Daily Walk Bot
My first twitter bot!
I wrote most of this bot my senior year of college because I was bored and thought it would be cool to write a twitter bot (Upon further reviewing history, I apparently did it to procrastinate from homework).
The bot was inspired by an idea my friend Owen had about a leaf blowing around and tweeting it’s location. I liked the idea of the random traveler and adopted the format to be a random walker. Using a simple python twitter API, tweepy, and the google maps API, I threw together a script that would generate a random walkable path using google maps and tweet details about it. A few iterations later, I had made it walk a random path each day made up several smaller random paths each of which was tweeted out as the destination location text, an image of the destination in google maps, and a link to the google maps pinpoint. It is important to note that it would tweet these segments out in real time. If it took 2 hours for the segment it just tweeted to be walked according to Google maps walking directions, the bot would wait 2 hours before making the next tweet.
This worked great for a day or two, but I had it starting at my house each day and going from there, which quickly got repetitive. The initial motivation was that if I wanted to, I could actually follow these walking directions one day and it would be a nice full day walk. I quickly gave up on that idea and in a landslide poll victory the bot was changed to continue its journey wherever it left off the previous day, hopefully going on some epic journey. And boy did it go:
As you might notice, there are some trends to the random path. I get to control the general direction that walkbot travels and not much more (Technically I control the weighting of all 4 cardinal directions). I’ve used this to make it bounce nicely around the US.
Some interesting interactions along the way: