you're reading...

International Space Apps Challenge Nairobi


International Space Apps Challenge

International Space Apps Challenge 2012

On the weekend of 21st – 22nd April, the iHub Nairobi hosted its first International Space Apps Challenge where slightly close to a total of 100 developers, designers,engineers,technologists, space/robotics enthusiasts, and students from various universities participated. The event was the first of its kind in Nairobi.

The International Space Apps Challenge is a 2 day technology development (codeathon/hackathon) event during which citizens from around the world work together to solve current challenges relevant to both space exploration and social need. It took place on 7 continents and in space!

The overall objective was to use minimal resources and maximum brainpower to create outside-the-box solutions in response to interesting problems that can have immediate impact.
At the event individuals collaborated with others by forming teams focused on solving a particular challenge. The teams were in competition among themselves and with other teams around the world to utilize publicly available space and data to design innovative “solutions” to a pre-determined series of global “challenges”. The challenges categories were Open Hardware, Software, Citizen Science and Data visualisation.

International Space Apps Challenges

International Space Apps Challenges

Running concurrently with the International Space Apps Challenge under the Open Hardware category was the Creative Robotics 2 day boot camp. The boot camp took place on the same dates as the Space Apps Challenge. The boot camp was sponsored by the iHub in partnership with the FabLab Nairobi.

The program brought together enthusiasts and with an interest in robotics. The participants underwent a short, intensive course on the use of the Arduino board as a platform to program robots.
After a two-day boot camp the robotics participants formed teams as well and worked on specific challenges like making an obstacle avoiding robot, creating a digital scoreboard for the Foosball game at the iHub among other challenges that can be viewed here.

A total of six teams were formed. During the day the iHub was a buzz with teams brainstorming designs and solutions, writing code and building robots. Teams hacked away the night with some taking cat-naps in between their hack sessions. Excellent food was in plenty. There was the occasional burst of laughter and high-fiving as milestones were achieved. 36 hours later, the teams were required to demo whatever they had done. Unlike in many hackathons (codeathons), they were not allowed to use PowerPoint Slides when presenting their demo.

Judges and members of the audience listened intently and watching keenly as the team leaders demoed their hacks. After the presentations, the judges deliberated and within a few minutes they had made their decision on the top hacks.
Before announcing the winners, the crowd in attendance got to vote for their favorite hack that had been demoed.
The crowd overwhelmingly voted for the “Roach Rover”. An obstacle avoiding robot hack that can viewed in  this video.

As for the top hacks, 3rd was Ze-Api (French For “The Api”) which is an API that gets the Json data from NASA datasets and reproduces the same data in two more data formats including the popular XML format and YAML and a Better structured JSON .

2nd was Data Magic, a remote data acquisition and control system aimed at collecting data about a wind turbine. It is based on an Atmega 16 processor and a GSM module. It also incorporates various sensors for current and voltage and accelerometers, anemometers e.t.c.

And the winner was Ufahamu, which is an award-winning crowd sourcing platform that creates awareness for health related issues in Kenya and aims to improve productivity of end-users while minimizing labor and research expenses.

The 3rd team walked away with Ksh 10000, the 2nd team walked away with Ksh 20000 and the number one team walked away with Ksh 40000. All the three got various github account plans.
The winning solutions and all other solutions submitted shall be included in the global judging and shall be tracked in the long-term.


About allan allay

I am a Full Stack Software Developer also pursuing a Masters in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation. I blog, dabble in robotics and computer networks. My interests are in Social good, ICT4D, M4D & D4M


2 thoughts on “International Space Apps Challenge Nairobi

  1. “International Space Apps Challenge Nairobi Crumbling the
    tech cookie” was in fact a very good posting.
    However, if it had alot more pics this would likely be possibly even much better.
    Regards ,Ola

    Posted by http://yahoo.com | February 11, 2013, 10:02 am


  1. Pingback: International Space Apps Challenge – Nairobi 2013 | Crumbling the tech cookie - April 26, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: