FOOD WILL NOT BE WASTE ANYMORE
One of the leading foundation universities to be creating products for the public as a result of university industry cooperation, Yeditepe University has come up with a new product. Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department academic member Assoc. Prof. Serkan Topaloğlu has developed an intelligent device that can track healthy food and prevent waste.
At supermarkets and other stores, products that have been taken from the meat, fish, delicatessen, etc sections and might pose a health risk in cases of getting warmer are sometimes left at other sections and places in stores before proceeding for payment. Mostly these forgotten products are found by store attendants after they have reached critical temperature levels and stayed at those levels for a long time. These products can cause various health problems and waste.
Reyonlarda bulunan ürünlerin soğuk veya sıcak kaldığından emin olunmasını sağlamak amacıyla bu ürünü geliştirdiklerini belirten sistemin geliştiricisi ve buluş sahibi Doç. Dr. Serkan Topaloğlu, “Bu tip bir ürünün markette bulunması gereken reyon dışında bir yerde bulunması ya da unutulması halinde çeşitli mekanizmalar yardımı ile kontrol edilerek, yerinin tespit edilip bozulmadan kaynaklı, muhtemel sağlık sorunu ve israfın önüne geçmek çalışmamızın ana sebepleri arasında yer alıyor” dedi.
Pointing out that they developed this product to determine the temperature of the products found in different sections of stores, system developer and inventor Assoc. Prof. Serkan Topaloğlu said “The main motivation behind this invention is to prevent health problems and waste by tracking the misplaced product’s location and checking it via various mechanisms.”
Emphasizing that the whole project was developed in cooperation with students in the campus atmosphere, Assoc. Prof. Topaloğlu said “We have all seen on different occasions perishable products being left at different sections especially in supermarkets. This intelligent system idea came to me while working on intelligent systems, especially studies on Bluetooth to locate lost products and prevent waste. We have made an application to the Turkish Patent Institute together with the university in September 2015. Moreover, we made an international application to the European Patent Office in the previous months. While these processes were in progress, we continued studying on the prototyping of the invention. At this point, post-graduate students and under-graduate students worked on some of the pieces together. One of the pieces entitled “Low energy Bluetooth based indoor navigation and application” was presented at the “Innovations in Intelligent Systems and Applications Symposium 2016” (ASYU) together with undergraduate and postgraduate students. Last week at the University-Industry Cooperation (USIMP) patent fair, we demonstrated a model of the system and it received a great deal of attention.”
The Industrial Design Department was involved in working on the design
Assoc. Prof. Topaloğlu pointed out that they worked in cooperation with other departments at the university and said: “Besides the electronic and software design, we also put emphasis on its industrial design since it will be an end-user product. We started working with three students from the Industrial Design Department. We created a variety of industrial models in a study lasting 6 month. The invention’s electronic circuit board and software, for which we have been working for a year, is ready now. Once we have produced the prototypes, we will finish meeting potential implementers and do our first field tests in the first quarter of 2017.”
How does the device work?
The product which requires protection or tracking is put in a special box in the relevant section (meat, delicatessen, etc) and the temperature and location of the product is tracked via a heat and motion sensor located on the box. With the help of a low energy beacon on the box, this tracking takes place by communicating with low-cost microcomputers positioned in the supermarket. The location of the box will be determined via a working algorithm in the microcomputers. In addition to the auditory and visual alarm system, notifications (e-mail, sms, etc.) will be sent and in this way store attendants will be able to see the location of the product on an indoor map and take necessary actions.