After the launch of Hack Arizona in Spring 2015, we set out on a mission to scale our community in order to provide opportunities to more students. While focusing all of our resources on improving the overall hacker experience, we are proud to announce that we increased the attendance rate by 49% and received over 97 project submissions.
Keep building things for the sake of building things, pushing your boundaries, breaking the rules and moving the world forward. Now, here are the winning teams and the challenges they competed in:
Best Overall Hack
"A scalable drone management system which allows users to efficiently delegate tasks to fleets of varied UAVs."
Drone Flight Area Control anchors itself in the exciting future of autonomous drones. The DFAC system is the result of thorough analysis of some of the upcoming demands of civic engineering, emergency response, construction, security and much more where complex logistical problems are met with aerial resources. The DFAC system implements multiple systems extremely well including not only a refined frontend dashboard and real time drone resource map, but also an integrated drone simulator to help make the transition from concept to deployment where the DFAC system can interact with live drones in the field. With DFAC, the Hack Arizona team saw a rock-solid alpha prototype of a very exciting potential application that has the capabilities to radically transform any industry.
Project demonstrates the best overall software implementation.
Project demonstrates the best overall hardware implementation.
Using 3D printed parts, these hardware experts pushed the boundaries of drone safety and wowed us with their ability to move quickly and build something we have never seen before. The team was already working to make the laser more accurate when they demoed their project for us and had a clear roadmap in mind for the future of the project.
Project showcases the Triple Bottom Line (people, planet, profit) in a creative and effective manner.
Up next is ‘Best of Sustainability’, awarded to the hack with the greatest positive impact on sustainability. This year’s winner was Mini Midi, a project that “Hit the triple bottom line, while pounding on the triple bass”. Mini Midi is a team comprised of Electrical Engineers, a Mechanical Engineer, a Biomedical Engineer, and a common love of music and the environment.
Project aims to tackle the scalability of medicine and medical treatment in a creative and effective manner.
While there were many innovative and exciting hacks in the Health Category, the UMC Pediatrics App aligns most closely with Sunquest's mission of making “healthcare smarter and patients safer by bringing highly reliable, timely, and relevant diagnostic information to the point of care.” The project brings together a number of useful functions into one accessible app-- reliable information and articles about diagnoses, alternate methods for communicating diagnostic information to children and parents (the drawing capability), and hospital navigation tools for new (and likely overwhelmed) patients and families.
The Sunquest judges feel that the UMC Pediatrics App has the potential to expand and adapt to other healthcare organizations, allowing it to positively impact countless patients, families, and healthcare providers.
Project aims to take an issue within the context of urban development and/or education.
My Little Package set out to change the old ways of receiving packages, specifically in dorms, which typically takes days to process before it even gets in your hands. This hack took paper and pen into the digital world with 'enhanced mailing package management' not only making delivery simpler, but receival as well with text message alerts once your package has arrived.
Project deals with vast amount of data in order to tackle availability, distribution, visualization, or any other issue that can be observed in regards to information processing.
Flux's leverage of statistical analysis and smart algorithmic implementation stood out from the crowd in the platform’s ability to cluster traffic data into analytics that allowed for actionable insights for any user wishing to improve traffic congestion. Flux's interface was host to many features such as the ability to display realtime isolated vehicles as well as the clustering of traffic which left Hack Arizona impressed from a very well polished and rich experience.
Project demonstrates a clear convenience for such an innovation to be made freely available and steps were made to facilitate the distribution and modification of the original source code.
The Reflect/Wiki team truly recognizes that their vision for a future with trackable and relatable knowledge will not become a reality without the help of other incredible passionate and motivated developers building on top of their platform. With a great knowledge graph structure already in place for a number of use case texts such as Mathematics, Philosophy and Literature, the Reflect/Wiki team has built a solid foundation for an application that would garner insights about how knowledge is structure with one another under the guidance of the open-source community which would be a natural fit to the academic problems that Reflect/Wiki is beginning to tackle.
Project with team members new to hardware and software.
At Hack Arizona we pride ourselves on understanding that everyone starts somewhere. Whether a person has little experience or is a master of software, they will always have a place at Hack Arizona. To celebrate this, Hack Arizona included an award category just for beginners: the ‘Best Beginner Hack’. The winning hack was iSitter, a project designed to monitor fire, noise, and movement in your baby's room through an elegant iOS app.
Best project decided by public vote.
The public has voted, and out of all of the projects submitted, Tweetimental had the most public votes at 42. This project uses twitter data to understand mental illness and its cause to empower the Government to help individuals.
The Most WOW Prize
My team chose the “FallSafe” project as “The Most WOW Project!” and awarded them 4 Raspberry Pi development kits. We chose this project because they used both hardware and software to create a “smart cane” that could detect if its user fell down, ask if they were OK, and if not, send for help. Reading sensors and acting on the information is part of what we do at ACSS, and the project team did an excellent job of getting their idea to work correctly. They were able to clearly and concisely describe what they did, how they did it, how they tested it, and what they were going to do next with their idea. Our hats off to all of the participants and it was a privilege to be a part of it! We look forward to next year!
Best IoT Hack
Behind everything that we do at Amazon is our drive to be "earth's most customer centric company". As we move to the future, we continuously become more connected to everyday items through the Internet and our daily activities. For the best IoT hack, the Endurance team showed a working prototype with potential to grow into a significantly connected device. Their vision as well as their implementation idea and plan for extension showed us that they also thought with the end customer in mind. The team devised a solution that was achievable yet extensible to solve a common pain in the fitness tracking space. When challenged on why they thought their idea was related to IoT they were able to describe the extensibility beyond their developed app and connected MYO band. Additionally, they were able to communicate this to each of our judges showing a balance between our criteria of idea and impact, a working prototype, and presentation earning our highest score.
Most Innovative Communications Hack
We love how the team identified a problem we all can relate to, i.e. entering text without a keyboard, then came up with a solution that may have communication value far beyond their original scope. It is clear to see this idea helping people with limited mobility along with several more possibilities. The teamwork to build the device, integrate with code, learn, and have fun in the process was evident. Cisco applauds their effort. Bravo!
Best use of Cisco Tech (Spark/Tropo API)
The Cisco Team can keenly identify with the problem that the My Little Package team addressed. We have a package that was delivered to UA on Friday, but we think/hope it is still sitting in the UA mailroom. The team idenitifed a real problem, but went further to understand how package tracking data and APIs do not always work for "the last mile". Cisco applauds that not only did they hack this together, they thought about the design and scalabity too. Their use of a message queue to enable processing many notifications with resiliency and use of the Tropo/CiscoSpark APIs to send the notifications was brilliant!
Most Elegant Hardware Hack
Connor, JJ, and John developed a digital signal processing system that could listen to audio from a musical instrument and output sheet-music of the notes played in real-time! The system used machine learning to train an adaptive model on the relationship between the frequency spectrum of the instrument and the note intended. As a consequence, the system could work over a wide range of musical instruments and could recognize multiple notes played at the same time (chords). They built the entire system from concept to completion over the course of the hack-a-thon. The team showed off a live working demo (including a user interface) of all of these features and the judges observed that it remained operational over the course of the day without crashing.
For their exemplary efforts, Connor, JJ, and John are being awarded the GetScale Prize. They will be receiving the very first Ocean Mobile Servers released in the United States. The Ocean, from iCracked, is a server that fits in your pocket, needs nothing, and goes anywhere. It's roughly the same size as the iPhone6 (not the plus!) but includes a huge 4.2Ah battery, wireless charging, Bluetooth 4LE, and WiFi. It can run for 2 days at full power (Dual-core 1Ghz ARM CPU) before the battery is exhausted and can double as a power bank to fast charge your phone at up to 2A. It comes with Linux already installed and can be remotely programmed and controlled. You can learn more about Ocean here: http://getocean.io
Best use of Quickbooks Online API
Application shows hot zones of existing customers for businesses using Intuit QuickBooks plotted on Google Maps.
Best Transportation Hack
The Tucson Flux Team took onto the Data Visualization Challenge. The objective of the challenge was to visualize and rationalize Metropia Data, discerning the patterns and dynamic of the data. So there were two main aspects in this challenge, both of which Tucson Flux excelled at. First the visualization in a web based tool or app.The visualization is mainly composed of design and data handling. Design is key to compose a structure that will handle different types of rationalizations and its ease of interpretation, the visualization needs the computationally efficient and manage continuous flow of large amounts of data. Even though Metropia provided offline data, I liked this team's vision of practical and real live use of the tool, thus the system was designed to be able to handle that condition. The second part of the challenge was the rationalization. What Tucson Flux achieved was highly unique and ambitious. The 'inter user similarity' which is the relationship between users and space and time, this was elegantly displayed in a graph form and provided a unique visualization of the interaction of those users at a time range. This type of patterns and information is very useful in 21st century transportation urbanization will greatly change the way people commute in cities. To close Tucson Flux did an incredible job and accomplished great deal in a small time window. I hope they had as much fun developing on an interesting problem as we did supporting them!
Best Drone Related Hack
X-Terminator Drone demonstrated a unique drone application. Their hack aims to reduce the risk of healthcare workers and volunteers in the face of an epidemic by using drones to UV sterilize the field. The advancement of their project could save lives in the future. Their hack was also technically impressive. They equipped the drone with multiple sensors and enabled autonomous flight by connecting an Arduino to the drone. This team also impressed us by leveraging their diverse strengths effectively with backgrounds in optical sciences, biomedical engineering, and computer science.
Oculus Rift Controller Laser Turret demonstrated a technically challenging anti-drone utility. This team had a multi disciplined group of engineering students that worked to their strengths in computer science, aerospace, and optical engineering. This team was very resourceful and used a range of hardware from marbles for their pivoting turret to drones and lasers; they even printed some 3D parts to use at the competition. Their project, an autonomous laser turret that could track and shoot down an incoming drone was very ambitious. Even though they did not demonstrate their project with all capabilities in the loop, they were able to demonstrate each part individually. Their light sensor on the drone was an innovative and safe way to test whether the drone was successfully "shot down".
Drone Flight Area Control was a hack that demonstrated a necessary drone utility tool. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are the future and their commercial effectiveness is directly dependant on how well mass amounts of them can be managed. This team took on the challenge to optimize the effectiveness of a constellation of drones. Their front end simulation leveraged google maps to display nearby tasks that the group of drones must accomplish. Their Drone Flight Area Control software would then determine the optimal solution for the drones to separate and complete all of the tasks in the least amount of time. The use case was clearly demonstrated by the team, with an excellent visual and real-time simulation.
Best Recruiting Mobile App
"They were able to successfully create a matching algorithm to connect job seekers and employers together using additional data besides skills and requirements." - James Krupnik, VP of Engineering
Best Wearable Hack
The team responsible for building iConnect fully understood how to utilize a wearable application to extend the functionality of their mobile application. The ability to filter and display only the most important job matches on the Apple Watch was a great example of this. Saving a job on the watch and being able to view the saved job on the phone illustrates an understanding of how the watch and phone communicate with each other and the power of using a wearable device on the go. The value of this application, which is to automate a process as complex as recruiting, can become a powerful tool in making sure people seeking employment and recruiters seeking talented individuals can be matched together making a best fit for both parties.
Most Collaborative Team
"We chose Another Day because of the collaborative nature of the approach to the team's development by surveying people who suffer from depression and allowing others to 'look through their eyes'. We ask that you please consider expanding the target market to veterans who suffer from PTSD and open up the simulation to friends and family of veterans."
Best with Wolfram Tech
This time around, Hack Arizona focused resources in people and projects rather than prizes. We are awarding Raspberry Pi 2 kits to each Hack Arizona category to provide a conduit for further experimentation and learning. Additionally, we delayed the awarding of prizes almost a full day after the event for two main reasons: to maximize the duration of Project Exposition and allow more time to deliberate and select winners.
Congratulations again to all of our winners. A special thanks to Raytheon, Cisco, Provost Andrew Comrie, Dean Karen Williams, UA Libraries and all of our amazing Sponsors.
Without your continued support this event would not of been possible. We appreciate everything that has been done and we are already thrilled for next year. Lastly, Hack Arizona would like to thank our Hackers. Without you we would have no purpose.
~ Hack Arizona Team