AWS Machine Learning Blog

Help improve lives through Machine Learning by joining the AWS DeepLens Challenge!

Today, we’re unveiling a fresh approach to the AWS DeepLens Challenge. We are bringing you four challenges to choose from–sustainability, games, health and inclusivity. Now you can be inspired to create machine learning projects with AWS DeepLens and make a difference at the same time! Use these challenges to gain machine learning experience with fun, collaborative, and inspiring projects. In addition, you’ll be making a positive impact on improving people’s lives and supporting non-profit organizations that benefit our society.

How it works

You are invited to enter a single challenge or as many of them as you want. All you need to do is use AWS DeepLens to create a project, then make a simple video demonstrating your idea. You can submit your entry through the short form on the AWS DeepLens Challenge webpage. We know your time is valuable, so you don’t need to submit a fully polished project. Just get started and build out enough to do a short demonstration of your concept using AWS DeepLens and relating it to the challenge theme.

You have from now until November 16 to enter this version of the AWS DeepLens Challenge. For each project idea that you submit we’ll make a donation of $249 (the retail price of an AWS DeepLens) to a challenge-related non-profit organization.

So, without further ado here are details of the four challenges:

The Sustainability Challenge

For the Sustainability Challenge, use your AWS DeepLens to create a project that highlights opportunities to opportunities to protect the environment or promote awareness of preventative behaviors. We’re hoping to see projects that deal with ecological challenges. Environmental projects might identify flora and fauna, track plant growth rates, encourage waste reduction. These projects may help someone sort recycling from garbage, identify plants for gardeners, assess whether a mushroom is a safe or toxic variety, or alert people to the presence of types of animals in their yard.

Be inspired

Here’ s the Amazon Worldwide Sustainability Manager, Alexis Fuge, talking about some of the innovative work Amazon has been doing to use AWS DeepLens to help with waste management.

Sample project

If you’re interested in the sustainability of flora and fauna, check out this project created by Paul Langdon called Backyard Birder. It identifies birds and squirrels and keeps track of how many squirrels disrupt the bird feeders each day.

Giving back

For each project that meets the entry criteria, you will receive $50 in AWS credits, and we will donate $249 to Engineers for a Sustainable World, a nonprofit network made up of people passionate about technical sustainability across the world.

The Games Challenge

For the Games Challenge, use your AWS DeepLens to create a project that focuses on early education or improving emotional health through playing games, sports, and puzzles. Your project may cover any area of gaming from single-player to multi-player games, cooperative or competitive, either local or over the internet around the world. Feel free to adapt an existing game or create your own from scratch.

Be inspired

Here is Geogrify’s CEO, Kate Edwards, with a look at the subject of games.

Sample project

For an example of a project that fits this challenge, take a look at this AWS DeepLens-powered Simon Says game created by Abdul Rahman Abdul Ghani and Michael Bawiec. This project showcases a Simon Says deep learning platform where everyone can join the same global game, and use AWS DeepLens to verify the correct action of each player.

Giving back

For each project that meets the entry criteria, you will receive $50 in AWS credits, and we will donate $249 to Girls Who Code, a group that creates workshops and books for girls to learn programming at an early age.

The Health Challenge

For the Health Challenge, you can use your AWS DeepLens to develop a project about boosting mental or physical health. Think of something in your life you want to improve, and figure out how AWS DeepLens and AI might help get you there. We’re hoping to see projects that range from helping patients with chronic diseases through to yoga pose recognitions and exercise counting.

Be inspired

Learn how Hopecam founder, Len Farkas, is using technology to help children undergoing treatment for cancer stay connected with their friends at school.

Sample project

We have a couple of example projects that fit this challenge. Check out DermLens, created by Terje Norderhaug and Tom Woolf, which allows patients with psoriasis to monitor and manage their condition using DeepLens, and Exercise Counter, created by Tomas Holcman, which counts and records repetitions of exercises to show personal statistics over time.

Giving back

For each project that meets the entry criteria, you will receive $50 in AWS credits, and we will donate $249 to Hopecam, a non-profit that donates video cameras and tablets to overcome the social isolation experienced by children in treatment for cancer.

The Inclusivity Challenge

We’re continuing the popular Inclusivity Challenge that started this summer. Use your AWS DeepLens to create a project that fosters inclusion, overcomes barriers, and strengthens bonds between people. Your project might help bridge a gap you have seen in your daily life, or it could focus on any aspect of inclusivity, such as helping people with developmental disabilities, or exploring inclusivity in the areas of race, gender, education, geographic location, sexual orientation, and many others. Let’s put machine learning to work to make the world a better place for everyone!

Be inspired

Here is Gene Boes, the CEO of the Northwest Center, to explain why inclusivity is important and how AWS DeepLens can help.\

Sample project

Here’s a project called ASLens, created by Chris Coombs. ASLens uses AWS DeepLens to translate the American Sign Language alphabet to speech.

Giving back

For each project that meets the entry criteria, you will receive $50 in AWS credits, and we will donate $249 to the Northwest Center, a charity that serves children and adults with developmental disabilities.

How to enter

Simply go to the challenge page and complete the submission form, this includes:

  1. Challenge name—The challenge that you are entering.
  2. Project name—The unique name of your project.
  3. Created by—Your name and the names of your co-creators, if any, with links to online profiles if you have them.
  4. Inspiration—What inspired you to come up with the idea for this application.
  5. What it does—What the project does, and what its possible uses are.
  6. Built with—The key AWS technologies used to create it.
  7. Video demo—A video that is no longer than 5 minutes. Upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.
  8. Source code—A link to GitHub, bit bucket, or other repository that holds the project details and code.

Remember, you only have until November 16 to submit your projects. You can find more developer projects and GitHub repos to help you get started on the AWS DeepLens Community Project Page.

We’ll showcase all of the submissions in a challenge round up on the 23rd November. Good luck with the challenges!

Small print:

If AWS offers to make a donation to a charity for every eligible entry, then AWS will donate $249 for each eligible entry to a challenge. A minimum donation of $5,000 will be made to a charity of AWS’s choice, and the donation will be capped at $10,000. All of the fields in the submission form must be completed and the entry must be submitted by the each challenge’s respective deadline for an entry to be eligible.


About the Author

Sally Revell is a Principal Product Marketing Manager for AWS DeepLens. She loves to work on innovative products that have the potential to impact people’s lives in a positive way. In her spare time, she loves to do yoga, horseback riding and being outdoors in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.