Tijuana native students win international Apple competition with an app to search for lost dogs

CETYS Universidad students are looking to address the issue of the great number of pets in the streets

Gabriela Sánchez Alcaraz, Metzli Celeste López Verdugo, Nicolas Septien Treviño, and Ricardo Jr. Bucio Cerda, Computer Science Engineering students, won first place at the Hackathon sponsored by Apple at the 2023-2 ING AIML Nanochallenge 2023-2 event, an international programming competition.

Their triumph against teams from Brazil, the United States, and the rest of Mexico is due to Woofer, an app that helps to locate and report missing dogs.

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Students created this app with help from iOS Development Lab tools, using Machine Learning, derived from Artificial Intelligence (AI) that allows the system to learn by obtaining data; in this case, it is the classification of images. This is how it works:

"If a person sees a lost dog, they can take a picture. The app will tell you its race, where it is located, and it is going to be uploaded to a map. If a person is looking for their dog, they can look up this app, filter by race, and find it much more quickly," student López Verdugo explained.

Though the Apple competition is over, the students are now looking to make this app a reality of daily use for Tijuana natives.

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"Many of these animals have collars, but they were abandoned or got lost and now face very complex challenges (diseases, attacks, accidents, etc.). The app that we are developing is looking to make their search and the connection between animals and people easier through a mechanism that speeds up recognition, location, reports, and the connection between people who report and look for animals in the street," the college students said.

According to data reported by Animal Control, last year in Tijuana there were around 200 stray dogs per neighborhood.

Source: Vocetys

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