Experts Reviews On Adafruit BrainCraft HAT: Simple AI on Raspberry Pi

This powerful HAT has every part you need to develop A.I. projects in your Raspberry Pi.


The Adafruit BrainCraft HAT gives a frictionless introduction to machine studying housed in a well designed board and accompanied by an excellent reference information.


  • Low Value
  • Easy-to-use
  • Fantastic tutorials get you started


  • No onboard TPU
  • Wants Raspberry Pi Camera (purchased separately)
  • Speakers not built in

Adafruit may be very well-known within the maker and electronics community. For 15 years the New York-based firm has supplied kits and boards for Arduino, Beaglebone and Raspberry Pi and their newest board is the $39.95 BrainCraft HAT. Designed to be used with the Raspberry Pi 4, this HAT is a hub of inputs and outputs, together with a display that reveals picture recognition, to facilitate machine studying Raspberry Pi projects.

If you’re eager to check out machine studying initiatives utilizing TensorFlow Lite then the Raspberry Pi 4 is the best machine for taking your first steps. It’s low cost to purchase, has loads of power and adaptable to your wants. The BrainCraft HAT gives a low friction means with which we will be taught a new ability with little or no outlay.

BrainCraft HAT {Hardware} Specifications

  • 1.54″ IPS TFT display with 240×240 decision that may present textual content or video
  • Stereo speaker ports for audio playback – either text-to-speech, alerts or for making a voice assistant.
  • Stereo headphone out for audio playback via a stereo system, headphones, or powered audio system.
  • Stereo microphone input – perfect for making your very personal smart dwelling assistants
  • Two 3-pin JST STEMMA connectors that can be utilized to attach extra buttons, a relay, and even some NeoPixels!
  • STEMMA QT plug-and-play I2C port, can be used with any of our 50+ I2C STEMMA QT boards, or can be used to hook up with Grove I2C gadgets with an adapter cable.
  • 5-Approach Joystick + Button for user interface and management.
  •  Three RGB DotStar LEDs for colorful LED feedback.

Design of the BrainCraft HAT

Designed for all models of Raspberry Pi with 40 pin GPIO, BrainCraft HAT is greatest used with the Raspberry Pi 4, 400 and the brand new Compute Module Four as Tensorflow Lite requires loads of computing power. The HAT itself doesn’t present any further computing power.

The most prominent feature of the BrainCraft HAT is a 1.5 inch IPS TFT screen which is used as a viewfinder when used with a Raspberry Pi Camera. Looking to the top proper of the board and we will see three DotStar RGB LEDs, a joystick and push button used for primary input.

Talking of inputs, there are two microphones current (left and proper mic) which can be utilized to create voice assistants utilizing Google and Amazon APIs. As per Adafruit’s Invoice of Rights these microphones have a {hardware} change to fully disconnect them, offering a certain means to guard your privacy.

Speakers aren’t inbuilt so audio output comes by way of two JST ports providing a 1W output to suitable audio system, or we will use the TRRS headphone jack. Two STEMMA ports for connecting suitable gadgets and a STEMMA QT plug and play I2C port full the road up. Flipping the BrainCraft HAT over and we see 4 spacers, these are used to connect the included fan, essential to hold the Raspberry Pi Four cool. Becoming the fan is rather easy, however the JST power connector can show troublesome for bigger arms.

Using BrainCraft HAT

The Adafruit BrainCraft HAT is designed to be one board that may carry out many capabilities for machine studying. It has no onboard computational power to help machine studying / Tensorflow Lite, for that we’d like a Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) akin to Google’s Coral USB Accelerator which is on the market individually.

The power of the Raspberry Pi 4 gives sufficient computational power for primary initiatives. Following Adafruit’s wonderful person information we setup our BrainCraft HAT together withRaspberry Pi HQ Camera. After slightly debugging with our Python setup, our venture got here to life and we pointed the camera at an apple, to find that it recognized the kind of apple, a Granny Smith.

The default model used for figuring out objects is kind of easy and it may determine around 2000 objects however we will prepare our personal mode utilizing Google’s Teachable Machine to determine objects in our dwelling/office.

BrainCraft HAT’s inputs and output may be managed utilizing a mix of Python libraries, chief amongst them is Blinka, a compatibility layer for CircuitPython libraries. With Blinka we will control the DotStar LEDs and skim the route through which the joystick is pressed together with controlling / studying the state of the 2 STEMMA JST connectors when used with suitable gadgets.

The fan has its personal set up script which runs a service on boot to begin the fan, a bash script to learn the temperature and activate the fan as wanted could be of actual profit because the fan is reasonably noisy and interferes with the microphones and audio playback. Audio setup and the display module is dealt with by way of two respective scripts. Take care with the display set up script, we made an error and needed to restart the set up course ofComply with the steering right here and you’ll not repeat our mistake.

Use Cases for the BrainCraft HAT

With an emphasis on machine studying, you’ll assume that the BrainCraft HAT is a one trick pony. Far from it. The BrainCraft HAT can be utilized to construct dwelling assistant initiatives utilizing Google Assistant APIs. The builtin microphone and audio output lend themselves to initiatives akin to this. Breakouts for the GPIO and STEMMA suitable gadgets means we will add servos, motors, sensors and so forth to a voice assistant venture or we will use the board as a hub for a number of gadgets.

Bottom Line

Adafruit’s BrainCraft HAT is the best solution to dip your toe into the world of machine learning. The low value level, nice directions and ease of use allow anybody to make use of machine studying of their venture.

As we stated, this isn’t a singular use board. Constructing voice assistants can be made trivial because of the onboard microphone and audio outputs. Purchase this board, be taught the abilities wanted for machine learning projects and then move on to more highly effective {hardware} as your want and expertise permit.