Building the Misty Two-Factor Authentication Skill

Face Recognition and Hardware Expandability combine to create a skill that can keep your information and belongings better-protected

Fingerprint Feature Image
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Designed to look friendly and approachable, it’s understandable when people at first confuse Misty for a toy. Make no mistake, Misty’s capabilities mean she is ready to take on serious tasks. It’s these capabilities that are necessary to bring your code to life in the 3D world the way Misty does. 

Last month, as we prepared for the launch of Misty II, we knew it would be important to not only talk to people about all of Misty’s capabilities but also to be able to show those capabilities. It’s fair to say that the magic of Misty comes to life when we stop talking and let her do the work. But, Misty can only do the work when there is code to tell her what to do so our Prototype Engineer, CP, was tasked with building a Capabilities Demo that would quickly show people some of the capabilities that can be coded for. 

Today, we’ll begin to break down this demo for you, capability by capability, starting with Misty’s Face Recognition and Fingerprint Sensor capabilities which we’ve paired together to create the Misty Two-Factor Authentication Skill.  Here’s what this skill looks like:

We’ve already covered Misty’s Face Recognition capability (including the code you need to add it to your skills) so today we’ll focus on Misty’s features that make her Fingerprint Sensor capability possible and share the code that is necessary to add it to your own skills. Using Skills in our Community Forum as inspiration, we’ll also share some ideas for how the Misty Two-Factor Authentication Skill can enhance other skills and use cases.

Leveraging a fingerprint sensor in your Two-factor Authentication Skill

In this video with journalist S.C. Stuart, our founder Ian Bernstein explains why the Misty Two-Factor Authentication Skill was created:

In this skill, we take advantage of Misty’s hardware extensibility feature. A fingerprint sensor we bought from Sparkfun is added to Misty’s arm and this sensor is connected to her Arduino Compatible Backpack. Here’s a high-level overview of how this skill works when it is running:

• Misty scans fingerprint and sends the data to the Arduino.

• The Arduino processes that data and checks it against fingerprints it’s been trained on, then returns a “Pass” or “Fail” message.

• Misty receives the message from the Arduino – If it’s “PASS”, access will be granted! And if it’s “FAIL”, Misty will deny access (and take a picture for good measure!)  

If you want to use Misty’s fingerprint capability in your own use cases, here’s the code:

Adding the Misty Two-factor Authentication Skill to your own use cases

There are endless possibilities for the types of tasks you will create for Misty to perform. Here are some ways we think the Misty Two-factor Authentication Skill can enhance some of those: 

Telepresence to Telemedicine Skill: This future skill idea allows a person to access their medical records and other private information via Misty. The Misty Two-factor Authentication Skill would help to ensure that information isn’t revealed to anyone without permission.

• Beverage Delivery Skill: No restaurant owner wants to worry about serving underage people but if Misty is helping to take orders and deliver drinks, how can you avoid this? The two-factor authentication skill could help in this future skill.

Coat Check Skill: In this future skill idea, a person will already have to scan their coat check ticket in order to have it returned. However, tickets can be easily lost so why not have the extra guarantee that your coat will go home safely with you at the end of the night by also requiring your fingerprint scan?

Tell Them When You See Them Skill: Don’t kill the messenger… just give her your fingerprint! Misty plays memory helper by relaying messages to people for you. However, what if that message is top secret? Two-factor authentication will help to ensure this future skill is carried out flawlessly. 

Misty Alarm Clock Skill: In this skill, built by Ian Bernstein, Misty acts as your alarm clock. Even with Misty’s cute face, it can still be tough to wake up in the morning so why not add the Misty Two-factor Authentication Skill to require that you scan your fingerprint in order to turn off the alarm. You can take it a step further and be rewarded for getting up by having your fingerprint — and only your fingerprint, not your voice or your face — cue your smart coffee machine to begin brewing your favorite morning beverage. (If you have a partner, add a little competition to the mix by having your fingerprint and their fingerprint associated with different coffee drinks so that the first one up and at ’em gets their favorite drink brewed first!)


Picturing all the ways you can incorporate different skills and Misty’s capabilities to build your use cases is exciting and even more so now that there are more Misty’s “out in the wild” every day. If this post gave you any ideas (or questions) about Misty Skills and use cases you’ll build, please share them with us in the Community Forum and on Twitter @mistyrobotics

We say it often but we cannot say it enough: We can’t wait to see what you’re going to build.

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