There is a significant opportunity to alter the way we treat food waste in order to reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and in turn create a more sustainable world. As facilitated by the ME 290H curriculum, we sought to develop innovative solutions to reduce food waste and its associated impacts throughout the food ecosystem life cycle. With our team focusing on issues related to the restaurant and retail industry we will identify product opportunity gaps related to the processing and consumption phases of the cycle. We concluded by developing a waste scanner which fills a necessary product opportunity gap aimed at increasing the efficacy of waste services at restaurants.
I am excited to share the story of Andrew Scott Meyers (a student of University of California ) and his colleagues who used #ImageAI to power an Intelligent Waste Management project at the just concluded UC Berkeley Design Innovation showcase that took place on Wednesday...1/4 pic.twitter.com/8J8HfsuCBa— Olafenwa Moses (@OlafenwaMoses) May 11, 2019
During this course I was exposed to a set of research that was truly captivating and pertinent as our food waste related findings were being considered in Berkeley's legal plan immediately and near future (Zero Waste 2020). When uncovering a POG I was truly passionate about, I was excited to begin searching for solutions, and the idea of a waste scanner device was a natural result of the investigation. I heavily encouraged the development of a camera-based scanner solution in time for the show-case, as I felt it would hold much more merit when asserting the product's ease, usefulness, and potential. As our demo was well-received I began to get more attached to our idea and began to formally consider cultivating it into something valuable and/or profitable by following up with industry contacts that were brought to my attention during our showcase and considering the best approach to sharing our platform. The creator of the state-of-the-art ImageAI software was exceedingly delighted about our sustainable take on his work, and has offered/requested twice if he can write an article to publicize it. I am a huge advocate of open-source computing and know that this product can benefit largely from it, but in the meantime I am hoping to patent the idea regardless of profit-based incentives.
I am extremely pleased with the journey this course took me on and am excited to direct other graduate students towards taking it next year.