several years now, and I am mostly happy with it … except in those very lazy moments where I just want to turn on a light, and wish I didn’t have to to pull my phone from my pocket, unlock it, open the openHAB app, navigate to the right UI page, and push a button. So … I decided it was time for voice-based interaction, Alexa style.

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Rhasspy with openHAB

I wanted my voice interaction solution to be fairly independent from openHAB, in order to have the option to switch to a different home automation controller in the future. That drove my design decisions in how to couple Rhasspy and openHAB.

The solution also needed to extensible: I expect to add more openHAB items for lights and other gadgets in the future, and I don’t want to have to manually edit lists of expected voice command sentences every time I do that.

I implemented three kinds of voice interaction: voice announcements, voice commands and voice questions and answers.

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Basic Satellite

I needed a few text-to-speech announcement nodes dotted around the house, to work with my openHAB and Rhasspy based home automation system. The basic idea was to find a cheap, small speaker with decent audio quality for voice output, and drive it from an ESP32-based board with ESP32 Rhasspy Satellite firmware, or my fork of it.

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