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DIY Chatbot: Raspberry Pi Serves Up $70 AI Module


Micro-computer developer Raspberry Pi is adding artificial intelligence to its latest motherboard model, the Raspberry Pi Foundation said on Tuesday.

Developed in collaboration with artificial intelligence processor developer Hailo, the Raspberry Pi AI Kit is available to upgrade the Raspberry Pi 5 and retails for $70 the UK-based charity said. With the new AI upgrade, the tiny and affordable computer can run AI models—including chatbots, object recognition and pose detection, if a camera is attached.

“If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with the world of neural networks, artificial intelligence, and machine learning on your Raspberry Pi 5, we have the perfect product for you,” Senior Principal Engineer at Raspberry Pi Naushir Patuck wrote.

According to Raspberry Pi, the AI kit comes preassembled with a Hailo-8L “entry-level” AI accelerator module designed to support products that require limited AI capacity or lower performance.

The small, affordable, modular Raspberry Pi hardware has fostered a massive do-it-yourself community, which has used the credit card-sized computers to power everything from small form media centers to Bitcoin nodes. Raspberry Pi is a popular tool for teaching children how to build and program computers, as well as other projects.

Image: Raspberry Pi

According to Raspberry Pi documentation, the AI Kit connects to the Raspberry Pi 5 motherboard using an M.2 HAT+ adapter, which allows the AI Kit to run independently of the Raspberry Pi motherboard.

The Raspberry Pi motherboard uses a Unix-based operating system, Raspberry Pi OS, that will need to be configured to take advantage of the AI add-on.

“When the host Raspberry Pi 5 is running an up-to-date Raspberry Pi OS image, it automatically detects the Hailo module and makes the [Neural Processing Unit], available for AI computing tasks,” Raspberry Pi wrote.

Once installed, Raspberry Pi users can go to Hailo’s “Model Zoo,” which features a library of pre-trained AI models.

Launched in 2017, Tel Aviv-based Hailo develops AI hardware, accelerators, and systems used in autonomous vehicles, and generative AI models. In April, Hailo announced the close of a $120 million funding round, coinciding with the release of its latest AI accelerator, the Hailo-10.

“We are thrilled to support Raspberry Pi and empower its vibrant community of professional engineers and creative makers with cutting-edge AI capabilities,” Hailo CEO and co-founder Orr Danon said in a separate statement. “Our partnership with the world’s leading single-board computer provider will inspire a new era of computing, enhanced by our high-performance AI processing capacity.”

The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Hailo did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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