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June 2016

New indoor mapping app helps you find your groceries

At a glance
The intern

Akhilesh Rawat from National Institute of Technology – Agartala, India 

Hosted by

Professor Rong Zheng at McMaster University’s Department of Computing and Software

The research

Developing an indoor mapping software for supermarkets

From apples to yogurt, and everything in between, the average grocery store has upwards of 38,000 unique products for sale. So what do you do when you can’t find just one?

What if there was an app on your phone that could tell you which aisle to look in, and could give you specific directions to the product from your location within the store?

Enter Akhilesh Rawat, a Mitacs Globalink research intern who is spending his summer at McMaster University in Hamilton. Under the supervision of Professor Rong Zheng, Akhilesh is helping to build the framework for an indoor mapping program that could solve your next grocery conundrum. Together, they are developing the latest in indoor localization technology, without relying on other expensive surveying technology.


Beyond grocery stores, Akhilesh acknowledges there are a multitude of applications for this technology: “One of my other projects this summer is to develop a robot rover that could go to places where humans cannot, such as an archaeological dig site. By combining the two technologies we could send a rover to map ancient dig sites without a human ever having to touch it, thereby reducing the risk of it being compromised by human activity or potentially collapsing.”

Now halfway through his internship, Akhilesh is enjoying the chance to do research in Canada.

“I love McMaster University,” he enthuses. “I have never done research like this before, and it has been challenging at times. However, the people I work with are so kind and helpful. Everyday there is something new for me to learn from them.”

In his spare time, Akhilesh has been able to explore all over Ontario with his fellow Globalink interns. He has made many friends, and even more memories, saying: “I really recommend that other international students do research in Canada. Mitacs Globalink is wonderful opportunity to explore new ideas, new people, and a whole new country. It’s been an once-in-a-lifetime experience.” 

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Onatrio for their support of the Globalink Research Internship program in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

In addition, Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Universities Australia, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Education, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Tunisia’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Mission Universitaire de Tunisie en Amerique du Nord

Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities: