First Hardware Hackathon sparks 14 new tech solutions

hard hack

A piggy bank that buys crypto-currency for charities. A low cost eye tracking technology to help people with paralysis use a computer. A puppy-training collar controlled from your phone. These were just three of the 14 new projects sparked by Hard Hack, the first hardware hackathon event for engineering students at Monash organised by the Electrical Engineers Society of Monash (SMEE) and Mechatronics Engineering Clayton Club (MECC).

Seventy students across 14 teams competed to build a project of their choice over a 24-hour period ready to pitch to a panel of judges. The open format produced 14 unique ideas varying in design, technical difficulty and application. The winning team took home a $2000 cash prize for creating a lock box system opened only through a Monash Student ID card, allowing for autonomous shopping and delivery of items like textbooks, or locker systems that can change registration from student to student.

Event sponsor Schneider Electric awarded a sustainability prize to the team that devised a solar panel system that tilts towards the sun to receive the maximum amount of light.  "We were very happy with the overall running and organisation of our first ever Hardware Hackathon,” said Greg Lobo, Vice President of MECC. “We’d like to extend our congratulations to the winners and encourage students to participate in the event next year.  All of this would not have been possible without our sponsors Schneider Electric and Defence Force Recruiting, and we look forward to putting on an even better event next year."