Let’s start this week’s update with a good surprise for a change…

I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found!

We had a great surprise delivery late yesterday.  A box was delivered with the long awaited matrix displays that we ordered back in December!  Immediately, we hooked up one to verify the displays were the correct variety and were never so happy to see 64 little white LED lights.

Box or Matrix Displays

Box of Matrix Displays

As I said, the arrival of this shipment was something of a surprise to us.  We’d been warned the accidental return of the box to China might take several weeks before being returned to the United States and finally delivered.  When this appeared, we quickly reached out to the board house to verify how soon they can get the line rolling for our production.  The components are on their way to California to be received into their inventory and they believe production can start next week.  If that holds the 1500 board run will complete right around April 15th.  This reflects the two week shipping snafu but otherwise shouldn’t introduce any additional delay.  That now puts the first shipment estimate at the end of April.

This week’s changes

Now on to our regular update.

mycroft-core 0.8.7

  • CLI enhancements : PR #548
    • Live microphone meter.  This makes it easier to see if your microphone is hearing anything.
    • Long log line left/right scrolling
    • Eliminated flicker on Raspberry Pi
    • Created general Inter Process Communication (IPC) mechanism.
    • Enhanced Signal mechanism to use the IPC and allow signals with durations
  • Utterance normalization.  This simplifies intent parsing by converting number words to digits, expanding contractions, removing articles, etc.  PR #531
    NOTE:  This is potentially a breaking change for custom skills.  Please verify behavior.
  • Refined skill auto-reload with a self.reload_skill property, providing control over the auto-reload of skills when files in the skill’s change.  It is on by default.  Auto-reloatd also honors blacklists.  Thanks, JarbasAI for the contribution!  PR #549  and PR #541
  • The Debian build script was missing a dependency.  Thanks SoloVeniaASaludar!  PR #569

mimic

  • Improved compilation support for several environments.

home.mycroft.ai backend

  • Unsupported browser informational page.  Currently our backend website, https://home.mycroft.ai, supports Chrome and Firefox.  Unsupported browsers were previously seeing a blank page.  Now an informational page is shown, directing the user to working alternatives.  Long-term we aim to support all major browsers, but this is a fast and simple solution to a problem confusing some users.
  • Switched Wolfram Alpha appID.  We discovered the request key we have been using since switching from Cerberus to Home was an alternative appID intended only for developing/test.  Now using our main appID.

mycroft.ai website

  • The images at the top of the Get Mycroft page are now also links to the associated section.

QA image for board house

We previously created a modified Mycroft Mark 1 image that automatically starts in a self-test mode for the board house to use in production QA testing.  As we made instructional videos we came up with a few tweaks to make their life easier:

  • Raised the default volume level to account for noisy factory environment
  • Looped the self-test, allowing easier retests if necessary
Steve Penrod
Steve has been building cutting edge yet still highly usable technology for over 25 years, previously leading teams at Autodesk and the Rhythm Engineering. He now leads the development team at Mycroft as a partner and the CTO.