As college students, especially programmers, frustrating online tasks and deadlines are a dread. To relieve some of that stress, we came together and considered what we as students could do to help ourselves and others in similar situations.

According to Psychology Today, laughter “reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain.” So naturally, we thought what better way to improve community health than wholesome animal photos? :)

What it does:

RISUS, the Latin word for laughter, is representative of the happiness we want users to feel after using our product. For those going through difficult times or others who want a simple way to brighten your day, RISUS has the ability to offer an assortment of easily accessible and genuinely hilarious photos of cute animals.

How we built it:

Using Developer Mode of Google Chrome Extension, we utilized HTML with Javascript to create an application that pops up on your computer screen and allows you to flip through several stress-relieving photos of animals. More on how the code is structured can be found in the pictures and zip-file attached!

Challenges we ran into && Accomplishments we are proud of:

By collaborating with students and mentors of different professional backgrounds, we were able to find a way to create a button that allows you to flip through some of the animal pictures randomly displayed to users. This process, involving the integration of HTML and Javascript files, taught us how to look beyond programming in just one language and become multifaceted programmers ready for the demands of industry. As a team, we are excited to work on more projects that integrate different languages in order to create our product.

What's next for RISUS:

In the future, we hope to add an additional feature that uses Microsoft Azure and a facial recognition API to detect the user’s negative emotions and generate photos that would uplift their mood. Some of the emotions our product may alleviate include anger, fear, and sadness.

In order to do this, we would make use of a local server to translate the python written within the Microsoft Azure application of the product to the Javascript necessary to compile the Google Chrome Extension.

When the user starts the extension, the webcam (with the user’s permission) would scan the user’s face about every three seconds to detect changes in emotion. With the accuracy and serviceability of RISUS to the demands of a stress-driven social climate, the extension could become the ultimate form of stress relief for students and other working professionals. We ultimately hope to publish RISUS on the Google Chrome store, so that other students and working professionals can have access to this comforting resource.

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