Wanna participate in a new Hackerspace Challenge?

6 views
Skip to first unread message

Mitch

unread,
Mar 5, 2011, 2:11:28 PM3/5/11
to HackerspaceSG
Hey!


Here’s an opportunity to participate in a cool project, and also have
a chance to get cool stuff for your hackerspace.

Please pass this around to any hackerspace you think may be
interested.


The short version:

Ten hackerspaces around the world will be chosen to participate in the
Great Global Hackerspace Challenge to create something cool and useful
for education. Each of the ten spaces that complete their project
will receive PCB layout software, and some nice soldering setups so
that they can better teach how to make cool things with electronics.
These ten hackerspaces will each get $900 and two months to finish
their project. Three finalists will be chosen to show off their
projects live (in person, or virtually) at the San Francisco Maker
Faire May. A panel of geeks will pick the one they think is coolest,
and the winning space will win a handmade trophy and bragging rights,
a top-of-the-line digital oscilloscope, and perhaps some other way
cool stuff.


The money to make all this happen is being put up by element14, the
new brand of Newark/Farnell (who sell electronic parts and tools) to
market to us DIY types.


If you want to participate, please email me with a short (please, keep
it short) explanation about why your space should be chosen as one of
the ten.

mitch **at** CornfieldElectronics **dot** com

The dealine for emailing me to be considered is Friday, 11-March,
17:00h Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8).



The long version:

This is an international Hackerspace Challenge that is being developed
in partnership with the electronics components company element14,
http://us.element-14.com. The goal is for members of the teams to put
their collective heads together and make a difference for a cause.
The cause for this event is education. Why Education? Education cuts
are barely out of the news, and the outlook remains grim across the
world. Our schools continue to fail us in educating people for our
collective futures. We need to foster practical and creative thinking
and help provide equipment to inspire a lifetime of learning.
Already, hackerspaces are helping fill the void - providing workshops,
after school classes and vocational training, often for free, or very
inexpensively. Now there is an opportunity to take that one step
further, and to take something created in a hackerspace back to the
classroom.


The Great Global Hackerspace Challenge is officially being kicked off
with an open invitation for all hackerspaces in the Americas, Europe
and Asia to throw their hat into the ring and participate in the
challenge. All interested hackerspaces are asked to submit a write up
outlining why you should be considered to participate in the
Challenge. Ten hackerspaces will be selected to participate.
Hackerspaces must "earn" their spot in the challenge with passion,
skill and engagement with the cause.


The selected groups will then each have $900 and two months to design,
prototype and build a project that serves a useful role in a classroom
situation. It's up to the groups to define the term 'classroom', as
well as all other terms. This could be K-12, or equivalent, school
districts, or independent community programs. Each build must
incorporate the following “secret ingredients”, sourced from
element14's online store – a microcontroller and a portable power
source. The rationale for selecting these as the secret ingredients
are:

* The use of a microcontroller will ensure that the final output
be electronic in nature;

* The use of a portable power source will ensure mobility (which
we see as a vital component of usefulness in the classroom setting).



During the build process the teams will be required to create an
element14 community profile featuring information about their space,
their team philosophy, bios and past builds/experience, as well as
relevant information relating to the competition, so that their fans
can follow their progress (including photos and video). Each team
will have a handler assigned to them to oversee their progress and
manage operational questions. To ensure that we are continually
feeding content into the community over the course of the project,
each team will be required to provide bi-weekly updates on their
progress.


At the conclusion of the project, all participants will submit a write
up and video of their working project for an initial round of judging
(the video does not need to be anything fancy – just show us and the
world your cool project!). The judging will be measured on the
following criteria for each phase of the competition:

* How reproducible is the final project

* How easily can the parts be sourced in locations around the
world

* How low cost is the final output

* How well are the plans documented

* How relevant is the project to the educational goals of schools
today

* How inventive and creative is the design and build of the
project


The top 3 submissions will then be selected as semi-finalists who will
advance to the final stage of the Challenge.


The judging panel will include Mitch Altman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_Altman,
Ben Heck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Heckendorn, and yet to
be revealed high profile industry celebrities. Hint: They're
awesome. The announcement of these additional judges will be part of
the ongoing community building throughout the project.


The competition will culminate with the final judging at Maker Faire
San Mateo in late May. Currently we are aiming to have the three
finalists attend virtually, via video conference if they are remote,
and in person if they already going to be present at the event. If
the semi-finalists are traveling on their own dime they can certainly
take the stage.



There are no losers in this Challenge. All participating teams that
complete their project for judging will receive Eagle PCB layout
software, as well as a collection of soldering station kits including
soldering iron, plenty of solder, wire strippers, and wire cutters,
for their hackerspace's own, ongoing educational and teaching needs.
We all want new people getting educated and involved in electronic
design at Hackerspaces and hopefully this project will help support
that goal.



This last point is still in development but in addition to the
soldering equipment, the three finalist teams will each be awarded a
more substantial piece of equipment from a name brand manufacturer.
This is yet to be locked in. Though Tektronics has already offered
their MSO2024 model digital oscillioscope ($5,600)!


The single, overall winner will receive bragging rights and a
delightful handmade trophy. The organizers of this event will
personally make it with their own hands, and from their hearts.


To be considered for this Great Global Hackerspace Challenge, please
email me a short (please, keep it short) proposal for your
hackerspace, letting me know why your space should be chosen.

mitch **at** CornfieldElectronics **dot** com

The dealine for emailing me to be considered is Friday, 11-March,
17:00h Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8).


Cheers,

Mitch.

keff...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 5, 2011, 6:21:39 PM3/5/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Hi Guys,

I would like to take part with my little Home Automation / Networked Objects project. Is there anybody else in HSG who wants to? I believe the intent is to have one entry per hackerspace, so is there a kind of selection process for HSG?


Cheers,
K
> --
>
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Roland Turner

unread,
Mar 5, 2011, 8:19:47 PM3/5/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
There would need to be at least two proposed HSG entries before there would be a need for a selection process...

Ruiwen Chua

unread,
Mar 5, 2011, 11:44:35 PM3/5/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
If you'd like to be HSG's entry, perhaps you could tell us more about
your project? Then see if you can gather a team to participate in the
challenge? =)

keff...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 6, 2011, 1:13:09 AM3/6/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Ruiwen,

Yes I shall do that. Am now getting legal advice on appropriate amount of info to release. I should be able to do it soon.

Thanx,
Kevin
> --
>
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Nuzaihan Kamalluddin

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 2:40:18 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, keff...@gmail.com
Hi keffin,

It does not matter if you represent hackerspace or not. The important thing is you have came out with an idea and working hard to make it into realisation and that is the thing i am happy about; seeing and hopefully meet more hackers like you.

Protecting your ideas which is hardware is your sheer hard work which you might had spent using your own expenses for your project and you are wise to go for legal advise before embarking further. ;)

Take care and all the best,
Muha

Sent from my iPhone

Kevin Lim

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 5:49:27 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua
Hi Ruiwen, HSG,

In response to the Global Hackerspace / Element 14 requirement, I have packaged my project into a kids educational kit/program.

I may call it Smart Home Jr, and have put up some info on this site http://sites.google.com/site/freetinkering/home/device-cloud

Things are moving very fast,  I am still tidying the website up as I go along. So please bear with me till my sites are moved to a new host.

Also as you have guessed, opendevicecloud.org is also one of my babies. I am still looking for collaborators to move this forward.

Hope to get your endorsement for HSG's entry. I will need to respond to Mitch by 11 March, so the sooner the decision the better!  If you need more info, please let me know.

Cheers,
K




Kevin Lim

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 5:51:33 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua
Darn it, the googles sites seems to be so buggy. The link doesn't work all the way. So you will have to go to that link, then click on "device-cloud".

Grrrrrr. This is one of the reasons why I want to migrate my stuff to a regular web host.

Cheers,
K

Kevin Lim

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 5:54:14 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua
Darn it, the googles sites seems to be so buggy. The link doesn't work all the way. So you will have to go to that link, then click on "device-cloud".

Grrrrrr. This is one of the reasons why I want to migrate my stuff to a regular web host.

Cheers,
K

On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 6:49 PM, Kevin Lim <keff...@gmail.com> wrote:

Kevin Lim

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 5:54:43 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua
Darn it, the googles sites seems to be so buggy. The link doesn't work all the way. So you will have to go to that link, then click on "device-cloud".

Grrrrrr. This is one of the reasons why I want to migrate my stuff to a regular web host.

Cheers,
K

Justin Hammond

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 6:03:33 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua
Hi,
Looks interesting, but a educational kit that deals with live mains might not be the best idea for kids?

I'd maybe stick to sensors, your IR board and LEDs? (at least for the proposal)

Nuzaihan Kamalluddin

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 6:19:44 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Ruiwen Chua, keff...@gmail.com
Sweet. Kevin. Kids. Sweet.

Anyway, sorry for the double post Ruiwen, forgot to include kevin's address. The list overlords does not permit sending from other domains. ;)

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 7, 2011, at 6:49 PM, Kevin Lim <keff...@gmail.com> wrote:

Kevin

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 8:06:28 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Yes Justin, 

Point taken. Will limit to 12 volt led lighting. I suppose etching PCBs with hydrochloric acid is out of the question too. Darn !!!

K

Sent from my iPhone

Justin Hammond

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 10:55:25 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, hacker...@googlegroups.com
Hi,
Haha. That could also be a concern. You could publish the PCB design and point people at BatchPCB (cheap and good quality, but takes a while to get to us in SG!)

Justin

Alvin Jiang

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 11:46:02 AM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
You'd probably still get endorsement for the individual effort purely
for lack of choice, but in the spirit of hackerspace as a community
are there opportunities for other members to collaborate with you on
this?

Is anyone else interested to participate or have another project
they'd like to present?

> --
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Kevin

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 3:04:03 PM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, hacker...@googlegroups.com
Alvin,

Certainly so, i invite collaboration, for this and the parent project "open device cloud". That is why i am making it open source with Creative Commons licenses.

Anyone interested to collaborate or partner me in startup, please contact me.

Cheers,
K

Sent from my iPhone

> --
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat

Stephan February

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 8:33:47 PM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
I still have my AVR32 SBC purchased from Element14 when they were
still Farnell, and sadly still not used.
I still *massively* want to hack this into the ultimate modular ,
network-enabled hackerspace access control system.

The problem is that I have limited bandwidth to go at it by myself,
and would need collaborators. If anyone is interested, gimme a shout
and we'll hack!

Stephan

> --
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat

keff...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 9:27:43 PM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Stephan,

I you have the access control device (it's an Electromagnetic Lock i presume?), then I can help with this immediately.

Is it to be controlled with low bandwidth RF or Wifi ?

Cheers
K
> --
>
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Ruiwen Chua

unread,
Mar 7, 2011, 10:23:30 PM3/7/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Stephan February
Speaking of the hackerspace access system, I'd definitely like our access system to be hooked up to a membership management backend (work in progress) so we can easily manage access PINs and the like.


David Low

unread,
Mar 8, 2011, 6:15:04 AM3/8/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com, Kevin Lim
+1 on Kevin's project for the challenge. 

Kevin, info missing on the contact page. An email address will be fine : )

Cheers, 
David

On Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 6:49 PM, Kevin Lim <keff...@gmail.com> wrote:

Alvin Jiang

unread,
Mar 8, 2011, 1:58:45 PM3/8/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Yeah, we've got one, it's waiting to be installed.

If someone would kindly take a look at it and see how it wires up, I'll
drop by and make it stick to the wall.

Alvin.

On 08/03/2011 11:23, Ruiwen Chua wrote:
> Speaking of the hackerspace access system, I'd definitely like our
> access system to be hooked up to a membership management backend (work
> in progress) so we can easily manage access PINs and the like.
>
> On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:33 AM, Stephan February
> <stephan....@gmail.com <mailto:stephan....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> I still have my AVR32 SBC purchased from Element14 when they were
> still Farnell, and sadly still not used.
> I still *massively* want to hack this into the ultimate modular ,
> network-enabled hackerspace access control system.
>
> The problem is that I have limited bandwidth to go at it by myself,
> and would need collaborators. If anyone is interested, gimme a shout
> and we'll hack!
>
> Stephan
>
> On Mar 6, 2011, at 3:29, Mitch <malt...@gmail.com

> <mailto:malt...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> > Hey!
> >
> >
> > Here�s an opportunity to participate in a cool project, and also have

> > incorporate the following �secret ingredients�, sourced from
> > element14's online store � a microcontroller and a portable power


> > source. The rationale for selecting these as the secret ingredients
> > are:
> >
> > * The use of a microcontroller will ensure that the final output
> > be electronic in nature;
> >
> > * The use of a portable power source will ensure mobility (which
> > we see as a vital component of usefulness in the classroom setting).
> >
> >
> >
> > During the build process the teams will be required to create an
> > element14 community profile featuring information about their space,
> > their team philosophy, bios and past builds/experience, as well as
> > relevant information relating to the competition, so that their fans
> > can follow their progress (including photos and video). Each team
> > will have a handler assigned to them to oversee their progress and
> > manage operational questions. To ensure that we are continually
> > feeding content into the community over the course of the project,
> > each team will be required to provide bi-weekly updates on their
> > progress.
> >
> >
> > At the conclusion of the project, all participants will submit a write
> > up and video of their working project for an initial round of judging

> > (the video does not need to be anything fancy � just show us and the

> --
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat

keff...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 8, 2011, 6:56:33 PM3/8/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
I Will be out of town till middle of next week. Then I can look at it and try to link a MCU to the EM lock to make sure the copper side works. But the "membership management backend" mentioned by Ruiwen seems to be beyond me. Is this something that Stephan's AVR32 SBC can do?

Cheers,
K


On Mar 9, 2011 2:58am, Alvin Jiang <aji...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Yeah, we've got one, it's waiting to be installed.
>
>
>
> If someone would kindly take a look at it and see how it wires up, I'll
>
> drop by and make it stick to the wall.
>
>
>
> Alvin.
>
>
>
> On 08/03/2011 11:23, Ruiwen Chua wrote:
>
> > Speaking of the hackerspace access system, I'd definitely like our
>
> > access system to be hooked up to a membership management backend (work
>
> > in progress) so we can easily manage access PINs and the like.
>
> >
>
> > On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 9:33 AM, Stephan February
>
> > stephan....@gmail.com stephan....@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> >
>
> >     I still have my AVR32 SBC purchased from Element14 when they were
>
> >     still Farnell, and sadly still not used.
>
> >     I still *massively* want to hack this into the ultimate modular ,
>
> >     network-enabled hackerspace access control system.
>
> >
>
> >     The problem is that I have limited bandwidth to go at it by myself,
>
> >     and would need collaborators. If anyone is interested, gimme a shout
>
> >     and we'll hack!
>
> >
>
> >     Stephan
>
> >
>
> >     On Mar 6, 2011, at 3:29, Mitch malt...@gmail.com
>
> >     malt...@gmail.com>> wrote:
>
> >
>
> >     > Hey!
>
> >     >
>
> >     >
>
> >     > Here’s an opportunity to participate in a cool project, and also have
> >     > incorporate the following “secret ingredients”, sourced from
>
> >     > element14's online store – a microcontroller and a portable power

>
> >     > source.  The rationale for selecting these as the secret ingredients
>
> >     > are:
>
> >     >
>
> >     >   *  The use of a microcontroller will ensure that the final output
>
> >     > be electronic in nature;
>
> >     >
>
> >     >    * The use of a portable power source will ensure mobility (which
>
> >     > we see as a vital component of usefulness in the classroom setting).
>
> >     >
>
> >     >
>
> >     >
>
> >     > During the build process the teams will be required to create an
>
> >     > element14 community profile featuring information about their space,
>
> >     > their team philosophy, bios and past builds/experience, as well as
>
> >     > relevant information relating to the competition, so that their fans
>
> >     > can follow their progress (including photos and video).  Each team
>
> >     > will have a handler assigned to them to oversee their progress and
>
> >     > manage operational questions.  To ensure that we are continually
>
> >     > feeding content into the community over the course of the project,
>
> >     > each team will be required to provide bi-weekly updates on their
>
> >     > progress.
>
> >     >
>
> >     >
>
> >     > At the conclusion of the project, all participants will submit a write
>
> >     > up and video of their working project for an initial round of judging
>
> >     > (the video does not need to be anything fancy – just show us and the
> --
>
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Stephan February

unread,
Mar 8, 2011, 8:14:59 PM3/8/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
I do already have a relay capable of switching 240V AC using something like 6V DC. However the GPIO ports on my SBC lacks a header,  so careful soldering is required.

The SBC already has Linux installed, and I have a toolchain for it. Perhaps if we do a Python interpreter on it for starters, and a small python lib capable of tripping the GPIO for the relay, that would be a good start.

Stephan

keff...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 8, 2011, 9:11:13 PM3/8/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Ok, so I will test the copper with my arduino and let you know what signal it actually requires. After that you can connect the SBC to it.

Does the SBC give 6V output? If not we can do a darlington. Or I can etch a new pcb that takes whatever output the SBC gives. Whatever is easier.


Cheers,
K
> --
>
> Chat: http://hackerspace.sg/chat
>

Kevin Lim

unread,
Mar 11, 2011, 7:03:14 AM3/11/11
to mi...@cornfieldelectronics.com, hacker...@googlegroups.com, malt...@gmail.com
Mitch,

Thank you very much for your invitation participate in the Great Global Hackerspace Challenge.

People in the Americas, Europe and Asia can agree that there are few more important causes than education. But coming from a culturally and historically different environment, we are grappling with a different weakness in our education environment. While you in the US have hinted at problems originating from reduced funding or other infrastructural issues, in East Asia the problem of promoting creativity is very much on the agenda.

Weakness in East Asian Education
In much of East Asia, we have inherited a Confucian reverence for (capitalized) Knowledge and the Teacher.  If something appears in a book, then it must be correct. Students seldom challenge their teachers. Learning is very much by rote; there is relatively little curiousity to poke and peek and hack things just to see how they work.  Those of us in HackerSpaceSG (Singapore) feel quite a minority (I take the liberty to speak on their behalf !).

Benefits of Curiosity and Creativity in Education
East Asian societies tend to be extremely practical in their outlook. Education is often conceived to a means to make our children as economically productive as possible. Even taken in this narrow perspective, encouraging curiosity and creativity will certainly improve our economic prospects. Call us idealists, but we at HackerSpaceSG believe that the benefits of developing inquiring and creative minds is going to benefit not just school grades, but we enhance the very quality of our future society and living environment.

Our Educational Project
This is why we think our educational project Smart Room Jr is a small step in the right direct. It is conceived to be a home automation system that is so simple that even kids can use it. What is more, it is fully expandable and modifiable. The hardware plans and firmware is to be open source. The programming IDE is to be the Arduino platform and so extremely easy to learn, and very well supported.

Our hope is that such a product can appeal to the sense of practicality of the East Asian, but at the same time be so easy to tweak and modify. It is only a matter of time before a child is able to control his bathroom light with his iPod, when he will try to make it control his radio controlled car too. From then on the road is open-sourced and easy to modify, and an interest in not just electronics may be sparked, but a mind more curious and willing to challenge the status quo.





This is an East Asian response to an East Asian issue in education. It is explained here as briefly as possible, I will be happy to flesh it out more if you like.



With best regards,
Kevin Lim
for HackerSpaceSG





On Sun, Mar 6, 2011 at 3:11 AM, Mitch <malt...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hey!


Here’s an opportunity to participate in a cool project, and also have
a chance to get cool stuff for your hackerspace.
 
<<< REST SNIPPED>>>

Kelvin Ng

unread,
Mar 12, 2011, 10:02:44 AM3/12/11
to hacker...@googlegroups.com
Awesome well written piece !! Kudos !! 
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages