Recently, team MakerBreak (consisting of me, Isaac and Sudharshan) competed in the student category of Hackathon@SG. The competition theme this year was on "Smart Nation", where we are to work on a project related to building a smart nation. There was even hardware provided by the sponsors, including the Nabu X, VR One and Tweeq.

Of course, as adventurous students, we took the VR One as we wanted to play with VR. It was a nice piece of equipment, being much much better than the Google Cardboard.

Productive Saturday morning with Unity5 #virtualreality #VR #sghack #smartnation #buildsg

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We came up with a few ideas, before the hackathon. Most of the students there were studying in university and junior college, and we were among the few secondary students there.

Armed with a (Relay Shield), WiFly RN-XV module, an Arduino Uno, a power adapter, soldering irons, wires, cables, sleeping bags, laptops, and my pet toy dog, we went to ITE College Central in glee and excitement.

The registration took a while, but after that we got to our table in the multipurpose hall.

The space was big, and as any hackathon (so far I've gone to that are organised by IDA), there's bean bags and a stage, and the place is divided into the three categories.

#SGHack at night

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During meal breaks there were games at the amphitheater where we had our meals.

As Sudharshan's soldering intensified through the night, I tried very hard to get the WiFly module working. It refused boot, then I tried to serial to it, didn't flip TX and RX, and finally after that, figured out the flash was borked due to repeated poweroffs. Argh. I need a Particle Photon.


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Then it's now on to Arduino hacking. I tried using MQTT, had problems with compatibility as the WiFly had no Ethernet compatible library I could use, so I sampled a HTTP server to toggle the relays.

Sudharshan was making the Unity interface. Zeiss had an awesome Unity SDK for making their fancy UI button menus, selectable by hovering over the button. Other than that, we only had to make the clock.

So after the interface was done, we hacked together the HTTP requests and music playback for the rest of the day, and fixed bugs. It wasn't really much work, but it's a nice proof-of-concept!

And so here's a demo:

Finally, at 2pm, the judges walked around to grade the projects. I wasn't expecting the judges to be impressed by our project. Even Luther of Hackerspace@SG was here. Since we used the VR One, they got a Zeiss marketing employee over. Woah.

#SGHack # judgement

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So all in all, it was an awesome experience.