Conceived as part of the school’s annual Capstone Project, this innovation is an AI-enabled solution to address the issue of stray dog hunger.
A group of three 10th Grade students from Shiv Nadar School, Noida (a not-for-profit initiative of the Shiv Nadar Foundation in K12 education) have come up with an AI-enabled solution to address the issue of stray dogs hunger. The affordable device can be utilized by NGOs, animal shelter homes, and residential complexes or societies to automate dog feeds. The students from Shiv Nadar School, Noida came up with this innovation as part of the Capstone Project, an annual competition at the school where students are encouraged to ideate and devise economically viable and creative technology-based solutions to address real-world problems.
The group members Shantanu Mukherjee, Ekansh Agrawal, and Arijit Sinha have named their device VOICE. They were inspired to come up with such a device as a result of reports stating that around 80 million cats and dogs on the streets in India are homeless and uncared for, which perturbed them even more. They realized that while many people do feed stray dogs, they alone cannot cater to the entire stray population in the city.
This motivated the students to come up with a solution and they developed a device using open-source technology and coding languages like Python that operates in a fairly simple and efficient manner. The device contains a compact metal-cased smart feeder with a removable lid for refilling dry dog food like kibbles. It has an in-built camera and sensor that uses computer vision to recognize a dog on several parameters such as the colour, build etc. This AI-enabled technology within the feeder triggers the dispensing of dog food, which slides down from the container to the tray placed beneath. It also comes with a built-in UV sanitization mechanism.
While the device was conceptualized primarily to take care of regular, systematic feeding of stray dogs on a mass scale, it can also be used by working pet parents, who find it difficult to feed their dogs while being away from home. For this purpose, the team is further working on a mobile application.
Shiv Nadar School has a dedicated technology curriculum that enables students to learn about the latest technology trends and use the methodology of design thinking in which students and teachers find unique solutions together to real-world problems.