'Hack Arizona' Delivers Apps and Sustainable Projects

Hundreds of students spent 36 hours at Hack Arizona developing design hacks and vying for prizes and the attention of representatives from sponsoring companies such as Amazon, Cisco, Intuit, Raytheon and State Farm. 

The second-year competition for building software and hardware projects was hosted by the University of Arizona. 

The grand prize went to UA computer science and electrical engineering major Mark Omo and collaborator James Rowley. Omo and Rowley produced "Hack Drone Flight Area Control," a scalable drone management system allowing users to efficiently delegate tasks to fleets of varied unmanned aerial vehicles.

"Getting the system working in the short time we were allotted was the biggest achievement in my eyes, along with keeping the server thread safe and eliminating the possibility of the threads tripping on one another," Omo said.

The team also won the award for best software, and prizes included Apple watches, a Dell Android Tablet, and a Chromecast and Nexus player. 

"I'm definitely proud of getting the whole thing to run smoothly and interact with the DFAC back end, while being able to handle hundreds of tasks and drones scalably," Rowley said. "Also, I'm pretty happy with the overall look and feel, as well as the drone and marker graphics."

Other prize winners included:

  • The "Oculus Rift Controlled Laser Turret," which won for best hardware. The model uses 3-D printed parts to enhance drone safety and improve laser accuracy.
  • "Midi Recyclable," which won the prize for sustainability. The interdisciplinary team of electrical engineers, a mechanical engineer and a biomedical engineer built the musical instruments using aluminum cans gathered during the hacking competition. Team members were Scott Marshall, Nick Copic, Davis McGregor and Sajani Jivan.
  • The "UMC Pediatrics App," which won the health category. The app provides reliable, timely and relevant diagnostic information to children who are receiving care, and their families. Team members were Kristoffer Cabulong, Trevor Fasulo, Karyn Vo and Sydney Warner.
  • "My Little Package," an enhanced mailing package management system meant to improve the ways of receiving packages, specifically at campus residence halls.