A little competition always helps to motivate. By bringing a friendly competitive aspect to a simple task such as recycling we hope to get people more involved in greener habits.
What it does
Our hack consists of three parts: an IoT recycling bin, an iPhone application, and a web platform. By tagging your unique QR code at the recycling bin and tagging items, your repeated recycling will tally points. Once you have completed a tag, your points are synced seamlessly to the cloud and your score is updated on the leaderboards.
How we built it
We wanted to use some new technologies when exploring our hack so we decided to go with NodeJS for our cloud application. Our IoT recycling bin uses an Ingenu rACM to give us a low power solution which also could be deployed anywhere there is coverage. Computer vision was on our radar and was used to implement our barcode scanners.
Challenges we ran into
Because there were a lot of moving pieces with our hack, a challenge was definitely getting all of the parts to play nicely with each other. The hardware we used for our IoT recycling bin was limited in performance and thus the frame rate can be slow at times for barcode detection.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to complete the entire hack end-to-end within the time limit! We are also very proud of being able to combine a multitude of technologies to produce an idea that encourages beneficial habits.
What we learned
We learned a great deal about computer vision, NodeJS, and iOS. We also learned about working together as a team and integrating pieces of the same solution that were built by different people.
What's next for RecycleWars
This hack was really fun to do in the short run, but we also believe it to have some potential for further work. Something like this could be a great way for families, companies, and even entire cities to get encouraged to be "green".