Over the weekend, Jason and I attended the first PCH Hardware Hackathon in Ireland, held in the DCU Innovation Campus in Dublin.

As part of a nine-person team we’ve since dubbed TeamFive, we built a smart shelf for stock management in fridges (specifically targeted at pharmacies for the time being).

Our Node-RED flow for Pharmalytics

We took advantage of the kindness of Intel – who donated Galileo boards to each team – as well as Episensor (for the in-fridge, water sealed temperature sensor) and built up our own physical prototype mat using laser cut acrylic and a network of 16 Force Sensitive Resistors (FSRs) to feed the data to our custom-coded Galileo and give us a real time view of the objects on the mat. We then piped all the data through an IBM Bluemix-hosted Node-RED instance in order to end up with a functioning API, and then used that API to furnish a web dashboard powered by jQuery and the Morris.js graphing library.

A hard at work Chris and our prototype being displayed.

A hard at work Chris and our prototype being displayed.

The project reached a good prototype level by the end of the weekend, with strong collaboration between excellent technical people and brilliant business minds. We also owe a great deal of thanks to the wonderful people who volunteered to help out at the event, and the sponsors who donated the generous prizes and the funding for the event to take place. Those breakfast bagels were the source of all our energy!

Our laser-cut prototype exposing its innards for the judges

Topping off the weekend with a strong pitch delivered by Tracy Keogh (who also managed to get the number and get in contact with the MD of Boots pharmacy chain as part of our market validation), we managed to come home with the top prize.

If you’d like to know more about TeamFive and the hackathon, we set up a website here which you can get more information at, as well as get in touch with the team.

Better call... TeamFive!

Better call… TeamFive!

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