Hello and thanks for checking out our latest tutorial series on building a Mars Rover Photography bot! In this blog post, we will cover what kind of content you can expect through each video and links to relevant documentation to help you build out your assistant. By the end of the tutorial we hope that you have the tools you need to start building your own chatbot assistant for whatever use case comes to mind. Each video expands on topics covered in this blog and gives a step-by-step walkthrough of the covered material.
In this tutorial, we cover how to install the Botpress platform and start building out our Mars Rover bot by populating some of the knowledge base questions and answers. Get started in less than 60 seconds by downloading the platform here. After downloading and running the executable, you will receive a localhost address that you can navigate to in order to get started.
Once you have created an account and logged in, we can start adding our knowledge base items to the assistant. The Q&A feature is a great way to not only start building out your bot, but also serves as an area that non-technical users can build out additional functionalities.
After building out our knowledge base, you might be thinking “what do I do if I want end users to be able to ask more complicated questions?”. The Dialog Engine consists of flows, nodes, and actions, all of which make up the tools that we will use to create conversational flows for our assistant. Additionally, within nodes we have the ability to call variables to add an entirely new level of customization and logic behind the conversation.
With this tutorial, you will see how we go about engaging with the user by presenting them with choices via buttons or dropdowns as well as providing a freeform text box. This allows for an improved end user experience and makes the conversation feel more natural. Besides text and buttons users can expect to see in over ten different options within our nodes.
Additionally, we learn the beginning of what configuring our NLU in the Botpress platform looks like and how best to utilize it. Creating a chatbot that uses conversational AI gives our assistant a much more robust and personalized experience. One of the benefits to using Botpress is that you don’t have to be a data scientist to benefit from the power of NLU. While we encourage developers to use our platform, it still benefits from a user interface that is friendly enough for non-technical users.
Continuing off of the previous tutorial, we are focusing on how we can best ask users for information and using slots, extract that information. While you can create a slot that extracts any kind of data from a user, Botpress provides a set of system slots that have been pre trained to recognize specific user inputs, like dates/times, colors, phone numbers, etc. Not only are you introduced to slots in the video, but you also learn how to best use them.
Custom actions are server-side code snippets that you can run within your flow. This allows you to execute arbitrary code like calling an API or storing data in the database, sending customized messages to users, or changing states within a conversation. For our use case in this particular tutorial, we are calling a NASA api to provide pictures taken by Mars rovers. Being able to use custom code means that you can essentially do anything that you would like to within the Botpress platform as it relates to building out a chatbot.
The final part of our tutorial series shows you how to call our NASA api variable and insert an image content type that is populated with the requested Mars rover image! We hope you enjoyed this series and encourage you to think of your own use cases that you might want to build out.