Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pachube Hackathon - Nanode's first Outing

I've just got back from the 24 hour London Pachube Internet of Things Hackathon. We converged on Peter Street, in London's Soho district, for #pachubehack- a global event to coincide with International Internet of Things Day (April 9th 2011). Sister events were happening in Eindhoven, Linz, Zurich, Seoul, New York City and Lancaster. (Next year will be bigger better and everywhere).

The event was held in a large airy basement/boilerroom of a Victorian school. Now converted to a media studio. A small courtyard gave a handy area to get some fresh air or chat with friends over a beer.

Here's "Waving Kitty" - a £5 Lucky Cat, bought in Chinatown on Friday afternoon just before the Pachube Hackathon. Waving Kitty now has a Twitter account and responds to Tweets and Pachube Feeds in just the way a robot-hacked Lucky Cat would. Great hack - by Paulo Ricca and Frieder Ganz.

A small patch of sun outside a Soho basement - just enough to try out our Solar Nanode Hack. A Nanode device monitors solar power from a small PV panel. Imagine if every PV array in the country had low cost monitoring like this? £20 is not a lot to pay to know what is going on. Close up of "Breadboard Friendly" Nanode measuring solar volts and milliamps. Supercapacitor, white LED array form the load. Three thermistors give outside temperature readings.. 11th Hour activity in "Nanode Corner". Matt, Luke and Oleg sort out the app whilst Sam, with back to camera in corner tries to sort out Ken's code!

I gave my Nanode presentation at 3pm and informally throughout the session - including at 1am to NYC. I then hit the "Z-plane" for a few hours.

We hacked 3 Nanodes to complete a sensor chain - from PV and temperature sensors, back to a Master Nanode, and then up to Pachube. A subscribing Nanode completed the presentation with an RGB LED orb and a servo-pointer-thingy (servo with coffee stirrer attached) to allow the data feed to be visualised.

Trystan Lea of had a Nanode connected to an electricity monitor and also a temperature sensor on his hot water tank

Michael Doherty - overall winner in London, catches up with some Zeds after hacking all night!

At 1pm we had presentations from all the hack teams. Outright winner was Michael Doherty who hacked alll night and then slept until lunch time, but received a GPRS modem from Arkessa- well done Michael.

Prizes also to the team that did a RFID bookshelf, and "Rogue Commuter" with some great ideas on how to give everyday objects a personality - so that it can help your daily battle against the dark forces of Southern Railways (or any other thieving rail operator you choose to vent your spume against).

This was a great event, with lots of great talent and ideas, some of which I still struggle to understand.

Well done to all the Pachubehackers who took part around the globe. We can only look forward to the next event in 6 months time.

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