UAE: Students develop waste tracking app that can detect if street bin is full or empty

The app will be trialled by sustainability group Bee’ah in its waste collection system


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Tue 7 Mar 2023, 6:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Mar 2023, 10:03 PM

A smart waste tracking app that detects if streets bins are full or empty has won the top prize in the ‘Innovate for the Future Hackathon organised by SoiLAB (Sharjah Open Innovation Lab) at the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP).

The app, which is developed by three students from University of Sharjah, will be trialled by Bee’ah in its waste collection system. It provides real-time data to the bin collection vans so that they can stop only at those bins that need to be emptied.

The app thus saves time, petrol and money, and also contributes to sustainability.

The 10-day event organised in partnership with Intel, Sheraa, House of Wisdom, and Ministry of Economy, provided a platform for university students, engineers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts to work together and create ground-breaking and impactful solutions.

Engineers from SoiLAB conducted workshops to help expand the skills of the participants in the fields of coding, 3D printing, 3D modelling, team building, and design thinking. Over 100 participants registered for the hackathon, while only 20 were selected to form teams to create innovative projects.

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, commented: “The hackathon amplified the key mission of SRTIP, which is to nurture and support innovation that simplifies modern living. It also highlighted the important role of SOILAB in allowing budding entrepreneurs to develop and test their innovations in a world-class environment using cutting-edge tools and facilities. I congratulate each and every team on their achievements.”

The four other runners-up too showcased some amazing apps during the hackathon.

Pill organiser for elderly

One of the projects was a smart pill organiser designed to help elderly patients to independently keep track of their medications. It is basically a medicine box with different chambers for storing medications. Each box opens only when it is time to take that particular medicine.

Another team demonstrated a unique smart fridge technology that uses an app to monitor and see the contents, so that the user can know what needs to be replaced, without opening the fridge.

Then there was a team that developed smart glasses for people with low vision or blindness. Through a phone app, the glasses measure the distance between the user and any obstacle in front of him, and an alarm is activated if there is an obstacle nearby. It also has an emergency button that sends a message to specified persons, along with the users’ location.

Yet another team demonstrated a smart system that helps stray animals, such as cats. The innovators have created a cat house that can be placed on different streets. It has a smart food supply system that gives each cat the required portion of food, and also provides a warm environment inside, regardless of the weather outside.

The goal of the hackathon was to foster the spirit of innovation and encourage the participants to innovate and become successful entrepreneurs. The participants came from diverse backgrounds, making the hackathon a unique collaborative experience. The teams partnered to create ground-breaking projects that address real-world challenges.

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