Alexa Voicemonkey Skill

Great work on documenting this skill method.

For Option 2, it occurs to me that a simple announcement wouldn’t actually need the added complexity of Voice Monkey. Having webCoRE push a virtual momentary switch should do to act as a trigger for an Alexa Routine that uses Messaging to send an announcement, right?

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Yes actually. That would work too, right?
Never thought of that.

No, at the present time an Alexa routine can only be triggered from a sensor, not from a switch.

If you meant a virtual device which was both a sensor and a switch, that was an original method, but it broke when the new smartthings skill was introduced back in April 2020 and there has not yet been an official announcement that it’s fixed, although it seems to be better.

So people started looking into voicemonkey during the time when the smartthings skill was seriously broken.

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That method still works for me. I can use webcore to turn on a switch which will run an Alexa routine to lock doors in my house and/or use messages and announcements.

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How do you do it ?
The switch are not present in the alexa’s list of device to used to trigger routine; only sensor …

You have to use a virtual device which is BOTH A sensor and a switch. That way when you turn on the switch, the sensor looks like it opened. When you turn off the switch, the sensor looks like it closed. see the community FAQ which has the details and code:

FAQ: Can I trigger an Echo Action without Speaking to It?

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Can you tell me how you set your the global variables with the url? I’m still learning all of this stuff! :blush: Thanks

  1. create your URL on the voicemonkey configuration webpage, with a message
  2. while editing a piston, there’s a link on the right allowing you to add a global variable
  3. the global variable should be everything in the URL from the voicemonkey website with the exception of the actual text to speak - including the = just before the spoken text
  4. to speak: (assuming your global variable is called @monkey)

Use location/Make a web request. Select ‘expression’ for the URL contents

The URL field should contain

Concat(@monkey,“hello world”)

Ensure you have created an Alexa routine which has the monkey device as a trigger and has the voicemonkey skill as the only action.

Hope this helps

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stupid question: I set up my Monkey for one of my echos and it announces “notification” and works as expected. Then I built a routine to open voice monkey, built a webcore pistion with a get that pulls the contents of a string variable “the monkey works”, it executes but says: notification, this monkey works. How do I not have the text from the 1st routine not be announced in addition to the web request in the open voice monkey? I tried to remove the text on the 1st routine, but it requires it. I am obviously missing a basic concept.

**Solved, I just removed the action on the 1st Monkey and saved. Not sure if this is how I should have done it, but it worked.

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I was using this piston successfully until Echo Speaks was eliminated by Smartthings. I’m wondering if this can be modified to work now by substituting the Echo Speaks devices in the “Do” section of the piston, with a Voice monkey URL request that would speak the Message variable of the piston using the particular Echo device referred to by the Voice Monkey. I have not been able to code this successfully, given my level of understanding. If this can be done, how would the coding be done in the lines that need modifying? Also, advise if any special coding needs to be put into the Monkey URL. Thanks much for any help you may offer.

I did exactly that in this test piston:
image
became

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Thanks for sharing your solution. However, I am having difficulty properly coding the announcement portion of my Monkey URL. When piston fires, the log portion for the get request returns the following error.

Perhaps you can recommend the exact coding I need to fix this error. I will post copy of piston.

Thanks for your valuable time and help.

Thought I’d share Voicemonkey now works on IFTTT. Received notification today.

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Looks like Amazon has pulled the Voicemonkey skill?!

Grrrr

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Hi all…Amazon temporarily pulled the Voice Monkey skill last night. I’ve contacted them to find out more information and try and get it back up as soon as possible.

I’ll keep this thread updated once I know more.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

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That’s disappointing. Anywhere we should all complain to?

Unfortunately, this is what these big unaccountable tech companies like Amazon do. The recent fiasco with Autovoice and Google AutoVoice Assistant Action is back for all supported languages is another example, and I just wonder if something similar happened here. Hopefully things can be worked out because I really like this skill and appreciate all the work put into it.

Maybe the Amazon Alexa customer service team but to be honest I’m not sure how much they can do or what influence they have. Thanks for your support though!

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Thanks for your support!
I suppose it’s similar…probably one individual abusing the API and Amazon tearing it down for everyone instead of limiting or blocking that individual…I suppose they need to protect their systems.

I’ll keep you all updated.

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Can’t believe they just pulled that without any explanation?