Best Innovative Minds 2018 | ASSIST Software Romania
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I. About Best Innovative Minds 2018

Best Innovative Minds 2018, the most awaited and important internal software competition within ASSIST Software was held on the 7th of December 2018
The Best Innovative Minds competition is an internal event that targets all ASSIST employees (except for the ones that judge the competition), with the purpose to extract and in some cases, give life to the best ideas that our colleagues can muster. The participants can form teams of up to 3 people, or choose to participate on their own.
 
The competition is split into 2 phases: 
  • I - Selection  ideas that could ultimately get to a prototype phase;
  • II - Implementation  making the prototype;
The prizes are worth a total of 10.000 de lei.
 
This year's edition followed the same rules. In the first stage of the contest, more than 50 amazing ideas were enrolled in the competition and the best 7 ones were chosen for the finals. 
 
In the final stage, the selected ideas were implemented as real prototypes and presented in front of a jury formed by University teachers from Computer Sciences Faculty in Suceava and also by the representative of ASSIST Software.
 
As expected, the Best Innovative Minds 2018 was a total success. The jury was astonished by the finalist’s performance who succeeded to build functional prototypes of projects that are applicable in multiple fields such as health, artificial intelligence, project management or social development
Our colleagues worked in teams, used their knowledge, imagination, talent, and innovativeness, creating interesting prototypes meant to bring impact not only in our company but also in the society.
 
Six teams participated in the final, a total of 18 people.
 
The winners:
First place - 4,000 lei
Tironeac Gabriel, Barba Andrei, and Tudurean Iulian 
 
2nd place - 3,000 lei
Ciobanu Nicu, Merticariu Sergiu, and Macovei Silviu 
 
3rd place - 2,000 lei.
Roman Andrei, Poroch Vasile, and Ana-Maria Nechifor
 
The Popularity prize (chosen by ASSIST Software employees) – 1,000 lei
Ciobanu Nicu, Merticariu Sergiu, and Macovei Silviu
 
Although only three teams won, it was very difficult for the jury to take the final decision, because all the final projects were simply brilliant. That’s why we want to briefly share with everyone the projects which were presented at the final stage of Best Innovative Minds 2018.

II. Projects

II.1 The machine learning driven virtual dome project 

→ Proposed by Gabriel Tironeac, Andrei Barbă, and Tudurean Iulian

The machine learning driven virtual dome through its disruptive technologies desires to change the way we perceive learning materials and bridge the gap between theoretical “know how” and practical usability in a wide range of fields. For achieving this target, the application has three spearhead core features:
 
Develop a knowledge platform for analyzing and simulating the complex processes and environmental factors that impact the growth of plants. Unity 3D game engine has been used for developing the software simulation.
 
Develop a real-time procedural visualization solution for displaying  the impact of the external factors on the plant’s growth and life cycle composed of the following components:
 
plant core growth simulation (root, stem/trunk, branches, leaves, and reproductive structures);
damage/degradation simulation to its mentioned structural elements;
dynamic controlled timeline;

Use machine learning agents to analyze the input data (earth mineral composition, water volume, temperature) and add the required corrections to achieve a biodome that sustains the growth of plants in the best condition.  

II. 2 BusTime Project 

 

→ Proposed by Nicu Cioban, Silviu Macovei, and Merticariu Sergiu
BusTime is the web or mobile app that displays the location of the TPL Suceava buses and the time they arrive at the station. Information is displayed on mobile phones, websites, or screens in the which displays the bus number and the time it arrives at the station.
The hardware components, technologies, and services used for the application are:
 
Raspberry Pi 3B(Raspberryan OS) with Neo6MV2 GPS Module. GPS data is transmitted on the ThingSpeak IoT Cloud every 20 seconds through a program written in Python.
 
With the application created in the Scale, the data is retrieved from Cloud and processed using the Google API. Through the application created in the Scala, the data is retrieved from the Cloud, saved in the MongoDB Atlas in the form of timezone, request id, latitude, and longitude.
 
With the help of the Google Maps API, the data is processed, then the information is sent to web and mobile in the form as call time, call id, latitude, longitude, the distance between the bus and station and the time the bus arrives at the station.

II. 3 Health Route Project 

 

→ Proposed by Andrei Roman, Vasile Poroch and Ana Maria Nichifor
Air quality is one of the main problems faced by cities around the world. No matter where you go, you are likely to pass through areas where the air quality is poor. The pollution levels are not always known by people passing through these areas, so they can be avoided by using the Health Route system.
 
 
Areas where a large number of vehicles are waiting for traffic lights, roads where there is a lot of traffic (e.g. during peak times), and industrial areas, are just a few examples of where these air quality values can be very high.
On your daily commute to work or school, you might not realize just how often you pass through polluted areas. Breathing in polluted air contaminated with gases such as CO, PM10, SO2, O3, and NO2 can aggravate your health in both the short and long term. Diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, and skin cancer are just a few of the conditions that can be caused by pollution.
 
The goal of the Health Route system is to give each user the ability to access air quality index values for any route they want to take. Setting up and highlighting a “healthy” route is one of the main goals of this platform.
 
The Health Route system is composed of devices called "Smart Points" and the main management platform. Each Smart Point is equipped with special sensors to analyze air quality. At pre-set intervals, they send the data for their location to the platform. Each device communicates with a gateway using LoRa (Long Range) technology. The gateways forward the received data to the platform.
 
 
At the platform level, each Smart Point is ranked according to the data received: GreenPoint, Yellow Point, RedPoint, etc. depending on the pollution level.

Using learning algorithms and estimation technologies, the user can choose from a variety of paths in order to avoid high air pollution points. The platform can be accessed from either a browser or a mobile application and this gives portability and accessibility. After the starting and destination points are specified on the platform, a map is displayed with a number of colored paths depending on the pollution level.

The benefits of using such a system include improving overall health and avoiding short- and long-term health complications. We believe that the true value of this system is that it limits the exposure to air pollution for its users.

II. 4 ASSIST Info Bot Project 

 

→ Proposed by Florin Huma, Andrei Leonte and Dimitrie Tataru.
ASSIST Info Bot is an integrated chatbot on the Slack channel (the platform that we use in our company to communicate more efficiently). The idea of the project is to facilitate fast access to information, without involving another person.
In addition to this capability, the chatbot is able to follow the messages on communication channels and notify the users that have broken pre-established communication rules.

The communication with ASSISTInfo Bot is done using natural language because it is integrated with LUIS (Language Understanding Intelligent Service) and it learns to understand the user's intention.

For the chatbot development, Microsoft Bot Framework is used and it is deployed in the Cloud as Azure Bot Service.

II. 5 Know Your Ancestors Project

 

→ Proposed by Petru Cioată, Andrei Afrasinei, and George Grigore 
This year Romania celebrates its first centenarian as a modern and unified country. Knowing your ancestors and their evolution means having a better perspective regarding your country's history, challenges and changes over time.
 
This is the main objective of "Know your ancestors", a platform and a database for the historical population of  Bukovina. Data related to the historical population of Bukovina can be found in censuses, church documents or other types of documents, but all this data is kept into archives and it might be difficult to access them. Using an international standard for storing this data, Intermediate Data Structure, we planned and developed the platform that can be used to store and display data in a user-friendly format and can be accessed by anyone. 
 
From a technical point of view, we used a large number of technologies. MySQL is the database used to store the data and Elasticsearch, search engine in order to provide a quick search into the big amount of data. The solution was written using Ruby language and Ruby on Rails framework and a set of gems (libraries) for the authentication, authorization, user management or data display in an efficient way. In order to keep track of all changes, we introduced EventStore, an Event-Driven Architecture for Rails applications.
 
The user presentation layer was developed using HTML5, CSS3, JS, Bootstrap, and amCharts. At the infrastructure level, we used Docker and OpenStack as IaaS. 
 
This platform desires to be our contribution to modern society and the research starting point of the evolution of the ethical, religious and other demographic changes during the history of Bukovina's area.

II. 6 Be More Project

 

→ Proposed by Ioana Ianovici, Alexandru Tornea, and Alexandra Juduc
  Be More is a platform whose main purpose is to help its users develop and grow by providing them the right tools to motivate them, keep track of their growth and manage their development. Be More can be used to establish the development steps - either it's about a company career ladder's steps or a learning institution degrees, Be More can be used to actually be more. The users are able to view their own development position, the requirements needed for the next level and compare themselves with other users.
 
The whole system includes gamification design elements to encourage growth as a game progressing process.
 
The main technologies used to develop this idea were: React for the Front-end side, serverless, nodeJS, DynamoDB and AWS (API Gateway, Cognito, IAM, S3, etc.) for the Back-end side.

III. Sincere thanks

We congratulate all our colleagues that dared to leave their comfort zone, making known their innovative project ideas, worked hard and had exceptional results. Also, we thank the representatives of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Suceava for supporting this contest every year and contributing to the selection of the most innovative projects!

Do you want to get in touch with us? 

If you are interested in our software development services, you would like to join our team, or you simply want to find out more about us, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line and a member of the ASSIST team will get back to you as soon as possible. We are sure we can ASSIST you.

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