by ryantate

ryantate / rturk

RTurk - A simple wrapper and library for Amazon's Mechanical Turk

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RTurk - A ridiculously simple Mechanical Turk library in Ruby


What's it do?!?

RTurk is designed to fire off Mechanical Turk tasks for pages that reside on an external site.

The pages could be a part of a rails app, or just a simple javascript enabled form.

If you're integrating RTurk with a Rails app, do yourself a favor and check out Turkee by Jim Jones. It integrates your Rails forms with Mechanical Turk, and includes rake tasks to pull and process submissions. Definitely a time saver.


# Requires Ruby >1.9.2
gem install rturk


Let's say you have a form at "http://myapp.com/turkers/add_tags" where Turkers can add some tags to items in your catalogue.

Creating HIT's

require 'rturk'

RTurk.setup(YourAWSAccessKeyId, YourAWSAccessKey, :sandbox => true) hit = RTurk::Hit.create(:title => "Add some tags to a photo") do |hit| hit.max_assignments = 2 hit.description = 'blah' hit.question("http://myapp.com/turkers/add_tags", :frame_height => 1000) # pixels for iframe hit.reward = 0.05 hit.qualifications.add :approval_rate, { :gt => 80 } end

p hit.url #=> 'https://workersandbox.mturk.com:443/mturk/preview?groupId=Q29J3XZQ1ASZH5YNKZDZ'

Reviewing and Approving hits HIT's

hits = RTurk::Hit.all_reviewable

puts "#{hits.size} reviewable hits. \n"

unless hits.empty? puts "Reviewing all assignments"

hits.each do |hit| hit.assignments.each do |assignment| puts assignment.answers['tags'] assignment.approve! if assignment.status == 'Submitted' end end end

Wiping all your hits out

hits = RTurk::Hit.all_reviewable

puts "#{hits.size} reviewable hits. \n"

unless hits.empty? puts "Approving all assignments and disposing of each hit!"

hits.each do |hit| hit.expire! hit.assignments.each do |assignment| assignment.approve! end hit.dispose! end end


Want to see what's going on - enable logging.

RTurk::logger.level = Logger::DEBUG

Nitty Gritty

Here's a quick peak at what happens on the Mechanical Turk side.

A worker takes a look at your hit. The page will contain an iframe with your question URL loaded inside of it.

If you want to use an Amazon-hosted QuestionForm, do

hit.question_form "What color is the sky?" # not the real format

Amazon will append the AssignmentID parameter to the URL for your own information. In preview mode this will look like


If the Turker accepts the HIT, the page will reload and the iframe URL will resemble


The form in your page MUST CONTAIN the AssignmentID in a hidden input element. You could do this on the server side with a rails app, or on the client side with javascript(check the examples)

Anything submitted in this form will be sent to Amazon and saved for your review later.


bundle install

More information

Take a look at the Amazon MTurk developer docs for more information. They have a complete list of API operations, many of which can be called with this library.

Mark gave a presentation about RTurk at the Atlanta Ruby User Group that got recorded as a 20-minute screencast video.


Zach Hale David Balatero Rob Hanlon Haris Amin Tyler David Dai Alex Chaffee

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