Like many software engineers and hackers, I spend a lot of time coding, often neglecting physical activities for long stretches at a time.

What it does

I designed an app which works with Walabot and Alexa to both keep track of how long you've been sitting and give visual cues when its time to take a stretch break. Walabot tracks how long you've been sitting at the desk and updates a database with the last time you moved. I designed a companion Alexa skill that can answer questions such as 'How long have I been working?" and it will update you with the time you last moved.

How I built it

I built it using Python, Amazon Alexa Skills Kit, AWS Lambda, ngrok, Walabot, Rasbperry Pi, LEDs, soldering, and a 3D printer.

Challenges I ran into

I had difficulty with the socket module in python. Particularly with error 98, address already in use. I also had difficulty with the LEDs. I originally wanted to use RGB 12v leds and have color variation based on the length of time since last movement, but I couldn't work out the power issue and had to revert to white 5v LEDs.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I'm proud of this whole project. Nearly all of it was new territory for me; this is my first Alexa Skill and my first time with client and server sockets. I've learned a lot.

What I learned

I learned how to power and control items using the Raspberry Pi's GPIOs. I learned how to read a circuit diagram. I learned how to connect my Raspberry Pi to my Alexa. I learned how to work with Walabot. I learned how to create servers with python.

What's next for Take a Break with Walabot

I would like to add more functionality to the Alexa Skill so it can start and stop the Walabot tracker. I would like to add a speaker to add audio cues if the visual cues aren't followed. And I would like to solve the power issue with the 12v RGB leds.

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