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Go Cortex

go-cortex is a service that listens for sentences and tries to understand what you meant and goes off to do what you asked for.

In the background it uses to process the text and get back an intent with some parameters extracted from the sentence.


I wrote a post explaining go-cortex: Go Cortex - using on a raspberry pi connected to an arduino and written in go

And on this post I added voice recognition for commands.

Here I'm using Google Now to send an SMS to Cortex and have it turn lights on or off.


At home I have a raspberrypi connected to an Arduino board with 6 LEDs. I can go on my browser to and cortex will send the text turn light 6 on to wit and get back the intent light, with two parameters, one is the number 6 and the other is on.

The beauty here is that I can write different kinds of sentences that mean the same, and wit will do the heavy work of trying to understand them.

I can say The light 5 should really be on, and wit will know what I meant, and in return cortext will process the command and turn the LED number 5 on.


To allow your user to send data to the usb connected Arduino, you will have to add your current user to the group dialout.

On debian this is: (I'm using a raspberry pi here)

sudo usermod -a -G dialout pi

Once you do that, you can either logout and login again, or you can start a new session with the new group by doing:

su - pi

You will also need a wit account, please refer to their site for moree information. For now, access to their service is free as long as you are ok sharing your intents/data with them.

Once your wit account is activated, take your time to follow their tour and create some intentions.


If you want to control an Arduino, then you will need to set on up, I'll post diagrams for the simple one I have running at home.

There is an arduino folder in this repo that has two files you need to compile and send to the arduino board.

Running cortex

Assuming you already have go installed and have $GOPATH setup, then type:

go get
go install
go-cortex --config=cortex.config.json

A sample cortex.config.json is:

  "httpPort": "7070",
  "flowdockAccessToken": "token here", 
  "witAccessToken" : "token here",
  "flows": "fmpwizard/mission-control,fmpwizard/another-flow-here",
  "flowsTicketsUrls" : [
    {"mission-control":  ""}

and you are ready, if you are running this locally, go to<some command here> and see the magic


I'm using Nexmo as an SMS gateway. They gave me an US number that I can send a text to, and as soon as they get it, they send data to a callback url that Cortex listens to, /sms.

You can see the details of having Cortex listen on that path by looking at services/nexmo.go