Beehive Monitoring System Wins CSUN 2020 Cloud-Jam

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Photo credit: gorodenkoff

The winning and runner-up teams for the CSUN 2020 Cloud-Jam were announced April 6 during an online ceremony on Zoom, and the results were buzzworthy.

This year, CSUN students were asked to solve sustainability issues in the Los Angeles area using cloud technology and its potential capabilities.

“We have given difficult topics before, so we knew that if we gave students a challenge, Matadors [would] rise to the occasion,” said Kyle Shaver, interim director of enterprise application development for CSUN IT.

The grand prize winner, Team BeeSafe, received entry into CSUN’S I-CORPS program, to further their project; a three-month pass to Toolbox LA, an innovation hub and co-working space in Chatsworth; and a $1,000 cash prize.

Mindful of the vital role beekeeping plays in food production and agricultural productivity, Team BeeSafe developed the BeeSafe app, a real-time mobile and software application that allows beekeepers to safely monitor their beehives and tend to their bees’ needs using cloud technology.

Cloud technology is the use of remote computers to store data and use related computing services. By connecting to remote computers via the internet, users have access to greater storage capacity and computer horsepower, increasing their work capabilities.

With the winning app, beekeepers can receive live updates on their hives’ health and overall well-being by uploading photos to be analyzed by a trained Google vision model called Cloud Vision application programming interface (API), which allows developers to integrate vision-detection features within their applications, including image labeling, and face and landmark detection.

“BeeSafe analyzes maturity cycles, noise, temperature, weight and humidity data of bees, to safely monitor their health from the beehives they harvest in,” said Team BeeSafe, in a statement released after the virtual event. “We provide our users with reports of their hives upon their request, as well as granting them the ability to have us analyze additional behaviors in their hives.

“BeeSafe’s system makes computation in real-time, so that we can alert our beekeepers whenever we detect misbehavior in any of the beehives that have our sensors in them,” Team BeeSafe continued. “In this day and age, we are provided with futuristic tools to help us achieve our ideas and goals, such as making sure our bees are healthy.”

Team Tech Fuchsia, the runner-up, developed an application called FoodReBox App — a food service mobile app that addresses the sustainability issue of food waste and community hunger, using a system for redistributing surplus market/restaurant food.

Tech Fuchsia’s FoodReBox App earned them entry into CSUN’S I-CORPS program, a two-week pass to Toolbox LA and a $500 cash prize.

“All of the students and teams here today, are those who really took that challenge, ran with it and embraced it and spent the past month, despite all the uncertainty, creating solutions that could make an impact in this unprecedented time in modern history,” said Shaver.

“It is not only a win for us at BeeSafe, it is a win for beekeepers and humans worldwide,” said Sarkis Mikaelian, Team BeeSafe member. “Given the challenges, the accomplishment for the team is more in terms of personal and collective goals. The win goes beyond the title and the monetary prize. It was about the journey we shared as a team, collaborating, creating — and the learning experience where each individual put their knowledge into practice and explored cutting-edge technology.”

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