Alexa's mathematical computation skill can only solve one operation at a time. We wanted to take on the challenge of making it solve more complex mathematical computations. Among us math major based students our vision was to make this hack function in order to check our work conveniently by speaking to Alexa.
What it does
Amazon web services served as our platform for our code to run with Wolfram's API and Alexa's API. Our hack enables Alexa to pass a string to Wolfram Alpha, who then computes the solution, and returns a string representation in plain English. This string (solution) is then spoken by Alexa.
How I built it
Initially, getting comfortable with AWS Lambda, Wolfram, and Alexa was the first task. The work was split between group members. Each member was assigned a simple role: get familiar with one of the components of the project. towards the end of the hack the last challenge was to put all the pieces together.
Challenges I ran into
The challenges we confronted was not knowing how to use or implement APIs. Furthermore, we had to restart the syntax and convert from Java to Python due to false error messeges and incompatability between Java and AWS Lambda. This was done with little knowledge of the python language.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are pround of making an attempt making this work. We are also pround of the skills and experience we gained here at Beachhacks b2017.
What I learned
We learned how to use APIs, and specifically, AWS Lambda, Wolfram, and Alexa.
What's next for MathWorks
The next step is to try and publish this new skill for Alexa users.