Last month Volta held its first hardware-focused hackathon. Some 50 participants divided into several teams and spent the weekend creating new internet-connected hardware solutions or developing new knowledge and skillsets in the hardware area.

The winning entries were as follows:

  • First Place – SmartLock: An intelligent entrance-door locking system that senses vibration and uses facial-recognition to detect approaching persons and turns on porch lights, unlocks the door or messages the owner of guest arrival as appropriate.
  • Second Place – Volta Coffee Machine: An intelligent coffee-pot capable of receiving mobile messages to begin or stop brewing. The coffee pot will respond to commands and inform the user of how many cups of coffee have been prepared.


In addition, a Learning Award was awarded to Max Leeb, a 16-year-old Austrian exchange student who took advantage of the hackathon weekend to attempt computer programming for the first time while learning about hardware and electronics. By the end of the weekend, Max had produced a unique program for the Arduino electronics platform capable of playing popular video game themes through a piezo speaker.

Volta would like to thank the judges: Sandy Walsh, Colin DeWolfe, Bob Garrish, Rachael Craig and Terry Hickey

We would also like to thank: Halifax Makerspace, Dark Secret Software, Dalhousie Computer Science Department, ACOA, E3 Office Furniture and Spring Loaded Technology for bringing hardware, supplying prizes and supporting the event!

This recap was written by: Rachael Craig on behalf of Volta’s hardware initiative.

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