Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo is a local controlled alternative for Google Home and Amazon Alexa to switch for example lights on/off with our voice. Our experience is that it works better than Google Home as the Home Assistant voice assistant:
- has better understanding what we say, specific in the Dutch language
- can control more devices and automations
- is more stable as often Google Home fails with some devices after an update from Google.
- easier maintenance. The Google Home app is cumbersome; options seems to be all over the place and not on logical places…
This article describes setting up the Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo, which is very easy to do.
This article is based on the following sources:
- Home Assistant – $13 voice assistant for Home Assistant
Includes a demonstration video.
- M5Stack Atom Echo documentation
2. Requirements for the Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo
The following is required:
- Home Assistant 2023.10, installed with the Home Assistant Operating System
- Home Assistant Cloud or a manually configured Assist Pipeline
- The password to your 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network
- Chrome (or a Chromium-based browser like Edge) on desktop (not Android/iOS)
- M5Stack ATOM Echo Development Kit
- USB-C cable to connect the ATOM Echo
In Europe the Atom Echo is hard to get. I got them via the Dutch online webstore TinyTronics.
3. Adding a wake word to your voice assistant
First step is to enable a wake word for the voice assistant. Similar like for Google Home “Hey Google” to activate Home Assistant’s ears.
3.1 Install the openWakeWord add-on
Install the add-on:
- Go to Settings > Add-ons and click on the blue button ADD-ON STORE
- Search for openWakeWord and install the add-on.
- Enable the Watchdog option of the add-on.
- Start the add-on.
- Go to Settings > Devices & Services. Under Discovered, you should now see the Wyoming integration.
- Select Configure and Submit.Result.
You have successfully installed the openWakeWord add-on and Wyoming integration.
3.2 Setup the voice assistant
Setup the voice assistant’s name and language:
- Go to Settings > Voice assistants and select Add assistant.
- Give your assistant a name, for example the wake word you are going to use and provide the language you are going to use to speak to Home Assistant.
The conversation agent, speech-to-text and text-to-speech settings will be pre-filled accordingly.If the Text-to-speech and Speech-to-text sections do not provide language selectors, this means you do not have an Assist pipeline set up. Set up Home Assistant Cloud or a manually configured Assist pipeline.
- Under Text-to-speech select the voice you want Home Assistant to use when speaking to you.
- To define the wake word engine, under Wake word, select openWakeWord as engine.
- As wake word select “ok nabu, just to test the setup. Once you have it all set up, you can create your own wake words as described later.
- If you created a new assistant, select Create. If you edited an existing assistant, select Update. You now have a voice assistant that listens to a wake word.
4. Installing software onto the ATOM Echo
Before using Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo you need to install software on the Atom Echo.
- Connect the Atom Echo with a USB cable to the desktop computer. The Atom Echo has an USB-C connector.
- Make sure a Chromium-based browser is used on a desktop computer (it does not work on a tablet or phone).
- Select the Connect button below. If your browser does not support web serial, you will see a warning instead of a button.CONNECT
- Select the COM port of the Atom Echo and click the Connect button.
- Click on Install voice assistant
- Confirm the installation
- Wait till the installation is finished.
- Provide the WiFi connection info ands click on the Connect button.
WiFi will be configured
- Add the Atom Echo to Home Assistant
Click on OPEN LINK
The device integration will be loaded with the discovered Atom Echo voice assistant.
To add the newly discovered device, select the ATOM Echo from the list. Add your ATOM Echo to a room and select Finish.
- You should now see the ESPHome integration.
If the device is still marked as to be configured press F5 (function key 5) to refresh the browser. Likely the message is gone (at least in my case).
- Click on the device. The M5Stack Atom Echo should be listed.
- Your ATOM Echo is connected to Home Assistant over Wi-Fi. You can now move it to any place in your home with a USB power supply.
This concludes setting up the Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo.
5. What now?
Now the Home Assistant voice control with an Atom Echo has been setup, what is next?
- As setup according to the article the voice assistant is using the wake word “OK Nabu”. You can change this by following the instructions in our article “Using your own wake word for Home Assistant’s voice assistant”.
- Play around with the available default instructions to control your devices.
- You can add voice control to Home Assistant automations.
- You can add aliases to device entities, for example a light switch.
- Be aware to keep track of the different ways of interacting with devices for yourselves and family members.