Internet Bots are in fashion these days. They seem to be doing a lot of tasks these days and it seems almost human like in the kind of responses.
I thought of coupling together an Internet Bot along with Instant Messenger application that we use on a daily basis to provide useful information to you.
The result: Mumbai Blood Bank Locator Agent — A friend of yours that will give you details on Blood Banks in Mumbai.
Let us go through how you can add this useful bot as your friend and see it in action.
What does this Bot do?
The Mumbai Blood Bank Locator Agent is an automated agent that will respond to certain commands. It requires Google Talk and you need to add it as your friend. Once that is done, you can ask it for Blood Banks in particular areas of Mumbai and it will respond back with a list. For e.g. here is a screenshot of a conversation where I have asked it for Blood Banks in Ghatkopar and it has responded as shown below:
Allright! Sounds interesting and useful — let us set it up.
How do I set it up?
Follow these easy steps:
- You need to have a Google Account (Gmail) and Google Talk set up on your computer.
- Add firstname.lastname@example.org as a contact/friend/buddy in Google Talk. The agent will automatically add you as a friend and you should see the bloodbanklocator in your contact list in Google Talk.
- Start a Chat Window with bloodbanklocator and start conversing.
Wow! That was simple — but you ask if my bot can understand anything that you throw at him?
What commands does it understand?
Well – it turns out that this bot/agent is there to help you with locating Blood Banks in Mumbai and so its vocabulary is fairly restricted at this point to enable it to do what it is supposed to do.
Here is a list of commands that it understands:
1. You type arealist and it will respond back with a list of areas in Mumbai where blood banks are present.
2. You type the specific area i.e. Parel or Mahim and it will respond back with the list of Blood Banks in the area, as was shown in the previous paragraph. In case there are no blood banks, it will tell you that
In case you type something it does not understand or the area that you mention does not have any Blood Banks then it will let you know that too. An example is shown below:
3. Type help to get a list of commands that the Bot understands.
I am looking for interested individuals to please let me know if some data is currently wrong or if some Blood Bank is not mentioned. I would really appreciate if you come forward with that. Just write me an email.
Calling all interested people
Here is the first of my services that I will be releasing over the next few months. I have several services in mind that are both humanitarian in nature and also informational. Some of these services include:
- Get list of Chemists in your area
- Police Stations, Ward offiices, etc
- Traffic Updates
- Passport status updates
If you are an interested developer or simply wish to volunteer in collecting/providing information and testing some stuff out along the way, please contact me. Just write me an email stating what you can do and I will respond to you. I would also like to hear your feedback on what you think of this.
If you like this bot — please share it with your friends. Thanks for looking!
For Technical minded folks
For those interested in learning how this was built, an upcoming blog post will provide details on that. At this point it is sufficient to say that behind the scenes is the Google App Engine for Java along with the shiny new XMPP support.