Being an avid techie and problem solver, my mind is always looking out for opportunities to apply what I’ve learnt. Other than during my time in internships, I haven’t really put my school fees to good use. Until one fateful day, a notification showed up on my phone:
My mum’s daily routine of collating meal attendance from everyone
Without placing much thought about it, I just reply ‘yes’ as per normal. My mum usually has to ask every family member whether will we be taking our meals at home so that she can portion accordingly. (Hope this is common across families 😇). Little did I know, I was in for a treat:
BAM. Clearly this a problem right now. Cue awkward “haha”.
No doubt I felt guilty and remorseful immediately, I should have been more proactive to ease her workload. Looking back at our history of messages, I knew it’s time I should do something about it… FINALLY
This went on for years without me consciously noticing, sorry mum
Fast Forwarding to the Solution
Based on the nature of this problem, I felt a chatbot will be the most appropriate. Factoring my mum’s basic knowledge of technology, I have decided to build MumBot to work on WhatsApp. After spending 3 days of tinkering, MumBot v0.1 went live!
Here’s how it works (without the technical details):
The bot messages you privately at pre-defined timings
and send collated responses to everyone. #SmartNation
Taaadaaaa! Happy mum, happy life! After pitching this bot and a live demo to her, this is her response:
You don’t have an excuse to not reply anymore ah! smirks
Oh boy, was she satisfied! Although I’m not too sure if I created more trouble for myself. Nevertheless, I achieved what I set out to do and gained 4 happy customers (my family members). Hope this inspires some of you to work out some fun hacks in your family!
After 2 weeks of adopting the bot, life has definitely been (self-proclaimed) much easier for everyone. However, I did notice my mum still having to relay the number of people having lunch/dinner to my helper. Hence, I wanted to see how extra this can get:
DIY box on the bar counter to notify my helper. Am I opening a store?
As my helper does not have WhatsApp (or maybe she does…), I pieced together a display box which the MumBot can communicate with. So ladies and gentlemen, this is how I replaced my mum. (Just kidding, she’s irreplaceable ❤️)