Our initial idea started off with a common problem that every UCSC student faced when going to the dining hall. What are they serving? Would I even like it? Is it even worth it to go outside? Our answer to this was to create a simplified and natural way to ask Alexa about what is available at the dining hall.
What it does
Ask Alexa what current menu items are at any dining hall.
How we built it
Using Alexa's Devkit to understand the logic of Alexa and develop our own functions from that.
Challenges we ran into
Amazon's integration with Alexa was very complicated to set-up at first. The cloud service powered by Amazon and Alexa's simulation both used to test the code, required separate accounts and payment methods. Alexa's language is very complex and long, learning about it alone could take a couple of hours before we even let Alexa say "Hello World!"
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to successfully test our code and idea in our test Amazon Alexa device. Even though our Alexa Skill is still very simple and cannot do very much we learned a lot of the building process and development to create the skill.
What we learned
Learned about Alexa's structure, teamwork, how difficult it is to begin a project, and a ton of coding experience during the hackathon.
What's next for UCSC Dining Hall Menu Rundown
Real-times updates and many more conversations options!