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Team smartARM Named the 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Champion

July 25, 2018

A team that uses computer vision, machine learning and cloud computing to build a smart prosthetic has now been recognized as one of the most innovative techs startups in the world.

Team smartARM from Canada is the 2018 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Champion, winning $100,000 USD in cash, Microsoft Azure credits and a mentoring session with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Developed by college students Hamayal Choudhry and Samin Khan, smartARM is a robotic prosthetic for the hand and arm. But unlike other prosthetics, smartARM also has a camera in the palm of the robotic hand that recognizes objects and calculates the best grip to pick up or move the objects.

Choudhry and Khan have also equipped the prosthetic with machine learning and cloud computing – which means the more you use the prosthetic, the more it learns about your environment and how to interact inside of it. It also means that even if the prosthetic is replaced, the data is stored on the cloud and immediately accessible to your new prosthetic.

More importantly, smartARM is affordable. According to the team, the robotic prosthetic would cost less than $100 to purchase – which puts it lower than most prosthetics on the market.

Team iCry2Talk – which uses machine learning and cloud computing to translate the cry of a baby – was named the runner-up in the competition. Team MediatedEar – which uses machine learning and cloud computing to isolate the voices of people talking and make it easier for some with a hearing disability to understand a conversation – took third place in the global competition.

In total, 49 teams from around the world competed in the Imagine Cup finals in Seattle, Washington. To get to the finals, these teams first needed to place among the top startups in their region. According to Microsoft, even the teams that did not place are still considered some of the most innovative tech startups in the world.

GIST partnered with Microsoft to host the Imagine Cup Asia Pacific Finals. Of the seven teams that advanced to the finals, Team SochWare from Nepal won the Imagine Cup Award for Artificial Intelligence.

SochWare uses artificial intelligence, the internet of things, image processing and machine learning to help farmers identify plant diseases and suggest mitigation strategies before the crops are destroyed.

To learn more about the 2018 Imagine Cup, or to register for next year’s Imagine Cup, click here.