Juniors win hackathon by developing environmental app

September 22, 2018 — by Howard Tang

Seniors Rohan Pandey, Miguel Tenant and Abhinav Tumu placed first out of 20 teams in the annual SRC Code competition, a student-run hackathon, on Sept. 8 and 9, each winning a pair of Beats headphones.

During the competition, they developed sWEep, a mobile app that raises environmental awareness and helps people locate trash to pick up. The name of the app is a pun combining the words “sweep” and “we,” as in people cleaning up litter together.

Users of the map-based app take pictures of garbage, which the app identifies by comparing the picture with a database of images through machine learning. SWEep will then place a blip with an assigned point value on the map. The map is connected worldwide to other people’s phones through Google so that others can pick up that trash and log points.

“We created this app so that people could have an easy and accessible way to do their part in helping to pick up trash and cleaning the environment,” Tumu said. “People can get points for logging trash and picking it up, but picking it up is worth much more. People are inherently lazy. Usually the litter is too much work to pick up, so they let someone else get it.”

The app was previously created as a webapp and ported onto a mobile device. Even though it is not currently available to download, it runs smoothly on iOS and Android. The three have plans to recreate the app so as to optimize its efficiency.

“We’re thinking of possibly monetizing the app,” Tumu said. “We might develop a point system that is actually worth money and that gives people an incentive and a goal to work towards.”

 

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