At Samsung, we are always looking for opportunities to give back to the community through education and mentorship. This past semester, a couple of the members from Samsung Strategy & Innovation Center’s CTO office had the opportunity to participate in Schoolab and UC Berkeley’s joint program “Deplastifying the Planet.”  This experimental course aims to prepare technical and business-minded students to build a startup from scratch. As project mentors, we offered two challenges for the class:

  • How could Samsung IoT devices be used to reduce plastic consumption and simultaneously boost plastic recycling?
  • How could Samsung robotics be used to do the same?

The class was split into 5 teams and the ideas began to fly:

The Samsung IoT devices group pitched an idea for an app and a device that integrates with Samsung smart appliances, enabling users to scan packaged items and determine how to recycle them. The app also recommends more sustainable food purchases and integrates with an individual’s favorite online ordering grocer. The team won third place in our demo day for their idea.

The Samsung Robotics Team developed the idea of using small sized robots that would be used for food and grocery delivery. A substantial portion of plastic waste can be attributed to plastic packaging material. This service would significantly decrease excess packaging. Upon return, the robot would be able to pick up recyclables consisting of plastic materials. This plastic can then enter our recycling streams, increasing the amount of recycled plastic.

As part of the Samsung community, we’d like to thank Schoolab and UC  Berkeley for the opportunity to collaborate and to provide mentorship. Rea Rostosky is particularly thankful for the opportunity to mentor her team and to connect with so many talented people across different industries and educational backgrounds. Imran Pirwani is passionate about robotics and the environment. Thus, working with a group of rising business leaders who also cared deeply about the cause was particularly meaningful. We are hopeful to see more opportunities to collaborate and innovate on global environmental issues.