Tech Experts Create Something Extraordinary In NASA Challenge

After a weekend of innovation and technical achievement, two talented local teams were announced as the Hull winners of the international NASA Space Apps challenge 2018.

Coders, developers and innovation enthusiasts flocked to C4DI over the weekend to take part in the NASA Space Apps challenge Hull, an annual hackathon event that happens all over the world, bringing together great minds to solve real-world problems with tech.

Hull’s tech hub was packed with contestants of all ages, backgrounds and industry sectors, attempting to solve one of NASA’s challenges. The talented teams, some of which had come from local companies and some had formed on the day, would create apps, software-programs and pieces of tech each with their own unique vision and brand. The weekend involved great opportunities for learning about / experimenting with new technology, collaboration and, of course, some great Pizza.

According to the judges, including C4DI tech guru and event organiser Rob Miles, the standard of entries this year had been very high with all teams presenting impressive creations given the time they had. But in the end it was the team from Hull Computer Science Society or #HullCSS that were announced as the Judge’s winners.

The students Space Track web app which tracks upcoming rocket launches around the world, included a 3D visualisation of the globe complete with interactive rocket launch sites mapped out on the surface. The sleek app perfectly answered the brief and has the potential to be a very useful tool for Space enthusiasts around the world. Nathaniel Read from the team said;

“We had an interesting solution to the problem that would allow users to visualise the launches in a unique way and through the project we believe we created something both educational and fun. We all

learnt a new side of programming so it was a really good opportunity to get to grips with new technology!” Nathaniel Read, Student Developer

The other winners were Team Starflower who won the people’s choice award. The team created an innovative Sun-following robot and were made up of students and C4DI members, Matt and Joe. The tech demonstrator they built, is capable of drawing energy from the Sun no matter it’s position or what planet you are on. This project had a clear eye on the future and was a prime example of local companies and developers pooling their knowledge to create something that could change the world for the better.

One of the contestants James Dewes, from Summit media, a keen supporter of the challenge who is also a previous Nasa winner, told us about his experince;

“I think that Space Apps is a great opportunity to think and work creatively. It presents challenges that can stretch my skills and encourages me to learn new things and try new approaches; all in all a really positive environment. Anyone can contribute and I recommend it to anyone as a great experience. Also, Pizza!

With so many different ways to approach the challenges, no two projects are the same, which makes the competition very different. Over the weekend some really interesting ideas came together” - James Dewes, Head of Data Integrations and Solutions, Summit Media

If you want more information about this year’s event and the other team’s achievements, go to our dedicated event page c4di.co.uk/nasa where you will find a gallery of images and videos from the weekend as well as other content that gives a more detailed summary of the event.

Article by Tim Goodfellow, Copywriter and Social Media Management @ timgoodfellow.co.uk