Inspiration

CELY is inspired by the idea that astronomy should be accessible from anywhere. Especially from a Smart Display! Our project thrives on providing rich educational content with pictures, facts, locations, and even space sounds!

What it does

CELY is a project build to work with the Google Display Hardware. It uses a combination of APIs to provide people with fun & educational content about astronomy like a picture of the day, random rockets with facts, celestial Sky, and spooky sounds from our Solar System.

How we built it

To make the hardware integration, CELY uses the new Google Actions Developer Console to configure conversations, make actions, and use a webhook to process data. We built 5 actions in total!

1) Astronomy Picture of the Day:

The Astronomy Picture of the day is extracted from NASA's API to use in a rich card response on Google Actions. It takes the current date of the device to provide users with a beautiful image, description, and credits.

2) Random Astronomy Picture:

The Random Astronomy Picture also uses NASA's API with a random date to get the image, description, and credits.

3) Sky Above me:

The Sky Above me action uses Radar.io to get the coordinates for the location given to generate a celestial map of the user's location.

4) Random Rocket:

The Random Rocket action uses the SpaceX API to provide data about rockets. It gets the image, description, and name of the rocket to present it on the smart display card.

5) Space Sounds:

The Space Sounds action uses NASA's Spooky Space Sounds dataset, which we host on a Google Cloud Storage Bucket to play sounds that came from space to the users.

Challenges we ran into

Every time we changed our action on the Google Actions portal, we had to wait for the propagation of our Cloud Function to make sure our code was working. In addition to that, we had problems making external requests in Javascript due to asynchronous events happening in the Google Action. Also, Google recently changed their entire platform, so we had to relearn a lot of the concepts.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of developing a project that mixes hardware and astronomy to produce rich & educational content for our users. We are proud of developing a really cool project that has a good chance to grow!

What we learned

We learned to be patient and persistent with anything that happened. We learned how to use the new Google Actions Portal and how to make nested external requests. In addition to that, we learned how to use Radar.io and asynchronous calls in Node.JS.

Our Tech Stack:

JavaScript, Node.JS, Axios, cheerio, firebase-functions, Google Cloud Storage, Google Actions, NASA API, Radar.io, SpaceX data API, fourmilab API.

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