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Fifth annual makeathon is biggest ever

A student shows her device to two other students.During Ohio’s largest makeathon—MakeOHI/O—184 students from 30 different majors teamed up to create prototypes and solutions to real-world problems in just 24 hours. Held February 2-3, Ohio State’s 5th annual hardware-oriented hackathon was the biggest yet, with attendance up 18 percent from 2018.

Using provided hardware and tools, as well as guidance from tech experts and volunteers, students created a variety of projects including a device that tracks facial and hand gestures to make autonomous car travel safer, a riddle-based security system, an autonomous lawn mower, a voice-activated marshmallow launcher and an automated garden.

Nineteen teams competed in one or more of the four sponsored challenges: Honda R&D’s  “Adaptive Dashboard and Console;” American Electric Power’s (AEP) “Enhanced Energy Bridge;” the Entrepreneurial Track, sponsored by the Ohio State Alumni Association and The Erdős Institute; and EdgeThingz’s “Best Use of Voice Technology.”

“The new Entrepreneurial Track encouraged students to be creative and build long-term, business-oriented projects,” said computer science and engineering major Sruti Chigurupati, one of the event organizers. “The winners received seed money in order to continue their projects beyond MakeOHI/O. It definitely encouraged students to think of a project that has market value and could one day become a business." 

In total, 31 teams and 104 participants submitted projects for judging, which is the highest submitting percentage (56 percent) of any OHI/O event. Sixty percent of students who submitted a project to be judged had not previously competed in a makeathon.

The event was free for participants, with $3,500 in prizes up for grabs, thanks to MakeOHI/O 2019 sponsors Microsoft, Honda R&D, AEP, Battelle, Texas Instruments, APTIV, Lincoln Electric, the Ohio State Alumni Association, The Erdős Institute, Bosch, Rev1, EdgeThingz, StickerMule, the Innovation Studio and the National Science Foundation.

Two men work on a project with tools and parts spread around.

Seven teams received general awards for top efforts in various categories including most socially responsible, best aesthetic and most technically difficult. The general award winners and their projects are:

  • Microsoft Grand Prize - BuckeyeBots - Jack Canaday, Jon Zimmerman, Parshva Shah and Seth Brugler
    A voice-activated robotic swinging system for putting on and taking off eyeglasses while driving.
     
  • Microsoft Runner Up - C&G Safety Systems - Christopher Liebhart and Gabriel Lidderdale
    A safety system to monitor carbon monoxide gas in a garage. When the sensor detects CO in the air, the system opens the garage door wirelessly and sends a text alert.
     
  • Second Runner Up - Potato People - Jun Nishikawa, Kyuzo Kelly, Visshaal Suresh and Yuto Nakahata
    A piece of wearable technology attached to a shirt that identifies poor posture and warns the wearer to correct it using an LED and motor.
     
  • Most Socially Responsible - E - Jayanth Gunda, Raghav Samavedam and Ryan Ziegler
    A system to mitigate the occurrence of water pollution in Ohio lakes through the use of bioremediation.
     
  • Best Aesthetic - Electronic dream with a pinch of Cheeto - Dennis Sweeney, Kevin Cooper, Mason Cobb and Zach Jackman
    An alarm clock designed to get people out of bed by launching a ball from the top. The user has to find the ball in order to turn off the alarm, which plays preloaded music via aux cable.
     
  • Most Technically Difficult - The OT - Gordon Weiss, Park Herbert, Rudy Fink and Tyler Ruger
    A laser pointer for people with physical disabilities who cannot use a standard laser pointer. A joystick will communicate with servos on two-axis over Bluetooth.
     
  • Best in House - AURA - Ben Memberg, Connor Rubin, Logan Whitaker and Sean Atwood
    An Alexa Universal Remote Assistant (AURA) which will send data to an ESP8266 controlling IR transmitters when Alexa is spoken to.

There six challenge award winners and their projects are:

  • AEP Challenge - Tuturu - Austin Patton, David Tan, Edwin Shuttleworth and Jared Harp
    A dynamic mock energy smart meter with visualized data.
     
  • Honda Challenge - Back in Gear - Autumn Kerr, Kellan Heth, Maddy McGee and Miguel Garcia
    An apparatus for the dashboard of a car to hold stuff.
     
  • Entrepreneurial Track $2,000 Award - NGA - Angie Volchko, Graham Tschieder, Jake Harrington and Zach Feldman
    An accelerator with Bluetooth connection to an app companion that can be worn on sports headgear to give a warning when the user’s head experiences an acceleration of a certain degree (concussion risk).
     
  • Entrepreneurial Track $1,000 Award - C&G Safety Systems - Christopher Liebhart and Gabriel Lidderdale
    A safety system to monitor carbon monoxide gas (CO) in a garage. When the sensor reads that there is CO in the air, the system opens garage door wirelessly and also sends a text alert.
     
  • Entrepreneurial Track $500 Award - E - Jayanth Gunda, Raghav Samavedam and Ryan Ziegler
    A system to mitigate the occurrence of water pollution in Ohio lakes through the use of bioremediation.
     
  • Best Use of Voice Technology - SOLUTI/ON - Dean Ogle, JT Thrash, Noah Sediqe and Vish Anand
    A hardware device called Quiet Hours, which helps manage quiet environments. When the room breaks a certain volume threshold, the system alerts users nearby to quiet down.

MakeOHI/O 2019 was organized by the OHI/O Program. Find a complete list of their events at hack.osu.edu.