Our main inspiration for this project was the dire need for more sustainable practices in our day to day lives. We believe that instilling sustainable shopping habits should start from a young age. This led us to the idea of upcycling toys to teach children and their families about the importance of sustainable products. We wanted to create a project that could have a significant impact and lead to a more sustainable future. Thus, SCRAPSTERS were born.
What it does
SCRAPSTERS is an innovative app that makes shopping sustainable and engaging. Our app boosts customers' sustainable shopping habits by evaluating their shopping lists for sustainability and rewarding them with our unique superheroes - Scrapsters. These Scrapsters are sustainable toys made out of recycled materials, serving both an entertaining and educational function. Each Scrapster comes with a customized story generated through AI, making every toy truly unique and personalized.
How we built it
SCRAPSTERS was built with an emphasis on data and AI. We integrated data from Migros to evaluate the sustainability of a shopping basket. Our team relied on Python (Flask) for backend development and vue.js for the frontend. All Scrapsters are built using recycled packaging, which can then be decorated further using a set of stickers with QR codes. Scanning these QR codes using our mobile-first web app allows the user to access a unique audio book involving this Scrapster. To generate a unique story for each kid (e.g. based on their favorite color), we use the OpenAI API to alter the story and in-browser text-to-speech to create the audio book.
Challenges we ran into
One of the major challenges we faced was combining a physical and a digital product with minimal friction. This required a lot of conceptual work and team alignment. Furthermore, perfecting the use of generative AI to create unique and engaging story lines for each Scrapster was another challenge we had to overcome.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
SCRAPSTERS turned out to be a very satifying project to work on because it interlinks sustainable shopping, technology and upcycling in an unusual way. We are also proud of developing a fully fledged toy universe from almost exclusively recycled materials. Further, we managed to scope the project such that we finished comfortably within the time frame. A first for all of us.
What we learned
We learned how hard it is to keep a product simple when combining physical and digital aspects. As usual we also saw how much you can achieve during a weekend with a good team. Finally, through the use of GenAI in storytelling we saw, how powerful AI can be when used creatively.
What's next for SCRAPSTERS
We believe this project can serve as a proof of concept for a truly sustainable toy line. Therefore, we aim to partner with supermarkets to launch Scrapsters on a large scale. We think that Scrapsters has real potential to promote sustainable choices in a fun and engaging way.