2015-08-06 13.26.46

One of best things about traveling, especially to other countries, is stumbling across something that may be commonplace to the locals but which is new and interesting to you. I was recently in Florence, Italy and happened upon an intriguing approach to a common civil engineering problem that uses a big ole’ robotic arm on a truck.

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Echo Kodi Integration

 

In Part 1 of this article, I described the structure and requirements for making an app, a “Skill”, for the Amazon Echo. Now it’s time to put that into practice and get into the code for a fully-functional Skill.

For this project, I wanted to be able to ask the Echo about new shows on my Kodi media center. Thanks to PVR technology, we’ve completely lost track of the schedule for new TV show episodes. So typical questions around the house include, “do we have anything to watch?” and “do we have a new episode of Modern Family?” Let’s get the Echo to answer those questions!

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balloon_filled_room_5It’s a good bet that sometime in your life, you or someone you know has suggested filling a friend’s room/dorm/cubicle with balloons as a surprise for a birthday or other celebration. It’s one of those ideas that keeps coming up. But how practical is it, really? How many balloons would it take? How long would it take to blow them all up?

Well, my daughter had a birthday party and wanted a room full of balloons that she and her friends could dive into, crawl around in, and generally have fun. This was the perfect opportunity to find out what it really took make a balloon-filled room.

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When writing an app, or “skill” for the Amazon Echo, you have to provide examples of how your users might phrase their requests. Lots and lots of examples. Doing this by hand can be a ton of work, especially when you’re still developing and you have to go back and make edits to all of your examples.

So I created an online tool that makes it easier and faster to build your utterance examples. Read on to learn more about defining example utterances and how the online tool can make it painless.

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