You know that feeling when you land in a new airport and you can’t find anything. Lounges, restaurants, wifi.... Where have they all gone? This bot is a concept for how a personal Assistant can get around this problem, over chat. Also, there is no need for the travelers to download any new app or navigate a complex website in a mobile screen. All that they need to do is start chatting with the Airport Assist bot from FB Messenger, when they enter the airport.
What it does
The bot acts as a personal assistant in the airport by showing relevant options for dining, transport, shopping, lounges, internet connectivity etc..based on the traveller's location within the airport and their preferences. It also uses NLP and AI training to answer basic questions of the travelers like where is the lounge area, what are some options to dine, what are some transportation facilities etc..If it can't provide an answer to a question, it directs the user to nearby information desks.
How I built it
Messenger platform components were used to build the frontend. For the backend, a RESTful Web Service was built using spring boot. The options shown to the users are retrieved from GET requests to this service. Since Spring supports embedded Tomcat servlet container as the HTTP runtime, the packaged bootable 'fat jar' was deployed in openshift easily using the openJDK S2I image of JBoss Middleware.
What I learned
I learnt to use JBoss Middleware like openJDK to deploy the backend services on OpenShift Online. I also learnt to design user-friendly interface for the frontend using the messenger platform components.
What's next for Airport Assist
With the helps of beacons, the bot can be extended to show localised offers and discounts from the nearby shops, restaurants etc..