Hackathon Themes

Hackathon Themes

Enterprise Digitization

Enterprise Digitization

Enterprise Digitization

As technology continues to advance, companies in even the most traditional industries will need to incorporate new technologies into their operations  in order to remain competitive. Technology allows enterprises to reduce their overhead costs, provide data to their customers, and have an instant picture of their operations at any given time.

Use your knowledge of a company of your choice to create a “control centre” that management within the company can use to get an overall picture of the state of the company, that leaders can present to their workers to communicate productivity and schedule information, and that sales departments can use to provide customers with dynamic updates on the progress of their order. Your tool should help companies to be more organized, more productive, and more effective.

Things to consider in your project may include:

  • Intuitive ways to present your data
  • Predictive analysis for decision making by management
  • Productivity and schedule compliance of current and upcoming projects
  • Different operation areas such as Inventory and procurement, cash flow, resource management, etc.
  • End-customer experience

You may require the following to complete your project:

  • Computer – be sure to bring your computer, charging cables, and any other hardware you may require
  • Software – you may wish to make use of simulation, data management, building information modelling (BIM), graphics, or other types of software. Make sure that you have downloaded what you need before hacking starts
  • Company data – this does not need to be from an actual company, you can use any data set you may have to prove your concept
  • Any other materials you may need to complete and present your solution

Workshops provided by the following people and companies may be applicable to your challenge (more information to be announced):

  • Maria Al-Hussein, University of Alberta
  • Dr. Sadiq Altaf, ACQBUILT, Inc.

Use your creativity to help discover new ways for enterprises to plan, organize, and deliver their product or service!

The Future of BIM

The Future of BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being adopted by the construction industry to facilitate and promote collaborations between stakeholders within a project. BIM is a 3D model front-loaded with information that is used for a variety of purposes in a project including designing, scheduling, and cost estimation; however, there is further potential for innovation and intelligence.

In this challenge you will identify a new use for BIM. BIM has been applied to scheduling, cost estimating, life cycle analysis, carbon impact, and many other aspects of building planning, construction, and maintenance. Potential remains for the application of BIM in the construction industry. Your prototype for a new or improved use of BIM should allow companies to more easily assess the impact of their construction activities on the community, the environment, and their employees. The tool should allow companies to make better decisions in a more efficient way.

Things to consider in your project may include:

  • Effect of design changes on energy consumption (i.e., how does changing the size of a window affect the lighting and heating in that room?)
  • Quantification of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Assessing and mitigating the ergonomic demands placed on construction workers (e.g., risk level analysis, physical demand analysis)
  • Improvements to the contractor, designer, and consumer experiences

You may require the following to complete your project:

  • Computer – be sure to bring your computer, charging cables, and any other hardware you may require
  • Software – you may wish to make use of BIM, simulation, data management, graphics, or other types of software. Make sure that you have downloaded what you need before hacking starts
  • Data – you may require a building model and information related to the application you are adding to / improving on with your BIM add-on. You can use any data you may have to prove your concept
  • Any other materials you may need to complete and present your solution

Workshops provided by the following people and companies may be applicable to your challenge (more information to be announced):

  • Vincent Plourd, Chandos Construction
  • Dr. Sadiq Altaf, ACQBUILT, Inc.

Use your experience and expertise to develop a cutting-edge way for BIM to take into account ergonomics, environmental concerns, or other aspects of building construction and operation!

VR Spectator Experience

VR Spectator Experience

Virtual Reality Experience

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have the potential to improve many aspects of our lives. These technologies have been adopted on some level for gaming, architecture, training, and other applications, but the potential remains for many new and/or improved uses. This challenge theme consists of several challenges that you may choose to focus on individually, adapt according to your expertise, or combine with other AR/VR challenges and even other challenge themes!

Workshops provided by the following people and companies may be applicable (more information to be announced):

  • Esmatullah Naikyar and David Basto, NAIK AR Corp.
  • Brad Drebit and Tyler West, ICE Edge

A Vive HTC headset and controllers will be provided for testing purposes.

AR/VR Challenge 1: Live mask fitting (involving Augmented Reality)

The challenge will be to create a platform that can detect and track the face (via webcam or mobile camera) and try to fit 3D masks on a person. The challenge requires you to detect the face live and overlaying an invisible ‘mesh’ on the person to turn the 2D face into a 3D entity. Then you will be able to overlay the 3D mask on the mesh.

Things to consider in your project include:

  • The platform needs to be web based or web deployable
  • You are allowed to use open source codes or existing software for the face tracking portion (do NOT use OpenCV for face tracking)

You may require the following to complete your project:

  • Computer – be sure to bring your computer, charging cables, and any other hardware you may require
  • Unity is suggested to use, however, any other platform can be also used to develop this (a sample project will be provided to utilize, if necessary)
  • Software – you may wish to make use of other types of software. Make sure that you have downloaded what you need before hacking starts
  • Any other materials you may need to complete and present your solution

AR/VR Challenge 2:  3D modeling via deformation of a base model

According to many articles, the biggest bottleneck in the commercialization of AR and VR is creating accurate 3D models of structures. For this challenge we will focus on creating a 3D model of a basic cube structure (a Rubik’s cube) from its images from the six sides. Basically you will need to come up with a method to turn the given images of a Rubik’s cube into an accurate 3D model.

The best method to approach this problem with is to first create a generic 3D mesh/model (in CAD, Maya or any other 3D model generator) and then overlay the images on this pre-existing mesh. Creating an algorithm to deform the mesh iteratively to fit the cube shape and finally generate a 3D model of the Rubik’s cube. The generic 3D mesh/model must be a sphere. The challenge will be very interesting when you will need to deform this sphere mesh iteratively with the square images in order to create a 3D model of a Rubik’s cube. Lastly, the resulting 3D model will need to take into account and accurately represent the color and texture of the Rubik’s cube images too.

Things to consider in your project include:

  • The platform needs to be web based or web deployable
  • A basic web page should be built where the six images can be inputted and the output will be the Rubik’s cube 3D model

You may require the following to complete your project:

  • Computer – be sure to bring your computer, charging cables, and any other hardware you may require
  • Software – Make sure that you have downloaded what you need before hacking starts. This may include CAD softwares, Maya, or any other 3D model generator you wish to use along with any other softwares you feel you may need.
  • Any other materials you may need to complete and present your solution

AR/VR Challenge 3: VR Spectator Experience  

Have you ever wanted to be in the front row of the most in-demand concerts, behind the glass at your favourite team’s game, or at the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square while still in the comfort of your own home? Use virtual reality to open these live experiences to people around the world. Develop ways for a venue to sell multiple tickets for the same seat to give people a virtual experience of the ultimate front row seat or backstage pass.

Create a VR experience that will disrupt the entertainment industry. Consider the venue, entertainment organizers, and consumers when developing your interface and user experience.

Things to consider in your project may include:

  • Experience of spectators at the event
  • Logistics of selling to customers world-wide
  • Seat selection by VR users within the venue
  • End-customer Experience

You may require the following to complete your project:

  • Computer – be sure to bring your computer, charging cables, and any other hardware you may require
  • Software – Make sure that you have downloaded what you need before hacking starts.
  • Any other materials you may need to complete and present your solution

Think outside the box to improve the availability, affordability, and sophistication of entertainment!

Design of Robot-crew for Task X

Design of Robot-crew for Task X

Robotics in Construction

As robotic technologies have advanced and the cost of adoption has decreased in recent decades, robotics are emerging as a viable option for some of the repetitive tasks in construction.

In this challenge, you need to focus on one specific construction task (i.e., framing a wall, or another task of your choice) and develop a robotics solution to replace all or part of the human input required for the task. The robotics solution may involve one or a combination of multiple robots, sensors, and computer algorithms. You may choose existing robots or develop a new type of manipulator depending on the nature of the construction task. Remember that the  challenge here is to develop a robo-crew for a real construction task today.

Your hackathon project may include any combination of the following, or you may choose to focus more on a single aspect:

  • Overview of the construction task (describe the action and why is it pertinent to the industry)
  • Design of the robo-crew
  • Utilization scenario and operation (presented by storyboards or videos)
  • Benefit analytics (cost, efficiency, safety, and new opportunities)

For this challenge, you will have a robot simulator tool available for your use. This tool, named Robia was developed by Dr. Jessy Kang, who is now a Professor at the University of Alberta. Robia is a simulation environment to visualize the robotics process to assemble building components. Users are able to import BIM models and simulate the detailed robot movements to assemble all the elements. Robia provides an interface to allow users to specify the location of the materials and the sequence of assembly. It will compute the robot paths and give warning to possible collisions. The users need to fine tune the paths to achieve a safe and efficient assembly plan. A workshop on the use of Robia will be held as part of the Hackathon!

Workshops provided by the following people and companies may be applicable to your challenge (more information to be announced):

  • Dr. Jessy Kang, University of Alberta

Use your creativity and analytical skills to design a desirable scenario in which robots are used alongside human workers to augment their work, keep them safer, and boost productivity!

Bring Your Own Challenge

Bring Your Own Challenge

Note: Your challenge will be subject to approval by the organizers