Foodel is a simple program that was originally designed as an example to help teach students about practical uses of artificial intelligence. It was realised that during the COVID-19 lockdown Foodel could be used to help businesses and organisations make efficient home deliveries. Foodel is offered free of charge to anyone or any organisation who can make use of it during the COVID-19 crisis.
Foodel takes its input in a simple spreadsheet and produces GPX and KML files which may be uploaded to maps and GPS devices.
Foodel is written in Java and can be run on Windows as well as Mac OS. It uses Open Streetmap data and GraphHopper for routing, the rounds are organised using a state of the art Evolutionary Algorithm.
It is designed to be simple, friendly and easy to use.
This link downloads .zip file which will uncompress into a Foodel folder on Windows and Mac systems. Windows users can run foodel_win.exe once they have opened the .zip archive (instructions on how to open the .zip file are here). Foodel is free to use, but please read the license.
Some sample data is available here.
Note for Mac users. You need to need to install Java before they can run Foodel. To check if Java is already on your Mac, double click the Foodel.jar file in your Foodel folder, if Foodel starts then you already have Java on your system. If Foodel will not start then download and install Java from here. You will need to download the "macOS x64 Installer", and then double click the download once it is on your machine. If you have any problems, please contact me and I'll do my best to assist.
Contact me for help and advice.
Foodel is very much a spare-time project for me, but I am very happy to help people use it. If it doesn't quite meet your needs then I may be able to incorporate your requirements into the next update.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Help! I'm stuck!
A: Feel free to contact me (email@example.com) for support
Q: Can I use Foodel for areas other than Edinburgh?
A: Yes, of course. Foodel is supplied with Open Streetmap data for Scotland, but data for any other city or region can be downloaed and used. Foodel uses postcode data from doogal.co.uk and data from other parts of the UK can be downloaded and used. For those outside the UK, Foodel can also use latitude and longitude coordinates to identify deliveries. Get in touch and I'll help you add the data that you need.
Q: What about GDPR?
A: Foodel runs on your own computer, so you don't have to upload your data onto our servers. You may if you choose to, upload some of the files produced by Foodel to create maps.
Q: What does Foodel cost?
A: Nothing it's free to use (at your own risk), during this current crisis. All I ask is that you give me some feedback.
Foodel was written and designed by Dr Neil Urquhart of the School of Computing @ Edinburgh Napier University.
Neil is a lecturer in Computer Science and runs the BSc Computing Science degree program. He teaches software engineering and applied artificial intelligence. His research interests include evolutionary algorithms, multi-agent systems and trust in intelligent systems all applied to real-world problems.