How we’ve built an AI lion to protect our community from COVID

Our Goal: To protect our community by decreasing the chances of catching COVID in public spaces.
Our Result: We have developed an AI object detection model, which encourages people entering public spaces to wear masks.

Our Concern

How often would you walk into the store and see people without masks? How often would you see people holding masks in their hands, but not wearing it? How often would you see people wearing masks incorrectly? According to the research conducted by the University of Maryland, only 41% of people worldwide are wearing masks. Our experience and results of the study made us devastates because people are not only risking their own life’s but also putting others at risk. We were especially concerned for vulnerable people, who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill after contacting coronavirus.

Our Motivation

We were motivated to develop a solution, which would be able to protect our community by decreasing the chances of catching coronavirus. We wanted to ensure that our AI prototype is capable of encouraging and reminding people to wear masks and do so correctly. Importantly, we didn’t want to impose any restriction or frighten our community with something intimidating, so our solution had to be nice, friendly and welcoming. The main challenge was to create a solution, which could be easily built by companies or the government and displayed at the entrance into public spaces, such as shops, train stations or supermarkets. Keeping all the criteria’s in mind, we have created an AI solution, which we have called MASKY.

Our Solution

MASKY is an AI face detection model, which is capable of displaying reactions in response to detected information. In our case, detected information is whether people are wearing masks and whether they are wearing them correctly. MASKY is capable of producing three responses to detected information:

Friendly and Accessible

We have decided to use a cartoon of the lion, as the face of our AI model. We made sure that it is welcoming, friendly and does not cause any negative reaction. It has to be noted that MASKY can be easily customised, so some of our clients requested other animals instead of lions and asked for different colours.

Our next goal was to ensure that MASKY is accessible to anyone who wants to build it. Therefore, our clients can use widely available equipment- any TV, TV stand, webcam and processing unit. We simplified the process of building MASKY and reduced prices to ensure that more companies can access it and protect society. 

Our insights

  • Prototyping doesn’t have to be expensive
  • Our good cause encouraged people to help us with resources;
  • Governmental organisations are difficult to reach.

We have invested our time and money developing MASKY because we care about the people surrounding us. You only have to spend money to purchase a mask and time to wear it, so please remember to take care of others and wear your masks correctly!

Fabian Cuza
Fabian Cuza

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