RMIT’s IoT Hackathon saw industry challenges tackled by student problem solvers over 3 days.
RMIT is training the IoT experts for the fastest growing IT and Engineering sectors. To accelerate the process they brought together the leading technologies and brightest minds to tackle some of industry’s biggest and toughest challenges.
They invited RMIT student hack teams to use devkits, connectivity options and platforms such as ThingWorx Industrial IoT platform & Thinxtra Xkit IoT devkit to take on real world problems presented by industry partners.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that continues to rapidly transform the way we live, work and learn – from revolutionising simple day-to-day errands to enabling the re-creation of cities. IHS forecasts that more than 30.7 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2020 and 75.4 billion by 2025. In fact, emerging technologies could constitute one- third of global GDP by 2025.
With these astonishing figures in mind, and in response to this tremendous growth, RMIT’s School of Engineering and LEAP Australia brought together Australia’s brightest minds to tackle some tough business challenges, leveraging the latest technologies in IoT in the RMIT Hackathon which was run over three days in late August 2018.
Showcasing the importance and growing role that IoT plays in Australia, the hackathon formed part of the Victorian Digital Innovation Festival, and was officially launched by the Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, the Hon. Philip Dalidakis. The Minister congratulated the RMIT teams on their dedication and highlighted the tremendous opportunity that they had to “experience real-world problem solving” with industry using new technology and tools. “Even if you don’t succeed with the task that is before you, failure is part of the journey. It’s not a destination,” he said.
Breaking down long-held assumptions that IoT was confusing, expensive and complicated, student Hackathon teams were invited to use the PTC ThingWorx IoT platforms to take on real- world problems presented by nine industry partners including Lendlease, City West Water, Wilson Transformers and SEA Electric. Other real-world problems that were tackled over the three-day hackathon included using IoT to monitor laser cutting machine conditions and leverage machine learning solutions for predictive maintenance.
Event co-convenor and Business Development Manager for the School of Engineering, Mark Raphael, said teams “moved beyond vanilla IoT to drive high-value solutions” that integrated real-time IoT data with Augmented Reality (AR), advanced analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The hackathon was representative of real- world team environments and involved 54 participants across 10 multi-disciplinary teams and 100 connected Things. Each participant was provided with preliminary expert industry-level training in the use of the ThingWorx platform and was coached on how to examine problems, build sound and compelling business cases and deliver solutions that delivered real commercial value. Judging criteria included the value that the solution delivered; adaptability to other use cases; integration of advanced analytics; effectiveness and useability of IoT and relevance of the solution to the core industry problem.
The final day of the hackathon was Demo Day, where each team presented their solutions to a panel of industry judges using a combination of IoT dashboards, digital tablets and the mixed reality platform, the Microsoft HoloLens. When the dust settled on a vivid array of live IoT demonstrations, AR experiences and business case presentations, the judges announced their determinations on the best three solutions.
And the winners were…Team ‘Supernova’ who received the $7,000 first prize. Team Lendlease came in second, taking home $4,000 for their work building smart documents, analysing contents and delivering results via AR. Third place and $3,000 went to team City West Water for their IoT vacuum sewer system servicing solution using the Thinxtra Xkit as part of the solution.
The third placed ‘City West Water’ team comprised five students from Civil Engineering and a student from the Master of IT program: Abraham Kurtoglu , Shani Abrahams, Vince Turcarolo, Austen Dupleix, Claudia Valle and Sumit Kumar. Renald Gallis from Thinxtra was happy to mentor such an enthusiastic team.
Claudia Valle commented: “IoT/AR are growing industries and as civil engineering students have no exposure to coding or AR/IoT within our programs, Mark Raphael, a Business Development Manager from the School of Engineering, contacted the Civil Engineering Student Association (CESA) to get more civil engineering students involved. Despite our inexperience and even though we were up against students from computer science and software engineering degrees, we’re super proud that two teams of civil engineering students placed and received awards on the day! I think hackathons like these are great initiatives for students to supplement their studies. Students get to develop key skills in multidisciplinary teams, whilst working on real life problems, and gain an exposure to the industry.”
Special thanks to Shelley Brady, RMIT News, for contributing to this story.
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Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.
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