24 Hour RGU Hackathon 18–19th April 2015

On the weekend of 18–19th April 2015 RGU’s first 24 hour Hackathon took place. Registration began on the Saturday morning at 10:00 with a total of 31 persons registering to take part on the day. At 11:00 and overview of the Challenges were given and a chance for team forming to take place. The challenges set out were in the general areas of working with hardware, data visualisation and SIE challenges. Hardware use took the form of gear such as the Myo Gesture Based Controller, Galileo Board and the Leap Motion. The second challenge on data visualisation was to make use of readily available data sets, examples included visualizing.org, open NASA data sets (over 9000 data sets available) and Twitter. The final challenge area was from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) with areas such as Health and Wellbeing, Green and sustainable energy resources and Smarter communities and infrastructure. Next on the agenda was lunch, in the form of around 20 Pizzas, all being devoured in a matter of minutes giving plenty of time to get organised and start coding exactly at 13:00 when the 24 hour countdown clock was started. The image below will take you to a Facebook Photo Album of the event.

Facebook RGUHack 2015 Album

The next 24 hours was all about coding coding and coding, with the odd few people taking a quick power nap here and there. During this period there were a few breaks at 18:00 for Dinner, midnight for Late Dinner and 08:00 for Breakfast. Twenty four hours later the countdown clock finally reached Zero at 13:00 on Sunday 19th April signalling the end of the hacking session. It was then time for a spot of lunch, and on to the presentation of the work undertaken by all the teams. Things finally finished up around 15:30 or so with a good number of prizes being awarded and everybody having had a great time. The organisers had everything packed up and the venue put back to normal by around 17:00.

All in all it was a great event with many of the organisers / participants not sleeping for around 40 hours or so. Many people got up around 05:30 to 06:30 on the Saturday morning and didn’t get to bed until 10:00 or after on the Sunday night. Many managed to get through the entire event without even a short nap, just a handful took some powernaps of 1 to two hours, with the odd one or two napping for around 3 hours – leaving still plenty of time for coding.

Photos and Tweets were generated by many of the attendees and organisers, right throughout the event. One can see quite a few tweets available from eventifier.com. Of the nine teams took part with eight surviving to the very end.

Well done to the Organisers
Well done to the student team who put in so much time and effort into organising, planning and hosting the event. Hopefully RGUHack 2.0 will not be too far away and will also be bigger and better. Perhaps the RGUCompSoc that has been quiet for the past 18 months may reform and come back with a series of mini hackathons, to get some hackathon coding practice and perhaps organise a few other events too.

Thanks should be mentioned to all the Office and Support staff who helped with booking the venue / sorting out the hardware. Thanks to the Academics who popped in during the event as well, – in order of appearance: Roger, John, Sean, Robin and Mathew, a particular thanks to John who provided some Intel Galileo Boards that were used by several teams & and was also present right throughout the night, keeping busy playing GTA V.

Student Tasks
Stan Main organiser and event host
Ross Radio, press, shopping, and generally helping out during the event
Alex AV systems, generally helping out during the event, judging panel, reception desk
Haroldas Website
Eimantas Wireless access
Lewis Event Photographer

Online Coverage
Hackathon Website (http://rguhack.uk/)
Twitter (https://twitter.com/RGUHack)
Facebook Photo Set (Online)
RGU Hack Facebook Page (Online)
Article in Press & Journal (Online)
Eventifier RGUHack 2015 (Online)
Eventifier RGUHack 2015 Twitter Contributors (Online)
Major League Hacking Website (Online)

The Teams, Projects & Winners

Team Project
Aberduino Developed quite an interesting app that was able to take input from a Myo Gesture Controlled Armband and display the type of gesture on LED Matrix display being controlled by an Arduino Board. One could readily build upon this to create some very interesting applications \ games using this alternative form of data input and processing.
Insomniac This team developed a Windows Phone Life Planner mobile App. The application had a number of screens including login, projects page, task list, schedule, friends signup. Overall the app had quite a user friendly and elegant design having the potential to be further developed.
Thinkstars Developed a Web App around one of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise Challenges. The main idea was to provide a site whereby one could learn about first aid techniques and home remedies to various ailments. It also included a Lifestyle survey feature to allow users to get a sense towards what degree of a healthy lifestyle they were leading.
Bits Please The project was designed around the idea of people moving to a new location. It provided a social environment where one could select language and location & could then find out info about the area, get to know others, and help improve one’s understanding of a foreign language.
Java The Hut Took on a Data Visualisation challenge, making use of a Leap Motion Controller and a data set on Meteor Strikes available from NASA. One was able to interact with Google Earth by making gesture movements in the vicinity of the Leap Motion such as swiping left/right to accordingly spin the globe around.The team also worked on a second app called “Snooze You Loose”, the idea being that once could take geotagged photos of where your sleep and give a rating. Such an app could be useful for those doing lots of travelling.
Gallilop IT The Gallilop IT group developed a version of Bop It making use of a good deal of electronics mounted on a breadboard attached to a Galileo Board.
Answerity Created a web based app whereby one could ask questions and get answer in return, on any topic of interest. The idea being simple questions that were location specific. Users could up-vote or down-vote particular answers depending on how useful they were. The project made use of many technologies including Javascript, Backbone, jQuery and Bootstrap to name but a few.
AbertayHackers This group looked at Data Mining tweets. They first looked at geotagged tweets but less than 5% of tweets seemed to include geotagged data, thus didn’t provide as much data as hoped. The team made use of cree.py in this task. Further work was done in the area of Sentiment Analysis looking for tweets that had a positive / negative meaning. A Python based web scraper was developed that allowed graphs to be generated giving an indication of the general positive/negative trend of specific search terms.

Winning Teams

Award Team Prize
1st Place AbertayHackers Dell Venue 8 Tablets & MLH Medals
2nd Place Answerty Raspberry Pi Model B
Special Mention Aberduino 8 Pack Redbull
Special Mention Bits Please 24 Pack Coke

Before and After Group Photos

Prizes and Presentations

Other Fun Tweets