SRM AP students’ illustrious achievements at LA Hacks 2020

Amid the unparalleled catastrophe in the form of widespread COVID-19, SRM University AP, Andhra Pradesh, students at Semester Abroad Program develop projects to combat the crisis. Vyshnavi G and Padmateja, 3rd year, Computer Science and Engineering students went to University of Wisconsin, Madison, and University of California, Berkeley respectively for their Semester Abroad Program. During their stay, they presented two projects at LA Hacks 2020, Southern California, and won accolades galore. The hackathon is one of the largest in the world and was held on March 27-29. Many hackers and innovators participated to create and collaborate at UCLA’s virtual event. SRM AP students submitted two projects in this hackathon as a single team and emerged as a finalist in the “Best Overall Hack”. The students developed Safely, the project title sponsored by Facebook as “Best Collaboration Hack”, and also worked on Go Farm which was sponsored by Honey as “Best Consumer Hack”. The team coordinated through Slack as the hackathon was turned into a virtual competition with the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19.

Safely is a society-based pandemic monitoring application for reporting and tracking precise geolocations of COVID-19 cases. Safely allows users to report their own condition, be it healthy, symptomatic, diagnosed, or recovered along with their geolocation. The application enables users to identify areas around them on a map. Based on the shade of the regions displayed on the map, the user deciphers the risk of contagion. Areas with symptomatic users display lighter shades, whereas locations with diagnosed patients and regions with a high concentration of affected users, show up as darker shades on the map. “With COVID-19 spreading rapidly, there are not enough resources to find or report the exact geographical information of new cases. People would want to be cautious by avoiding specific locations that have a lot of reported cases. Also, it enables help agencies to recognize areas where resources are required to be sent. Tracking COVID-19 can be especially difficult in developing countries with weaker infrastructure. “, Vyshnavi G explains the issues that inspired her to build this project.

GoFarm primarily benefits the farmers and improves consumer satisfaction. It is an application where a farmer can post information regarding harvested crops including vegetables, pulses along with quoting the price of the products. The customer can search for nearby farms using google maps and purchase through this platform. Padmateja says, “In India where agriculture sector employs more than 50% of the total workforce, we have come across many incidents in which farmers are suffering because of high debt burdens, corruption in subsidies, and crop failure. We thought to use our skills to develop an application that gives them profit. Not getting enough money for their crop is the most serious problem that they are facing right now. At the same time, we decided to emphasize on the consumer satisfaction. Eliminating third parties and connecting farmers with customers would be helpful in upgrading the agricultural sector. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, it has become more crucial for the consumers to be informed regarding stores responsible for the delivery of the product.”

In the future, the team wants to add a crop recommendation system for the farmers in the platform based on weather conditions. The students also plan to expand the availability of the application to many farmers and consumers across the nation.

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