Problem Tackled: Nutrition and Inventory Management
Seeing the recent popularity of meal tracking and planning apps as people focus on their eating habits, we believed it best that this privilege was also given to travelling astronauts. After all, healthy eating habits are very important to ensure a successful mission.
What it does
Astronauts can each have a separate profile where their nutrition and food intake is monitored. Astronauts can log into their profiles using biometrics (fingerprint). When the astronaut has logged in, they will be presented with a home screen where they are given food suggestions by a nutritionist from Earth. The astronaut is prompted to choose a food to eat from the options provided. The astronaut can then confirm their selection and take out the food from the SpaceCase. The astronaut is also able to see their intake history as well as the metrics related to the food intake, both of which are what the nutritionist uses to give suggestions.
How we built it
A 3-dimensional model of our product, SpaceCase, was built using Autodesk Inventor as we believed it would be the most efficient way to display the appearance and the different aspects of the fridge. On the 3D model, one can see the screen which would contain our software. In order to demonstrate the functionality of the software, we dedicated to creating a prototype using modelling software called Figma. Figma enabled us to showcase a screen with the size of an iPad and enabled prototyping to be done to display how the app would work if it were to be implemented in real life.
Challenges we ran into
Similar to all hackathons, challenges are bound to occur. This time, the biggest issue that we faced was deciding on the problem we wanted to tackle. There were issues from both the Health and Well Being prompt and the Sustainability in Space category, and due to this broad variety, we struggled to choose one to develop a solution for. After multiple hours of research and thinking, we decided that it was best to tackle the problem in “Nutrition and Inventory Management” from the Health and Well Being category as it was the most feasible, efficient, and logical.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our greatest accomplishment in this hackathon was the learning aspect that we received from making a 3-D Model and the Figma prototype. This was because a few of our teammates were completely unknown to this software, and the notion of getting together to learn and utilize our skills felt really intriguing throughout the duration of the hackathon.
What we learned
We learned about what kind of food astronauts eat-in space when researching data for our app prototype. A few important things to keep in mind when choosing the right food is that it must be non-perishable and it cannot be crumbly since micro-gravity will cause the food to make a mess. We also learned how to use a prototyping software called Figma to have a great visual representation of the app part of our idea
What's next for SpaceCase
Due to the limitations of a 12-hour hackathon, we were unable to implement multiple new features to SpaceCase. However, if provided with the correct resources and time, we believe that this product can be upscaled tremendously. For instance, we would add facial recognition capabilities to simplify the process of logging in. Fingerprint sensors add unnecessary contact points that must be kept clean in the space environment.