This project aimed to better understand the usage of the Worcester Community Fridges by developing data collection tools for the organization. The main constraint was maintaining the hands-off, self-service mission of the fridges while still gathering a significant amount of data. We interviewed volunteers as well as researched similar projects done by other community fridge organizations. We evaluated many different data collection, aggregation, and visualization strategies. Our solution involves a combination of qualitative data from volunteers, a system of surveys for self-reported data on fridge conditions, and a hardware device that monitors the fridge door. All of this information is aggregated and displayed in a live updating data visualization portal available to the community.
Worcester Community Fridges is a nonprofit organization that organizes a network of community fridges throughout Worcester, Massachusetts. They believe in having daily access to fresh food as it is a human right. Here in Worcester, there are currently four fridges run by the Worcester Community Fridges located throughout the city.
Tyler Giroux | Robotics Engineering | Class of 2024
James Yi | Computer Science | Class of 2024
Dimitri Saliba | Robotics Engineering & Electrical and Computer Engineering | Class of 2024
Project Goal and Objectives
The goal of this project is to help Woo Fridges implement a sustainable data gathering system which monitors fridge usage in order to measure community impact
- Iteratively develop sustainable and ethical data collection tools
- Get qualitative testimonials to contextualize our quantitative data
- Develop user guides to train volunteers
- Network with other fridge organizers