With the aim of helping the efforts to fight COVID-19 in Sri Lanka, the IEEE Student Branch of the University of Peradeniya recently organized “versusCOVID”. This is a competition with a focus on all Sri Lankans and one that takes the form of a hackathon. versusCOVID aimed to be a platform to minimize the impact of this pandemic outbreak in Sri Lanka while bringing the country’s innovative minds into the spotlight.
The top 13
The first step was to call for project proposals from interested undergraduates. The competitors were expected to work individually or as a team. Out of the project proposals received, 13 proposals were shortlisted and sent to further consideration.
- Find Delivery: A novel approach to streamline home delivery of goods and products via a mobile application
- Detection and Disinfection Multi-Purpose Semi-Automated Robot
- Trackitor: An RFID activated band to track people in quarantine
- Modified Hazmat Suit With Controllable Inside Temperature
- Predict and Prioritize suspected COVID-19 patients using image processing and Deep Learning approaches
- A band which can track vital signs of humans
- A method to connect excess food sources with people in need during the COVID19 pandemic
- Footsie: A solution that requires zero hand contact for opening and closing of doors
- An approach to developing vertical farming to overcome food shortages
- AI-Based Fever, Face Mask detection Camera and Door Access Control System
- Automated Sanitizer Sprayer for general usage that can be installed
- An IoT Project where the ventilator is controlled remotely via a local area network
- EHeaven: An E-Learning and Student Management platform.
The shortlisted proposals were then evaluated by a panel of 16 judges representing different fields of study. Here, the judging criteria focused on a few key aspects.
- Originality and Creativity
- Plans for carrying out the work and any approaches to be employed are clear, relevant, and feasible
- Value for money
- The time required to complete
- Objectives of the project are clearly stated, measurable and attainable
- Roles and relevant experience of working team members are clearly outlined
- The proposal includes a clear rationale that is reasonable and relevant for the current COVID-19 situation in Sri Lanka
- Commercial Potential
- Presentation Skills
Following careful evaluation, Footsie, won first place followed by Find Delivery and Modified Hazmat Suit. These three teams were awarded LKR 25,000, LKR 15,000, and LKR 10,000 in cash prizes by London Stock Exchange respectively. The top 10 teams were selected for a one-on-one mentorship program with SLASSCOM Sri Lanka. Here, they will be mentored to develop their ideas into startups. With that, the competition came to a close.
The versusCOVID competition was organized in partnership with SLASSCOM Sri Lanka, London Stock Exchange Group, Dialog Ideamart, ReadMe, Arimac, Veracity AI and Digico Labs.