Adding Slots to an Alexa Skill

30 minutes
  • 5 Learning Objectives

About this Hands-on Lab

In this lab, you will add custom slots to capture two data points and return them as part of the intent response. Objectives for this lab include creating simple custom slots and testing the slots using `ask dialog`. **Note:** You must have your own Amazon Developer account, which you can [sign up](https://developer.amazon.com/) for if you do not already have one.

Learning Objectives

Successfully complete this lab by achieving the following learning objectives:

Configure Amazon Skills Kit to Use Your AWS Developer Account
  1. Initialize the ASK CLI:

    ask init --no-browser
  2. Copy/paste the URL that appears from the terminal to a browser window.

  3. Log in to the developer console when prompted.

  4. Copy/paste the authorization code.

  5. Enter y for Yes to connect to the AWS account already set up on the VM.

  6. Choose the default AWS account.

Clone and Check Out Branch
  1. Clone the template skill:

    ask new --url https://github.com/linuxacademy/content-aws-skill-builder.git
  2. Navigate into the directory:

    cd content-aws-skill-builder
  3. To start with a template and perform the tasks for this lab yourself:

    git checkout lab_slots
  4. To start with the solution to the lab:

    git checkout lab_slots_solution
Develop the Skill

In ../models/en-US.json:

  1. Add custom slots for pet_type and pet_name to RegisterPetIntent.

  2. Change the samples in the same intent to say ‘"i want to register my {pet_type} names {pet_name}"’.

    {
      ...,
      {
        "name": "RegisterPetIntent",
        "slots": [
          {
            "name": "pet_type",
            "type": "petType"
          },
          {
            "name": "pet_name",
            "type": "petName"
          }
        ],
        "samples": [
          "i want to register my {pet_type} named {pet_name}"
        ]
      },
      ...
  3. Add custom slot type "types" at the same level as "intents".

      ...],
      "types": [
        {
          "name": "petType",
          "values": [
            {
              "name": {
                "value": "pet_type"
              }
            }
          ]
        },
        {
          "name": "petName",
          "values": [
            {
              "name": {
                "value": "pet_name"
               }
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
      ...

In ../lambda/custom/index.js:

  1. Change the LaunchRequestHandler message to: "Exclusive Veterinary Services welcomes you. You can say things like I want to register my dog named Scraps or I want to register my cat named Freckles."

      const LaunchRequestHandler = {
        canHandle(handlerInput) {
          return Alexa.getRequestType(handlerInput.requestEnvelope) === 'LaunchRequest';
        },
        handle(handlerInput) {
          const speakOutput = "Exclusive Veterinary Services welcomes you. You can say things like I want to register my dog named Scraps or I want to register my cat named Freckles.";
    
          return handlerInput.responseBuilder
            .speak(speakOutput)
            .reprompt(speakOutput)
            .getResponse();
        }
      };
  2. Change RegisterPetIntentHandler to use custom slots.

      const RegisterPetIntentHandler = {
          canHandle(handlerInput) {
              return Alexa.getRequestType(handlerInput.requestEnvelope) === 'IntentRequest'
                  && Alexa.getIntentName(handlerInput.requestEnvelope) === 'RegisterPetIntent';
          },
          handle(handlerInput) {
              pet_type = handlerInput.requestEnvelope.request.intent.slots.pet_type.value
              pet_name = handlerInput.requestEnvelope.request.intent.slots.pet_name.value
              const speakOutput = "We are happy to welcome your " + pet_type + ' ' + pet_name + "!";
    
              return handlerInput.responseBuilder
                  .speak(speakOutput)
                  //.reprompt('add a reprompt if you want to keep the session open for the user to respond')
                  .getResponse();
          }
      };
Deploy and Test
  1. Deploy the skill:

    ask deploy 
  2. Begin performing a test:

    ask dialog --locale en-US
  3. The prompt will change to User >.

  4. Enter open exclusive vet and follow the prompts.

Clean Up Amazon Developer Account Alexa Console

At this point, the skill you just created should be deleted from your Alexa Developer Console.

Please do so here: Alexa Console.

Additional Resources

Exclusive Veterinary Services is very excited about the customer being able to register their pets with Alexa.

They have asked that the registration of the pet captures the pet name and the pet type, so the registration intent should collect that information. Note: They currently only work with dogs and cats.

If you have not created an Amazon Developer account yet, please do so before proceeding: Amazon Developer account creation.

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