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University of Southampton Malaysia

UoSM IET OnCampus team successfully hosted Hack The City Event in Cyberjaya

Published: 17 October 2018
Hack the City
Hack The City is the first large scale event held outside university by the UoSM IET OnCampus team

How could you bring change to your community? This was the question posed to 32 participants of Hack The City, a hackathon organized by UoSM Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) OnCampus team in collaboration with Chumbaka Cyberjaya, IET Malaysia Network Young Professionals Section (YPS), University of Southampton Malaysia (UoSM) and UoSM Robotics Club.

A smart city can be described as an area that heavily uses information & communication technologies that can be leveraged by society to better manage their resources and increase efficiency in carrying out daily tasks. With cities getting larger and population centres growing at a rapid rate, transforming our urban areas into smart cities will help improve energy usage, waste management and create better infrastructure that ensures a higher quality of life for citizens. Hack The City is an event that aims to allow students from various age groups to come up with creative solutions that could be implemented in a smart city. 

 

The 10-hour long event was kicked off with an introduction from Nixshal Nantakumar, President of the UoSM IET OnCampus team, about the event’s goals as well as as the Digital Maker Hub in Cyberjaya. Ivan Ling Ting Yang, Vice Chair of the IET YPS also delivered a talk on engineering that wowed the participants!

 

Sessions led by OnCampus Event Officer, Chia Tze Hank and Robotics Club Technical Manager, Delveer Singh, introduced topics such as Machine Learning, Internet of Things and coding using Arduino microcontrollers to our eager participants in 2 different workshops. Soon after that, the 3-hour prototyping session began! Participants were given access to Arduino boards, Thunkable app inventing software and a plethora of electronic sensors that they could use in their solutions to optimize their city based on the categories of Lifestyle, Safety and Environment.

 

A presentation session allowed each team to give an elevator pitch about their unique solution to the audience, which culminated in the top 3 creative solutions being awarded a laser cut plaque by UoSM IET OnCampus.

 

“Undoubtedly, the most memorable moment was the three-hour ‘Hackathon’, or more specifically, the frantic brainstorming by the three of us. Without the patient guidance of our temporary instructors, we were clueless, terrified, and uncertain of what to do next. All around us, fellow participants (most of which were about 5 years our senior) were calmly working away on their projects. It was Jiaqing who first regained her composure. She started rattling off a barrage of ideas. Surprisingly, some of them were actually feasible! After a while, my brother and I joined in with ideas of our own on devices used in a Smart City. Gradually, we found that we made a dynamic team; my sister was the think-tank, my brother the engineer, and I the marketer. This was a great boost to our confidence. We are extremely grateful to the organizers for giving us an opportunity to realize this, in addition to providing us with skills for the future,” says Ong Jiaqing, along with her two siblings who won the best solution in the Environment category for an energy efficient cupboard.

 

The youngest participants, Emerson Chong and Sheldon Chong, aged 10 and 12, managed to snag the prize for the Safety category with their innovative smart parking system that they intended to package in an app. Finally, the best solution for the Lifestyle category was presented by Chan Jun Ming, Poh Ching Qian and Yan Juin Ong for a smart bedroom that would manage energy and resource usage within the bedroom effectively and efficiently. These winning solutions share a common trait of making everyday tasks simpler and easier for users, and better for the environment too!

 

Hack The City is the first large scale event held outside of university by the UoSM IET OnCampus team. The team aims to have more events such as this in the future to attract young minds to solve real world problems. The UoSM IET OnCampus will be hosting an IET Faraday event early next year, to get more schoolchildren exposed to STEM education and careers. You may learn more about UoSM IET OnCampus at fb.com/uosmiet.

Written by Nixshal Nantakumar

 

 

 

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