Each member of our team was born in a different place and we are all living away from our families. The problem we wanted to tackle at first was providing a group of people with a long-haul flight plan with departures from all over but arrivals at the same places, but this vision extends to helping a group of friends explore, for example, a new city. Our group wandered around Boston on friday and didn't really know the best places to visit or what the best way to get between them was. So: If we could talk to a bot to add the places we absolutely wanted to see, find the best route (or a good enough route: this is the travelling salesman problem we're dealing with, after all)
What it does
-The user tells the bot where they want to go (i.e. "cambridge ma", and that location is mapped to a proper place name by the bot (i.e. "Cambridge, Massachussets, USA"), which is then passed to the google maps api to return the lat/long. As a session proceeds, new locations are added to the page's array of locations which are mapped out.
How we built it
The server's backend is built in java; the chat and the chatbot are embedded from "Motion AI" which is a platform to graphically programming a chatbot's responses to human language. We call the google maps API for mapping purposes.
Challenges we ran into
-Finding the right chatbot: we spent a lot of time trying to set up an XMPP (Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol) server with various chatbots (most notably wit.ai) which was overwhelming. We found motion.ai towards the end of the hackathon, which was perfect for our needs. -Working with JSONs for the first time -Debugging!
Accomplishments that we're proud of
-Having the google maps api up and running! -Getting the chatbot working!
What we learned
-Play to your strengths -API calls -Google Cloud services is not as friendly as Google -America does run on Dunkins -Someone on our team knows how to make beautiful logos!
What's next for wandaless
-Enabling group chat and sign-in -Location suggestion (a monetizable feature) -Emphasis on public transit