The Smart City Hackathon- Vijayawada was held on September 12-15, 2017. Over the course of the weekdays, forty six teams put their heads together to create apps and websites using various IoT based open source technologies. Hundreds of engineering students got together to come up with something cool, something neat, something awesome. The only condition was that they only had 24 hours to work on their projects. Most of them were participating in our event for the first time, so it acted as an awareness campaign too. Despite their inexperience the young potent “hackers” showed great zeal. So, without further ado, let’s begin the short summary about Smart City Hackathon-Vijayawada.
The main aim of Smart City Hackathon was to get engineering students working together in interdisciplinary teams to develop ideas into working prototypes. To induct them into the format of hackathon make them aware and brush up their practical skills, we conducted a two day boot camp. This two-day boot camp involved teaching basics of IoT such as working with various sensors, open-source hardware platforms and getting the coding down on the first day, while on the second day we focussed on, familiarizing the students with the concept of interacting the various cloud platforms such as ThingSpeak, IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix. Participants were given plenty knowledge of how they could deploy their applications on the cloud and use the various advantages of it, after the hackathon was all about “Internet” of Things.
The teams were seated in the seminar hall and Mr. Ahmed Nazeer kick-started the event by getting them pumped about the amazing things coming their way.
The first day went on with great enthusiasm and participants were actively involved, it didn’t seem like this was the first time they were working with IoT. Thanks to the amazing delivery by Mr. Ahmed Nazeer. After retiring for the day, we could see that they were pumped about the second day too since this was where most of the magic would happen i.e cloud platforms
On the commencement the second day of Mr. Shiva kumar took the stage and explained about IBM Cloud to the students. The students came even earlier than us and took very little time to settle down. The session went on with good pace. Students were extremely invested in developing their ideas and were excited about the upcoming hackathon.
The participants worked in teams to develop their ideas into prototypes. The hackathon was broken down into four sections:
1) Ideation: The students would sit together and brainstorm on their idea and plot a road map of how they would get about developing it after they were down with the details they approached the mentors for validation.
2) Validation: The mentor would listen to listen nuances and features of their idea whilst making sure the participants didn’t get ahead of themselves and maintained an idea feasible to be implemented in the hackathon.
3) Implementation: Once validated by a mentor they were allotted their specific hardware and they would get busy working on building their prototype. With the help of mentors pushing them continuously the students were striving to get things working .
4) Final Pitch: After final revision, Students should get ready to pitch their final prototype to the jury and await the result.
Participants were invested in achieving these 4 goals through-out and THE HACKATHON kick-started.
On the Day 1 of Hackathon, Things sprinted faster than expected. With students pitching their ideas and experts providing their valuable opinions, work was moving faster .This day was important and challenging for both Makers and students
It started around 9:30 am, when all the arrangements were placed and Makers were ready to assist the participants in every way needed. Students were seated in the seminar hall and Mr. Rishab Hurshan introduced the experts of IoT: Mr. Amarender Katkam, Mr. Sandeep, Mr. Nagarjuna and Mr. Abhishek to the students. Mr Amarender explained students about the importance of IoT in future and a glimpse about future of IoT Makers with them. The Room was rejuvenating with motivation among the students and Makers alike.
Around 10:00am, Students seated with their teams and started putting their ideas on paper .All teams were given a solid 1 hour before experts started investing their opinions about the team’s project and how they could do better.
The important aspect student learnt in this stage was how to handle the first stage of prototyping. By 12:30 pm everyone were ready with their requirements and brushed up the idea to implement it.
Students were then given a lunch break where the Makers had arranged for them South Indian styled buffet lunch. The lunch was quick and students were back to seats by 1:30 pm.
This phase was continuous throughout the evening and the development happened with the help of makers and experts.
Students were devoted to their projects and ideas were being implemented. The room was teeming with inspiration and innovation, seeing students being so immersed and dedicated was a sight for sore eyes indeed.
Oh! Did I mention about this? IBM has partnered with us for this event and agreed to act as one of the juries. This enriched our hackathon and gave it a new look. Mr. C. Yuktesh, Advisor& Developer Ecosystem and Start-ups of IBM-Hyderabad have acted as one of our juries. Fortunately for students, Mr. C. Yuktesh has also taken a 2 hour session and demonstrated students about the IBM cloud. This motivated them more for creating their prototypes.
Mr. Yuktesh then stayed and helped students with their projects. The night went silently with a bunch of students working out their prototypes, few working out to stay awake and then when students were feeling dizzy, gaming session happened.
The Makers Team had arranged for a gala session to happen at exactly 12:00 am. This was a surprise event organized for the hackers to excite them, and more importantly keep them awake at night which included various physical exercises and other fun activities, did the job of keeping them awake.
Teams were judged on a number of criteria including the worth of their project, their pitching abilities, execution and finally, a score that assessed the product’s ability to show economic, social, or environmental benefits to the city of Vijayawada. After three days of intense brainstorming, programming and pitching, three teams came out on top as this year’s Hackathon winners.
Students after their prolonged labour were appreciated and congratulated for their hard work in the form of Appreciated certification of participation .The certification included various IT companies who has sponsored for making this event happen.
The winners, runner-up and second runner-up were appreciated and gifted with IoT Makers T-shirts and other goodies including the winning participation certification and once in a life-time chance to incubate their product further helping in making their product come to reality. The closing ceremony was also a grand success. People really appreciated the work and initiative taken by IoT Makers for making the event happen.