Hacking the Rabbit R1 Device to run Android with Google Gemini AI Assistant

Hacking the Rabbit R1 Device to run Android with Google Gemini AI Assistant

The Rabbit R1, a controversial device that aimed to revolutionize AI-based hardware, has been given a new lease on life thanks to the R1 Escape project. By installing Android on the Rabbit R1, users can now unlock the full potential of this unique device and experience a seamless, native-like Android performance. Check out my earlier post comparing the recent AI Gadgets: Rabbit R1, Humane AI Pin and Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses.

The Rabbit R1: A Promising Device Hampered by Software Limitations

Initially, the Rabbit R1 was designed to run on a custom OS built by Rabbit, based on the company's LAMs (Linguistic Action Models). LAMs were advertised as more sophisticated than LLMs (Large Language Models), capable of incorporating action into their operating process. The R1 was supposed to take speech, recognize it, process it, and turn it into action, all done in the cloud on Rabbit's hardware.

However, the Rabbit R1 failed to deliver on its promises, resulting in a sluggish and incomplete device. The $200 "device of the future" was seen as another premature attempt at AI-based hardware by a startup.

Discovering the Truth: Android at the Heart of the Rabbit R1

But there's a silver lining to this story. As it turns out, the Rabbit R1 is surprisingly compatible with Android, and not just in a half-baked way. When loaded with Android, the R1 runs as if it were the built to run Android OS from the very beginning.

HowToMen, a YouTube channel, took a similar approach and installed a stock-like version of Android on the Rabbit R1. The result was astounding – the device ran Android almost perfectly, unlocking features that were previously limited, such as the keyboard, camera, and privacy modes.

Despite Rabbit's vehement denial, it appears that the R1 is actually built on an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) build of Android, specifically tuned to the device's capabilities. This revelation came shortly after the R1's release when he is managed to flash the device with LineageOS, a popular custom Android ROM.

Unlocking the R1's Full Potential

By loading Android onto the Rabbit R1, users can unlock its full potential. The keyboard, previously limited in functionality, becomes fully usable. The 360-degree camera can be freely operated for video and photos, and a Quick Settings tile allows users to adjust the camera's privacy modes with ease.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this Android-powered R1 is its flawless compatibility with Gemini, Google's AI assistant. It's ironic that the device marketed as the most advanced AI action model now finds its true calling as a vessel for Google's AI.

Interestingly, many functions on the Android-loaded R1 have dedicated hardware shortcuts, as if they were built by a developer with native integration in mind. For example, screenshots can be taken by pressing the power button and swiping on the scroll wheel, which doubles as the volume rocker. These native-like functions add to the overall user experience.

R1 Escape: A GitHub Project to Liberate Your Rabbit R1

For those interested in installing Android on their Rabbit R1, a project called "R1 Escape" is available on GitHub. It provides a step-by-step process to unlock the device's bootloader, disable AVB, and flash a userdebug system image of AOSP-13 with GMS (Google Mobile Services). However, it's important to note that this process should be followed at the user's own risk. This collection of scripts enables users to:

  • Enable "OEM Unlocking"
  • Unlock the bootloader (which wipes all user data)
  • Disable AVB (Android Verified Boot)
  • Flash a userdebug system image of AOSP-13 (with Google Mobile Services)

By following the R1 Escape process, users can break free from the limitations of Rabbit's custom software and enjoy a fully functional Android experience on their Rabbit R1.

Prerequisites and Step-by-Step Guide for R1 Escape

To embark on the R1 Escape journey, users will need a Linux or Windows machine with the necessary drivers and tools installed. The GitHub project provides detailed instructions for both operating systems, including links to download the required drivers and system images.
For Linux users, the process is relatively straightforward:

  • Clone or download the R1 Escape repository
  • Open a terminal in the directory of extracted files
  • Run the ./r1.sh script (sudo permissions may be required)
  • Follow the prompts to turn off and plug in your device as needed

A New Lease on Life

By following the R1 Escape process, Rabbit R1 owners can now enjoy a device that runs Android flawlessly, complete with native-like shortcuts and functionality. Perhaps most exciting is the fact that the Rabbit R1 on Android can now run Gemini, Google's AI assistant, seamlessly – a testament to the power and flexibility of the Android platform.

The R1 Escape project has given new life to a device that was once considered a disappointment, showcasing the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Android community. As more users embark on this journey, it will be exciting to see how the Rabbit R1 evolves and what new possibilities emerge for this unique device.

Recent Posts