Last weekend we celebrated Farset Labs’ second birthday, and the arrival of our newest corporate member Intel, in traditional fashion: we threw a hackathon. Intel brought down a bunch of their new Galileo boards, a huge selection of components and the ever-necessary beer and snacks.
With the ingredients in place for some serious hacking, we kicked-off with Intel’s Mark Corkery giving a quick talk on the company and their focus on developing the internet of things, spurring the teams to get stuck into figuring these boards out.
As expected with such a new piece of kit, much of the initial few hours was spent working out how to use the thing. A round of applause was deservedly given to Team Magee shortly before 11pm when they announced they’d not only connected the board to the internet but also got SSH into it.
Working through the night the teams uncovered a Yocto image from Intel Taiwan which contained many useful pieces of software precompiled and suddenly the capabilities of the board increased exponentially.
However lady fate saw things going a little too swimmingly and suddenly our Ultimaker 3D printer decided to put a thorn in the competing teams plans by refusing to print. Team Magee were especially hard hit as their project required bespoke valves designed using 3D modelling software.
After a shout out on our social media channels a member came to the rescue and the design was printed, albeit too late to be integrated into their hack.
Everyone had a great weekend and we’d like to thank the guys at Intel for introducing themselves with a bang. Several new project ideas came out of it and we can’t wait to get started on them.
Team Magee: Hardware
Team Magee designed a machine that allowed customers to order drinks via Twitter. The hardware team attached a Galileo to a pump, some piping and taps, so four individual bottles could be pressurised. The system brought liquid from the bottles and out the tap on demand. We’re hoping to see the team back in the space soon to taste test some of their cocktails!
Team Magee: Software
The software team worked on setting-up a Galileo to read the bot’s Twitter stream and send commands to the hardware depending on the input. During judging they showcased the scary amount of hidden data put out alongside tweets and talked about how they could use this information in future iterations of their hack.
Seek and Discomfort
If there was a prize for most ambitious project it would’ve gone to this one. Seek & Discomfort aimed to create an autonomous drone using the Galileo and write software such that you could play a game of hide and seek with your scary robot friend. As expected most of the night was spent playing with the AR Drone (who can blame them?) but they’ve promised they’ll get around to hacking sometime soon.
Cloak of Many Colours
Resident hacker Robin hoped to further his prototype ping pong table, that lights up in response to acoustic vibrations from the ball hitting the table. He planned to adapt it into a stage costume. Unfortunately the components included in the board meant it wasn’t completely suitable but we sure had fun looking at the pretty colours!
Rob Ellis arrived on the last day but impressively managed to use a joystick shield to create a galileo gamepad and used this as a means of controlling a character in his award winning game.
Rotating Galileo Camera
Andrew hoped to use the Galileo to control a camera mounted on a robotic arm. Unfortunately his genius became too widely known and he spent most of his time helping out other teams! He did manage to get git to compile on the board, an achievement in itself.
There were some non-Galileo hacks too. We welcomed Bolster back for the weekend, arriving more beard than man. He got stuck into working on the new Farset website and member resources with the help of Ben. Chris also put the finishing touches to our new member management system.
It was great to see so many awesome projects and enthusiastic hackers. We never know how these things will go or what will come out of them, but time after time we’re amazed by the crazy stuff people come up with. Next time, no matter what skills or background you have, leave your preconceptions at the door and join us…