Jasper, a virtual assistant that helps us control our Raspberry Pi

Amazon Echo

A few weeks ago Amazon released its virtual assistant Alexa and that has led to more and more projects and devices that have a virtual assistant in their software. One of the first devices to receive this wizard was the Raspberry Pi.

And curiously, it is also the sbc board that has more assistants or rather that they are compatible with such a device. One of the last assistants to meet is called Jasper, a totally free and Raspbian-compatible assistant.

Jasper can replace mouse and keyboard in Raspbian

Jasper has the same operation as Alexa although with a different TTS and STT that makes it recognize our words differently. It is totally free and works offline, something that does not happen in some projects with Alexa. Jasper allows you to control small Raspbian actions but also to execute and enter data in applications like Google Calendar or Abiword. We will only need to connect a microphone to the Raspberry Pi so that Jasper can fully function.

To install Jasper on our Raspbian, we just have to download the software:

cd ~/
wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Howchoo/raspi-helpers/master/scripts/jasper-installer.sh

And once downloaded, run the sh file to install the program:

sudo chmod +x jasper-installer.sh
sudo ./jasper-installer.sh

This will start a wizard that will guide us step by step through the configuration of Jasper in Raspbian. Once configured and installed, we have to run the wizard in this way:

python /usr/local/lib/jasper/jasper.py

And if we want to add it as application to load on startup, we have to do the following:

crontab -e
@reboot python /usr/local/lib/jasper/jasper.py;
# or, depending on your installation location:
# @reboot python /home/pi/jasper/jasper.py

Jasper is a complete assistant but its development is less active than Alexa, in any case it is fully functional and has nothing to envy to Alexa. Although of course, Jasper works as a substitute for the mouse and keyboard rather than a virtual assistant that connects a service with a user or vice versa.


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