Cisco problem winners use AI, IoT to sort out world issues

An IoT-enabled system for transporting dairy merchandise earned its designers the highest prize in a contest run by Cisco. The International Drawback Solver Problem, which is certainly one of Cisco’s company social accountability (CSR) initiatives, pays money awards to entrepreneurial firms utilizing know-how to resolve the world’s largest challenges.

Now in its fourth yr, Cisco’s International Drawback Solver Problem awards $100,000 to the first-place winner and $75,000 to the primary runner-up. This system additionally offers out 4 $25,000 awards and 7 $10,000 prizes.

This yr, I used to be honored to be invited to assist decide the 2020 winners. In full disclosure, I agreed to be a decide however I obtained no compensation, as I consider all of us must work collectively to make the world a greater place. One necessary consideration for me, as I considered whether or not to volunteer my time as a decide, was that this isn’t a advertising ploy by Cisco to promote extra know-how. There is no such thing as a requirement for any of the entries to make use of Cisco merchandise.

This yr, 524 groups submitted entries. Greater than 80 folks made up the judging panel, which evaluated the entries and chosen winners from amongst 20 finalists.

Judging was based mostly on 4 standards:

  • Innovation and digitization side of the answer (33%). Particularly, how are IoT and different digital applied sciences getting used?
  • Potential social influence (33%). How many individuals can this know-how attain, and the way broad is the influence?
  • Feasibility (24%). Does the product make monetary sense, and is it sustainable over the long run?
  • Readability (10%). How nicely did the entrant clarify the answer and its influence on society?

Grand prize: IoT-enabled dairy transit system

The winner of the Cisco International Drawback Solver Problem 2020 is Savanna Circuit Tech from the College of Nairobi in Kenya. The corporate’s product, the MaziwaPlus Prechiller, is a photo voltaic chilling transit system with a list administration part designed for dairy companies in Africa.

savanna Savanna Circuit Tech/Cisco

In rising markets, dairy producers can expertise a lack of as much as 30% of their harvest from insufficient cooling. Dairy is, in fact, a key supply of diet for households throughout Africa. It is also an necessary income for a lot of households, as 70% of annual milk manufacturing comes from small dairy farmers. The excessive quantity of waste takes an enormous toll on income and wages.

The present methodology of transporting milk is to make use of non-cooled plastic containers, which may encourage micro organism development that compromises high quality. One other problem is that milk containers are sometimes transported by animals, akin to horses or donkeys, due to poor highway high quality. 

Savanna Circuit’s resolution is a non-refrigerant, solar-powered milk chiller that is transportable sufficient to be positioned on any technique of transportation starting from bikes to vans. The cooling cuts down on spoilage and maximizes income for the dairy producers. The MaziwaPlus Prechiller is anchored on a thermo-electric cooling unit to protect the milk in transit. IoT sensors monitor the temperature to keep up it at 4 levels Celsius. This ensures the standard and dietary worth are maintained whereas prolonging the lifetime of the product. The 3G/4G-connected shielding permits for system knowledge to be logged right into a centralized system at every dairy.

The MaziwaPlus Prechiller additionally makes use of PH sensors to look at for any imbalances. The readings are despatched by way of Bluetooth and transferred to the primary assortment system. The probe limits the quantity of human contact required, which helps keep high quality whereas recording knowledge in real-time. There may be additionally an auto-rejection characteristic that ensures solely good high quality milk is transported within the chiller. 

Savanna Circuit additionally constructed a administration utility that shops knowledge within the cloud. The system is designed to work offline as Web connectivity is spotty in distant areas. The offline mannequin permits knowledge to be fed regionally after which uploaded to the cloud when it is reconnected. The app additionally offers transparency into the state of the milk to all stakeholders by way of a wealthy administration system that may be accessed by cellphones.

In accordance with the corporate, post-harvest milk losses because of insufficient cooling throughout transport price Kenya about $120 million yearly. As well as, 36% of youngsters underneath age 5 in rural Kenya have stunted development because of an absence of correct diet. Savanna Circuit has modified this narrative. In simply 1.5 years, the corporate has skilled 16 operators and expanded into 4 counties reaching about 3,000 folks day by day. Savanna Circuit has elevated the amount of milk on the cooperatives, placing the producers in a greater place to discount for higher costs from the processors.

The corporate plans to make use of the $100,000 prize cash to put in and function 10 extra 3,000-liter capability chilling techniques in seven new areas in Kenya, with a objective of saving 420 million liters yearly. Extra importantly, these 20 items will generate income by means of a lease mannequin, making a sustainable surroundings. This implies the prize cash might help create the cash movement wanted to doubtlessly develop the answer to 50 million small dairy farmers in Africa.

CURE creates customized, inexpensive prosthetics with IoT, AI and 3D printing

The primary runner-up in Cisco’s problem is an organization known as CURE from the Tunis Enterprise College in Tunisia. The beginning-up makes use of IoT, AI and 3D printing to create customized prosthetics.

cure CURE/Cisco

Globally, there are one billion folks residing with disabilities. Thirty million folks have limb variations, and solely 5% have a correctly fitted prosthetic system. Value is one purpose: Prosthetics can usually price $100,000 or extra, and kids will want a median of 10 prosthetics of their first 21 years.

CURE develops and manufactures bionic arms for folks with limb variations at an inexpensive value. Its arms are 3D printed and have an adjustable socket to accommodate for development, in addition to a rotating wrist for larger flexibility. Its units even have wi-fi and photo voltaic charging for customers in international locations with poor electrical protection. The bionic arms use sensors and are managed with muscle indicators, so there is no such thing as a want for surgical intervention to attach with the physique. It may be so simple as carrying a glove.

Every prosthetic is loaded with IoT sensors and makes use of AI to transmit info to an internet dashboard, the place docs can see real-time knowledge and analyze it to deal with the affected person and make changes. There may be additionally a therapeutic resolution that makes use of digital actuality to allow amputees that require coaching to see a digital hand and to manage it by way of IoT sensors.

CURE says its prize cash can be used to finalize scientific trials, buy tools and uncooked supplies, and rent a advertising company to go to market.

Community World and different websites have written extensively about how digital applied sciences akin to IoT and AI can change the enterprise panorama. As we transfer right into a world the place every thing is related, all of us should be fascinated with how residing in a hyperconnected world might help people who find themselves struggling.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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