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News  27, Feb 2012

Unmanned aerial vehicle wins Hack&Roll ’12

Photo: NUS Hackers

This post is a series of developer-centric articles supported by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) Singapore with the aim of growing the local student developer community.

NUS Hackers’ first Hack&Roll saw a team of 2 winning the 24 hour hackathon by building a UAV.

Hack&Roll 2012, which was organized by NUS Hackers ended on Monday and it saw 47 student developers hacking out cool stuff in 24 hours, applying a vast range of technology stacks, from the standard LAMP stack, to node.js to Ruby on Rails. In addition, the event also saw several industry players coming in to support the event, including Research in Motion, AWS, iDA, and Nokia.

Photo: NUS Hackers

The winning team, Team Semantics 2, was a group of two students who built a UAV in 24 hours. They used the Justin.tv API, found that the screenshots API did not work, rejected a Flash-based approach and wrote a Selenium script to take screenshots of an open browser in their Linux computer. They then cropped the image programmatically. After which, they uploaded those screenshots via Dropbox to submit to face.com for face detection (this was after realizing that face.com needed a hosted image). Lastly, their plane crashed multiple times, after which they discovered they had accidentally reversed the polarity of their engine.

Photo: NUS Hackers

The team that came up second was just as impressive. Team 113 wrote a scraper for School of Computing (SoC) modules, wrote a parser for the scraped data (to build a dependency tree for modules in SoC), wrote a web app to serve that data, used MongoDB to store that data, and then learnt HTML5 canvas within the 24 hours to animate the graph structure of the modules.

Photo: NUS Hackers

The talent that was brimming at the event, was simply exciting, and the apps produced by the participants were just pure amazing, given that they had did it within 24 hours (See the list of apps here). Not only that, they had prominent individuals within the hacker scene in Singapore dropping by the event as well, including all three founders of HackerspaceSG.

Photo: NUS Hackers

The event ended on Monday, with Lee Wee Sun (Vice Dean of Undergraduate Studies of SoC), Erwan Mace (Google), Sarim Aziz(RIM), Chua Ruiwen (HackerspaceSG), Luther Goh (HackerspaceSG) and Justin Lee (HackerspaceSG) judging the various submissions.

More photos of the Hack&Roll can be found here

If you are a Singapore-based startup and looking for student developers, contact the NUS Hackers here.

Laurence Putra Franslay

Laurence Putra Franslay

Laurence is a hacker who organises the region's largest all geek event, GeekcampSG, and is particularly passionate in the fields of Distributed Systems and Computer Security. In his free time, he hacks out tools to solve his personal pain points, including Instasyncer. More about him over at Geeksphere.net.

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