The BoatTracker Bot makes it very simple to reserve boats, check in and out for your reservations, cancel reservations, and check on the availability of equipment.
Contacting the Bot
To contact the bot, you can use one of the following messaging services:
- Facebook Messenger
- SMS (425) 961-6576
Using the Bot is very simple. The first time you speak to the bot, it will ask you to enter your club initials, user name, and password to verify your identity. You only need to do this once, and the information you provide is not stored anywhere permanently.
Bot Operations and Common Commands
The Bot knows how to do the following things:
- Create a reservation
- Cancel a reservation
- Check in for a reservation (take out a boat)
- Check out of a reservation (return a boat)
- See if a boat is available on a given day
- List all boats that you have permission to use
For the most part, you can just ask the bot to do one of these things as if you were speaking to someone. If the information you provided is incomplete, the Bot may ask questions to allow it to complete your request. Remember that you can say ? at any time to see what commands are currently available to you.
A few things to remember:
- When entering a date, you can say things like “Monday”, “next Wednesday”, “tomorrow”, or give an exact date, like “3/21”.
- When entering a time, you can give an exact time (e.g. “6am”, “2:15pm”) or you can simply say “now”. Start and finish times must fall on 15-minute intervals (e.g. “6:20am” will not be accepted).
- Durations can be specified in hours or minutes, or a combination of the two (e.g. “2 hours 30 minutes”).
- All reservations are specified in terms of a start day/time and a duration. For example, you cannot say “reserve the defiant tomorrow from 2pm to 3pm”. Instead, say something like “reserve the defiant tomorrow at 2pm for 1 hour”.
- If you’re a private boat owner, you can say “my boat” in place of your boat’s full name. If you have both a single and a double, you can distinguish between them by saying “my single”, “my double”, “my 1x”, or “my 2x”. (“my pair” or “my 2-” also work)
- When reserving a double or pair, the bot expects you to provide the name of your partner, who must also have permission to use the boat you’re reserving.
- If you forget to include something in your request, that’s okay. As long as the Bot can figure out what you’re trying to do, it will ask you for any information you forgot to provide.
Here are some examples showing how to construct the various Bot requests:
Creating a reservation
- reserve a boat
- In this case, the Bot will ask you for the boat name and other information needed.
- reserve the defiant for 2 hours tomorrow at 5am
- This request is complete (unless the defiant is a double)
- reserve the double trouble tomorrow at 2pm for 1 hour with Amelia
- If there is only one “Amelia” in your club member list, you don’t need to provide a last name.
Cancelling a reservation
- cancel my reservation for the defiant tomorrow
- If you have several reservations, you can be specific about the one you want to cancel by providing the boat name and/or day
- cancel a reservation
- If you have multiple reservations, the Bot will show them all and ask which one you want to cancel
Taking out a boat (checking in)
- start rowing
- If you have an existing reservation that starts within 15 minutes of the current time, this (or something similar) is all you need to say
- take out the defiant for 90 minutes
- If you don’t have a reservation, the Bot will create one for you and check you in at the same time. For private boat owners, this will be the normal case, since it isn’t common to “reserve” a private boat unless you allow other club members to use it also.
- row my boat for 2 hours
- Private boat owners can use “my boat” as a shorthand for their boat’s name.
- row the double trouble with Hanna for 2 hours
- Remember to provide your partner’s name for doubles & pairs
Returning a boat (checking out)
- done rowing
- This is normally all you need to say when you finish using a boat
- return the double trouble
- If for some reason, you have multiple reservations at the same time (maybe because you’re a coach reserving boats on behalf of your rowers), you can provide the name of the boat that you’re checking in.
Checking availability of a boat
- is the defiant free tomorrow
- The bot will show any reservations for the named boat on the given day. If you leave off the day, the bot will report all future reservations for the boat.
- what is available on Thursday
- The bot will show all boat reservations for the given day.
- what doubles are free on Saturday
- You can make your request more specific by giving the type of boat you’re interested in (“single” or “double”).
List all boats
- what boats can i use
- The bot will show a list of all boats that you have permission to use.
- list all doubles
- You can ask the bot specifically about singles or doubles and it will show you only the boat names that match your request.