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|The Learning Circuit|
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Once you sign in you have the option to get started with an Alexa Skills Kit or an Alexa Voice Service. The Voice Service is used when you are building a device that was Alexa enabled. Since they will be using an existing Amazon echo device they only need to go to Alexa Skills Kit. The two options that are frequently used are the custom interaction model and the smart home skill API. The smart home skill API is a little more complicated because it requires more configuring. The Custom Interaction Model, on the other hand, is easier to use but you have to invoke it using your custom word. There are a couple of ways you can use an “Invocation Word”, the trigger used to give commands. You could say “Alexa ask the to… ” or you could say “Alexa… “ while using the UART control that they are configuring. Nothing else to configure on this page so they move onto the interaction model.
They can either write their interaction model in pure JSon or they can launch Skill Builder, Amazon’s WYSIWG solution for those who don’t want to code. For those who remember XML, a machine and human readable way of formatting data, JSon is a much better way of doing something similar. Using the Amazon Skill Set you are presented with three built-in intents that every skill needs to handle.: Amazon cancel intent, help, and stop. Intents allow you to get out of back-and-forths with Alexa, something it’s enabled to do. Now that they’ve gone over the default intents, it’s time for Bob to show Ben how to create one of his own. The custom intent option allows you to setup your own keyword trigger. The name you give it is a label, for the creator, they’ll add their own sample utterance once that’s enabled. Intent slots are the variables you can use when setting up your commands, outside of the trigger command.
Bob walks Ben through what he needs to do in order to configure sample utterances and intent slots for the UART skill that they are building Once that's done they go over format formattypes and content Once they are done configuring the new skill Felix joins them to do a Pi to UART test As a special treat Ben pulls out a Radio Shack TRS-80 model 100 one of his favorite classic computers to run the test Its got an port on it and an FTDI adapter that he's built in They'll eventually use Alexa to ping the shop IP address and tunnel in to control the Raspberry Pi but this will suffice for testing Next they run an Alexa to Server to UART test Bob walks Ben through the web service that will run Alexa to Serva to UART The code for content parameters etc is written in PHP It will call the Python used for the Pi and Python will be used to send the things that they are requesting Python will be the thing acting on the Raspberry Pi that communicates with their serial ports