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pledged of $3,725pledged of $3,725 goal
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Aug 2 2016
pledged of $3,725pledged of $3,725 goal
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Aug 2 2016


Cognitive Candy is a voice-activated virtual assistant for makers and developers. It's an open platform to build, create and play with:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cloud computing
  • Internet of Things

Why Candy?

I created Candy for a contest as a way for me to learn hands-on some cool cognitive technologies.

During that process, I realized Candy would be a great platform for makers & developers because it would provide them a richer baseline they could use to learn and prototype in their area of interest. It could be creating a scary talking bot for Halloween or maybe experimenting with the latest Natural Language Classifier technology. Candy takes care of the basics.

The goal is to make Candy an easy to use educational tool for kids, but also a powerful open platform for hardcore developers. I want it to be an awesome Developer Experience.

How to program it?

The super easy way to program Candy via the "Candy Brain Web Editor". It supports IFTTT and other simple API integrations. 

Candy Brain Web Editor (early draft)
Candy Brain Web Editor (early draft)

For more powerful programming, but still easy enough, use Node-RED to create a flow to process the API requests and responses to 3rd party services.

Add Candy integrations using Node-RED
Add Candy integrations using Node-RED

Next option is to write your own node.js or Java module, or even a cloud-based app to extend Candy's logic.

How's Candy made?

For technical details visit  Here's a quick overview:


  • Candy Dev Tools includes the Candy Brain Editor and Brain Tap (so you can type instead of speaking to Candy). 
  • CandyCloud: cloud application is providing remote management, inbound connections, etc. Stretch goal / under development.
  •  CandyOS is the operating system inside Candy. It manages the user interaction logic and integrations with the outer world. It's a node.js program written in Node-RED. 
  • Speech Recognition & Synthesis: Candy relies on external Speech libraries. You have options here: you can use free open source libraries like PocketSphinx & eSpeak or you may sign-up for an online service like IBM Watson.  

Hardware: Candy is based on the Raspberry Pi. Its enclosure is 3D printed. It has wifi, built-in speaker, microphone, buttons, and LEDs. 

A Candy Kit contains a Raspberry Pi, microSD card, power supply, speaker, microphone, button & LEDs circuit board, audio amplifier, enclosure, and mounting hardware.

 Is Candy for you?

Candy is a personal project for educational purpose. The project outcome is a low-volume educational kit with home-made parts. Candy is not for everyone. Here's what you should know:

  • Audience: makers willing to learn Raspberry Pi. 
  • Setup: Candy comes as a kit, some light assembly required. 
  • Support: via a community forum only. No individual support. 
  • Quality: hardware or software is educational. No guarantees performance. Use at your risk. 

This project does not represent my employer's views. All content is my views & opinions.

Risks and challenges

Candy is a personal project I work on evenings and weekends, as my schedule allow. Therefore my availability is the main risk in delivering this project on time. However, I have added a buffer to the expected shipment date that should account for this.

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