The inspiration for this idea came from our own experience of challenges we dealt with on an ongoing basis to manage groceries at home. Be it making a list of items to shop, predicting the consumption trend or driving down to the shop, it does take significant amount of time out of our busy lives. To back our experience, there are stats which indicate that we spend on an average about 41 minutes purchasing grocery every week. This is such a big waste of human productivity time that could be put to better use. We spend at least 30 minutes going back and forth to the market. Besides the time wasted, we are also increasing our carbon footprint. Shopkeepers need to stock items in their retail stores, which has an associated cost to get items from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer. If we could order directly from the manufacturers or online distributors, we would get products at reduced price and reduce the carbon footprint. There are technology enablers out there such as Amazon IoT framework and Amazon's affiliate APIs that could help automate our grocery purchase experience.
What it does
This system contains an IoT device (Smart Container) that alerts the user when they are low on household grocery items. The responsive web online portal helps to identify inventory status of all the grocery items in the house at a glance and order it on a click of a button from the comfort of your home.
How we built it
We built the IoT device (Smart Container) using load cells to sense and post the weight to AWS cloud. Cloud application was built on Amazon AWS cloud with integration to Amazon shopping api and AWS IoT. The word document (GrocMan.docx) attached in the submission post depicts the high level solution architecture and what pieces of AWS are getting used for the solution.
Challenges we ran into
To assemble a working prototype of the IoT device with load cells to be able to measure the weight and post the data. As we progressed we figured out that there were easier ways to post the data to cloud in a more secure manner.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This idea was born from our own need to save time spent on the Shopping floor and make the grocery management at home a seamless automated process. We were able to successfully build an end to end prototype which was very encouraging. We truly believe solutions like this housed on platforms like AWS is what the next generation is going to leverage for their grocery management.
What we learned
Anything is possible as long as we have science and math backing it up, followed by the passion to solve a common man problem.
What's next for GrocMan
We currently have this working as a prototype. We would like to make the system production ready and on-board more users to run a pilot and get them to use the solution.