We were perplexed by the food problem in the city of Davis, with the evidence of the pantry and rising food cost, it has become a little tricky finding the food you need at the budget you have. We are trying to combat this problem with our mobile app, PO' Boy, which consolidates all the cheapest food prices in Davis into a single screen. You just have to search for it!
What it does
The PO' Boy application helps students find affordable food items in the city of Davis, California. In order to use the application, the user simply enters and search for the food they want. The application will then display a list of stores in the area that sells the selected food, organized by price. The users can customize their own shopping lists and view an interactive map of the shopping locations.
How we built it
We created a back end Python Flask server to make API calls and run queries. The Python scripts retrieve food prices from stores around Davis by web scraping grocery store websites. For the front end, we used a browser-based UI and UX design application, Figma, to design an interactive prototype of the application.
Challenges we ran into
We were initially planning to implement the Google Cloud API into our project. However, it was a big challenge because Google App Engine was incompatible with some 3rd party Python libraries, such as Selenium and Beautiful Soup. These libraries were essential to the API we created. In the end, we decided not to use the Google Cloud API.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were proud to make it this far with such a small team. Technical difficulties along the way got us off to a slow start. Eventually we were able to complete the back end of the application, and created a functional interactive prototype to present. It was a challenge learning how to use Figma and designing an API to query food prices.
What we learned
API and mobile application development can be a very complicated process. We had to learn new tools quickly and efficiently within a 24 hour period. Our ideas often didn't work out as planned, forcing us to brainstorm new ideas and solutions. This experience taught us the importance of teamwork and time management. We also learned a lot about how to prepare for future Hackathons.
What's next for PO' Boy Mobile Application
We are planning to port our application to iOS and Android, and expand the scope of our application to users outside of Davis.