One of our team members, Philip, lives off-campus at university. As an apartment resident with several roommates, Philip wanted a convenient way to keep track of his own food in the kitchen. He also wished for an easier method of finding recipes to cook with what he was so that less food goes to waste.
What it does
With an Amazon Echo or Dot, you can ask Alexa to keep track of your kitchen inventory and to provide you with recipes based on the foods you already have. A simple web application lets you create an account and a "kitchen" that multiple roommates can share. The web application also provides a table for users to see the current inventory of the entire kitchen.
How we built it
The web app used to initialize user accounts and kitchens was built using the MEAN stack. The Alexa Skill was created with an AWS Lambda function in Python.
Challenges we ran into
The current limitations of how the Amazon Echo accepts user input forced us to pivot the structure of our database and API several times. Furthermore, the stateless nature of the Echo also coerced us to flesh out more API endpoints on our server than we had originally intended, since opening a connection with the database using AWS Lambda seemed too cumbersome and costly.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of coming up with a dank name for our project. This was also our first time building an Alexa skill.
What's next for Chef Curry
We'd love to implement better recipe finding, grocery store receipt scanning capabilities, and more secure, traditional authentication methods in the future.