HouseBot and Amazon Echo (Alexa)



  1. Install HouseBot version 3.40 or greater.
  2. Setup the Devices and Modes to be available to Alexa in the HouseBot Voice Service Setup settings dialog.
  3. Create an account on the My portal.
  4. Follow the setup instructions on My to enable your HouseBot application to connect to the portal.
  5. Enable the HouseBot Smart Home skill in the Alexa app. When enabling the skill, users must provide the same email and password they used to setup their My account.

Using HouseBot with Alexa

Alexa can control any HouseBot Device, Task*, or Mode.

Speak very clearly so Alexa can understand every word. Also, it might be helpful to name your HouseBot Devices, Tasks, and Modes using words that are easier for Alexa to understand. If having problems, see Improving Alexa Recognition below.

(*)Tasks are controlled with the Execute Task HouseBot Device. For more information on this Device, see Execute Task Device below.

Alexa must first find out what Smart Home Devices are supported by your running HouseBot application. Make sure all of the steps in the Setup section above are complete first. To start the discovery, simply ask Alexa.
  • Alexa, discover my devices.

Note: Alexa will discover all Devices and Modes that are setup in the HouseBot Voice Service Setup.

Alexa will periodically rediscover your device list, but you can always ask Alexa to discover devices again if anything changes.

Any HouseBot Device that has a Power State property and is setup in the Voice Service Setup will respond to Alexa ON/OFF commands. To change the Power State property of lighting devices (to turn them on or off), use the TURN ON and TURN OFF (or SWITCH ON/OFF) phrases.
  • Alexa, turn on the hallway light.
  • Alexa, turn off the coffee maker.
  • Alexa, turn the outdoor decorations on.
  • Alexa, switch on the foyer light.
To change the Dim Level property of lighting devices, ask Alexa to SET, DIM, INCREASE, or DECREASE the Device by a percentage.
  • Alexa, DIM the Bedroom Lights to 50 PERCENT.
  • Alexa, SET the fan 75 PERCENT.
  • Alexa, INCREASE the foyer light 20 PERCENT.
  • Alexa, DIM the Foyer light.
To set the Lock State property of HouseBot lock device, ask Alexa to LOCK the Device.
  • Alexa, LOCK the front door.

At this time, Alexa is not able to UNLOCK locks.

To check the lock state:
  • Alexa, is the front door locked?.
Currently, HouseBot only supports single setpoint thermostats. If Thermostat control is required for non Z-Wave devices, a Thermostat Device will need to be created from a NULL Device with Properties that support Current temperature, Target temperature, and Mode. To set the Target temperature property of HouseBot thermostat, ask Alexa to SET or CHANGE the temperature of the Device.
  • Alexa, SET the hallway temperature to 73 degrees.
  • Alexa, CHANGE the bedroom to 75.
To get the current temperature:
  • Alexa, what is the bedroom temperature?
  • Alexa, what is the temperature in the hallway?
  • Note: Temperatures are reported in the scale (Celsius or Fahrenheit) setup in the Voice Service Setup.
To set the Mode property of HouseBot thermostat, ask Alexa to SET or CHANGE or SET the mode of the Device.
  • Alexa, SET the hallway to Cool.
  • Alexa, CHANGE the bedroom to Auto.
HouseBot Modes are represented as Scenes to Alexa. To activate or deactivate the Mode, use the TURN ON and TURN OFF (or SWITCH ON/OFF) phrases.
  • Alexa, TURN ON Party Mode.
  • Alexa, SWITCH Party Mode OFF.

Improving Alexa Recognition

Sometimes, due to the names that were chosen for Devices and Modes when setting up your HouseBot configuration, Alexa has a hard time matching the spoken name to the name configured in HouseBot. Sometimes it's just easier to speak a simpler term for something rather than a more verbose name that was used to create the item in HouseBot. For these cases, it is easy to setup an alias that will be used as the Device or Mode name instead. Aliases are simply alternate names for Devices and Modes that are returned to Alexa during the device discovery phase. The HouseBot online help has specific information on how to setup Aliases.

Execute Task Device

Alexa is good at turning things ON and OFF, but doesn't know how to EXECUTE something like a Task. One way to work around this and be able to execute your HouseBot Tasks is to use the new Execute Task Device. This Device will allow you to setup a Task for the ON action and OFF action of the Device. For example, if you have a Task to Play DVD and another to Shutdown Entertainment System, you can create an Execute Task Device and setup these two Tasks as the ON and OFF actions for the [DVD] Device. Then all you need to do is say:

  • Alexa, turn on the DVD.
  • Alexa, turn off the DVD.

Limiting what Alexa can control

In addition to the setup in the Voice Service Setup, if you have Modes or Devices that you don't want Alexa to recognize in it's list of controllable devices, add a View in HouseBot named Alexa. If this View exists, only Modes and Devices that are assigned to the view will be returned to Alexa during the discovery process.