Introduction: Bonusly Bubble Bot

I'm very excited to share the instructions for the Bonusly Bubble Bot, a playful physical expression of employee recognition powered by Bonusly's new Zapier-based integration.

If you haven’t heard about Zapier, it’s a powerful platform that allows you to easily connect the different apps you use to automate tedious tasks. With Zapier, you can set up connections between what happens in Bonusly, an employee recognition and rewards platform, and your physical work environment.

Build your own Bonusly Bubble Bot and get your teammates to look up from their screens every once in a while.

Step 1: Materials

To make your own Bonusly Bubble Bot, you'll need:

Any type of bubble machine or bubble juice will work, but the products we linked to above are the ones that we used and are happy with. You will need the specific TP-Link smart plug above in order for the code in the following steps to work properly. You'll also need the Zapier Starter Plan so the bubble machine doesn't exceed Zapier's runtime limits. The spray paint is for any cosmetic adjustments you'd like to add.

Step 2: Setting Up the Smart Plug

To start, plug in the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug and follow the directions for setting it up. Download the Kasa app on your phone.

Once you're able to turn the plug on and off from the Kasa app, go ahead and set up port forwarding so Bonusly can talk to the plug. Port forwarding is simple but depends on your router model: check out this guide to help you set it up. Be sure to forward port `9999` to the plug.

Step 3: Building Your Zap

Now that your smart plug is ready to talk to Zapier, you're ready to build your Zap!

Head to your Zapier dashboard and click Make a Zap!

First, you'll need to set up a trigger. Enter Bonusly in the search bar under Choose a Trigger App. Select New Bonus as the Bonusly Trigger.

Next, you'll want to set up an action. For the Bonusly Bubble Bot, you're going to run Python code. Select Code from the Built-in apps section, and then select Run Python.

After that, open the Bonusly Bubble Bot source code. You'll want to copy and paste this code into Zapier, but you'll need to make some changes first:

  1. Set the IP address to your public IP address
  2. Change the duration as necessary for your bubble machine

Once these steps are complete, you're ready to test your Zap! Select Test this step and your bubble machine should start running. If it doesn't, try changing the version in the source code to 2. If you're still having issues, double check your port forwarding to make sure it's set up correctly.

As soon as these components are working correctly, you're ready to publish your Zap! Select Finish, turn your Zap on, and you're good to go.

Step 4: Paint the Machine!

Spruce up your bubble machine with a fresh coat or two of paint!

Most bubble machines are encased in either metal (like ours) or plastic, so be sure to choose the right kind of paint. We tried different kinds of paint and found that spray paint worked best, as long as painter's tape was used. Use sweeping sprays to limit the buildup and drips. Think about using sealant if necessary.

We also 3D-printed a stencil to keep things funky fresh.

Step 5: Enjoy the Bubbles

Let us know how the Bonusly Bubble Bot goes over in your workplace!