Inspiration

The idea started out as a messenger bot to notify customers about their "Pub Overcup Oak" orders. We realized this could be a feature but wanted a way to, as close as possible to objectively, know what the best food to eat on campus is based on the menu for the day.

What it does

The bot can tell you menus of specific dining halls, inform you what the best meal of the day is as rated by everyone at Vanderbilt as well as your previous ratings, and notify when your Pub order is ready.

How we built it

We set up a Facebook page called "Vanderbilt Dining Experience" and a webhook to accept incoming traffic from Facebook's triggers. The server that accepts these requests is a NodeJS Express app hosted on Heroku with body-parser and morganJS. We also wrote Mongoose schemas for rating and menu storage and an easy abstraction over the querying. Finally, after endless brainhurt, we managed to scrape menus off of our beloved Vandy Dining site.

Challenges we ran into

  • Lack of public API for dining menus
  • Melvin's birthday party at 7pm in the middle of the event

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Dank database
  • gud debug
  • Didn't waste any food bc gud tacos
  • also vary... goot Mac..&cheezyies..

What we learned

  • 1:1 Messenger model to prevent user abuse

What's next for Vanderbilt Dining Experience

  • More users = better ratings
  • Pictures of the menus ;) thanks to our future photographer @stanman
  • More powerful servers on Heroku

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