Idea 3

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  1. Name of Project

Automating laptop checkouts from CST front desk using image recognition

  • What research topic/question your project is going to address?

Although we need a human to address the needs of guests in the welcome desk of CST, it would be ideal for the worker and students if we can automate the process of MACs’ checkout. Humans are prone to error and we do not want any student worker to be liable of errors that could cost them thousands of dollars. So this project would allow a machine to handle the checkout using a camera to identify the laptop and the student wishing to check out the laptop and remove the process from the desk worker completely.

  • What technology will be used in your project?

Image recognition, machine learning models,

  • What software and hardware will be needed for your project?

This would need a good quality camera, python, and some database management software

  • How are you planning to implement?

Have a camera stationed above the cst desk. Also I think it would be beneficial to change the barcodes in the laptops to bigger QR codes for easy recognition and better visuals for the camera. Use various machine learning models to train the software to recognize students and identify unique laptops. This product should also send out emails regarding reservation details to the students like the current system does.

  • How is your project different from others? What’s new in your project?

This is different implementation from the current process we have in that we are removing human responsibility from this procedure. This will hopefully reduce human error in the process and decrease financial liability to student worker and the institution. It is also scalable to other use cases (like Runyan desk for example) to increase automation and improve efiiciency.

  • What’s the difficulties of your project? What problems you might encounter during your project?

The problem I anticipate is making sure the model I have does not mis-identify students checking out the laptop or mistaking someone walking by the cst desk as someone checking out a product. Lighting might also be some issue as the desk is besides huge windows and so lighting is very different in night vs day, or summer vs winter. Another issue to consider is the camera quality (need to get good camera under reasonable budget)