Voice controlled home automation uses Raspberry Pi and LightwaveRF


It’s not quite artificial intelligence, but saying “Jeeves, lights!” will switch on the bulbs in the room. [Chipos81] built the voice-activated home automation around a Rapsberry Pi board with LightwaveRF devices switching lights and outlets.

The LightwaveRF system offers a WiFi link which provides Internet connectivity for all of those devices in your house. This makes it a snap for [Chipos81] to control them from the RPi. To provide speech recognition he’s using CMU Sphinx. It’s an open source speech recognition library developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and released under a BSD license. It seems to do a great job in the video of quickly parsing several sets of commands.

“Jeeves” will even talk back to you to confirm a command. This is generated by Festival, a package developed by the University of Edinburgh.  This provides some entertainment in the last seconds of the video as we detect a distinct Scottish accent when it says “See you tomorrow”.

The GPIO pins provide a bit of feedback, using three colored LEDs to let you know what is going on with the system. There’s even an IR LED used to add voice control to your Television.


  1. isama says:

    wow. I think I have a new project! Imitation is the highest form of flattery right? :)

  2. Zee says:

    I never managed to get CMU sphinx to do proper recognition. What’s the trick?

  3. Michel says:

    Love it!

  4. no write up?

  5. Jeff says:

    What, no Earl Grey? Oh, right, no replicator (3D Printer) for food, yet. Have to agree with Isama, time for a new project but “Jeeves”? “Computer” would seem more logical.

  6. James F Ward says:

    I would be very interested in building a system such as you have shown. Being a beginner I was wondering if you have a more complete review uploaded on another site.

  7. mrx says:

    Nice! I had planned on installing these light switches, I think this just became part of my new home automation system!

  8. Galane says:

    I’d program it to respond to “Aziz! Light!”

    • Greenaum says:

      THEN look what happens! Still you then dump Luke Perry to end up with Mila Jovovich so, could be worse.

      [I LOVE that film! Gary Oldman / J.E. Zorg have to be one of the best actors / characters of all time]

  9. Some friends and I made this app a while back to control your Pi from your Android phone. https://code.google.com/p/raspdroid/ it uses https://code.google.com/p/webiopi/ and has voice commands for turning on and off pins as well as getting the status of a pin.

  10. Deepesh Agarwal says:

    Nothing beats the SiriProxy when it comes to speech-recognition, I installed it easily on my Pi (http://www.megaleecher.net/SiriProxy_Installation_On_Raspberry_Pi) and even got it to respond using linux traffic shaping (http://www.megaleecher.net/Taffic_Shaping_Example_On_Linux_Using_TC) when RPi is being used as a download manager leeching all the bandwidth.

  11. Merlin051 says:

    he should have called it Jarvis.

  12. bithead942 says:

    Nice job. I built one too – I call her “SARAH” (I’m a big fan of the SyFy channel’s Eureka). It uses a combination of Arduino and PC. I have a few instances of SARAH running, including one in a magic mirror (LCD screen behind 2-way glass in a frame. SARAH responds to voice commands by performing queries the home automation database to get information about the house, queries the internet, and also can do things like turn on/off lights.


  13. Tobi says:

    done this nearly a year ago.. the pi is too slow to really use the capabilities of festival (2-3 secs until there is an answer), that is why he probably ran festival just once to generate the wavs and now only plays them, and CMU sphinx has to be limited to a list of about max. 50 words to still work with a detection rate of over 90%. The Pi is by far too slow for these tasks.

  14. Carsten says:

    Awesome :) Found my new project

  15. marshall says:

    is there a step by step to show the setup to be able to talk to it?

    • Charlie says:

      Not quite a step by step guide but here’s the write up I did on this http://www.moop.org.uk/index.php/2013/08/10/voice-controlled-lights/

      • Jason D says:

        Charlie, I’d very much like to create a lightwaveRF automation with my new RPI. I’m new to both RPI & Linux (any coding) environment, therefore a huge amount of research often results in only snippets of useful / takeaway information gained.

        I’ve owned LWRF products (including wifi controller) since LWRF first production, and have controlled with controller and iPhone app. I’ve purchased required RPI equipment especially for the purpose of automating with Pi; I’ve already downloaded / stored the sources you’ve created and suggested using in varying blogs / posts, however am getting nowhere fast, due to nooby status RPI knowledge.

        Would it be at all possible to provide more detailed (broken-down) steps, including incremental stages, in order to facilitate my efforts to achieve desired result?

        Very much welcome any advisory / assistance you’re able to provide.


  16. marshall says:

    thank you! would it be able to be made in a way that can turn on my tv by command, then my ps3 on separate command with programming commands for each?

  17. marshall says:

    charlie, could you email me at speedynmp@yahoo.com id love to talk more directly with you about this and expand options. i have all the equipment i need, just not exactly all the know how. thanks for sharing

  18. marshall says:

    could anyone help me?

  19. Murali Allada says:

    This is great. Thanks for sharing Mike. Is it possible to put this code up on github so we can build on top of it?

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