Bot creation platform Motion.ai now allows people to create bots with Node.js modules that can be used to do things like call on APIs or interact with databases.
“Up until today, users looking to manipulate their Motion AI bots outside of our platform configured their own web servers to listen to and respond to webhooks,” Motion.ai CEO David Nelson wrote in a Medium post. “With our new Node.js Module, this is no longer necessary. Whether you want to interact with an external database, connect with a third-party API, or do virtually anything else — there is no need to leave our platform.”
As the world contemplates whether bots are the new apps or an overhyped novelty, startups like Motion.ai and tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft are making toolkits and platforms for people to make their own bots. Amazon announced the launch of its Lex bot framework on Wednesday.
Beyond tech giants, Motion.ai is one of a series of startups with platforms that claim to help you easily create a bot in five minutes or less.
With so many choices for messaging apps or other platforms that can host bots, a cross-channel approach is seen as key by both leaders at Microsoft and Slack but also at startups like Motion. The addition of Node.js for Motion.ai isn’t the only move the company has made to make sure its bots reach more channels.
In October, Motion.ai and Smooch made an integration that extends Motion bots to WeChat, Line, and Telegram as well as CRM systems like Zendesk and Salesforce. Before the integration, Motion was primarily able to create bots for Facebook Messenger, Slack, SMS, and websites.
The integration also makes Motion bots utilize a feature added by Smooch this summer to sync across chat channels. That means you can start a conversation on a website, continue on Facebook Messenger, and end on SMS without missing a beat.
Smooch together with Motion also means a business owner or customer service agent can carry out conversations, monitor bot-human interactions, or clear Zendesk tickets without leaving Slack or their preferred chat client.
“All of Motion’s bots can now be supervised by humans and customer support agents and other people that are using things like Zendesk or Front, and they can even use the Smooch API to interact with the bot to have different kinds of more advanced conversations so it really adds a bit of a turbo charge to the motion platform,” Nelson told VentureBeat in a phone interview following the Smooch-Motion integration.
Motion.ai has been used to create more than 9,000 bots and to send or receive more than three million messages, the company told VentureBeat.
Last December, Motion.ai raised a $700,000 seed round. Based in Chicago, the company has four employees.