Over the weekend of January 13-15, UCLA IEEE and Theta Tau presented the third annual Idea Hacks hardware hackathon. The theme was sports technology; and students were invited to form teams and create products and devices using the hardware components provided. The hardware included arduinos, FPGAs, Raspberry Pi, WiFi, Bluetooth, as well as 3-D Printers, soldering equipment, drills, tape, hammers, etc.
More than 125 students participated in this 36-hour event. Twenty-one teams finished the competition; and a team of judges including alumni, faculty, and members of sponsoring companies reviewed the designs. Among the designs were a Frisbee that changed colors as it rotated, a device that sped up or slowed the tempo of music for a runner during a workout based on heart rate, and a camera that tracked the movement of a soccer ball during a match.
Sponsoring companies included Mulesoft, Northrop Grumman, Xilinx, Texas Instruments, Biotronik, Microduino, Amazon Lab 126, and New Matter.
The students really enjoyed the opportunity to build a device that demonstrated their creativity in a short period of time; and the company representatives commented on how impressed they were with the students’ hard work and the overall organization of the event.