Fruit Saver is a smart system that will help to reduce food waste
It notifies the supermarket staff whenever a fruit or vegetable in the shelves is about to rot. This is achieved through the monitoring of some gasses typically emanated during the decaying process, thanks to this method it is always possible to know the ripening degree of the exposed products. If these are higher than a specific threshold (calculated in ratio with the fruit mass in the shelf), the personnel is warned and given a chance to remove the rotten fruits before they spread the mold to adjacent products. Through the app the staff is also able to monitor the fruit maturation degree by themselves. The system also slow the decaying process through a fan that is activated when too much ethylene is present (ethylene is a gas that is produced naturally by vegetables and accelerates the decay, the fan will thus blow the gas away when the system will deem it appropriate). The supermarket customers benefit from the Fruit Saver too: products that are too mature are applied discounts that are notified through an app on customer's phones, where they can also select the type of fruits that interest them the most. Furthermore the reduced price is pointed out by a LED arrangement. For the supermarket manager all of this translates into a cut to money losses and food waste, and thus also reducing the costs of waste managing. For the customers it means a reduction of expenses.
Fruit Saver provides strong non-invasive human interaction
The system employs ethylene sensors to detect rotting vegetables among the supermarket shelves. Through the careful positioning of each sensor it will be possible to keep an eye on the concentration of this gas in the air around the products. Also it will weight the amount of fruits remaining on the shelf.
After receiving the sensor data, Fruit Saver will appoximatively calculate how many rotting fruits there are and what degree of the decaying process are they on.
When the fruits are ripe enough the system applies an automatic discount and advertises it to the supermarket customers through flashing or coloured leds. If it detects rotten products it alerts the responsible staff so that they can remove them. If it detects high levels of ethylene a fan starts spinning to blow it away.
Through an app the employees can monitor the levels of ripening in the vegetable ward, select the type of fruit to deploy in each compartment, and calibrate the degree of the automatic discounts. An other app will allow the customers to receive notifications whenever one of the favourite fruits is about to get discounted.
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The system is able to sense the amount of ethylene and/or methan produced by fruits, as well as the weight of the products, which is needed to calculate the gas/fruit ratio.
The system manages intelligently the data received by the sensors, and according to the amount of gas perceived it can warn the employees about the maturation degree and set a discount.
The first version of the system doesn't provide adaptive features, but with in future updates the system could become able to recognize the kind of fruit contained in the compartment.
The software is able to calculate when the vegetables are rotting. If they are too ripe it can modify the price and advertise the discount. Instead if the products are rotten it warns the supermarket staff to come and remove those that are too rotten to be sold.
Sensors are positioned just in the supermarket shelves, but smartphone apps will be avaible to all the staff and customers.
The supermarket staff is able to receive information and communicate through their smartphones. The costomers can just see the discounts and the app's notifications (and perhalps the sensors, this is still to decide).