Participated in NASA Space Apps Challenge 2017

Annually NASA organizes an international hackathon event known as “Space Apps” over 48 hours in different cities across the globe. NASA throws set of challenges to address the real-world problems of Earth and space to everyone who dare to tackle the challenge using robotics, data visualization, hardware, design etc. using open data. In Nepal, it was organized by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Mercy Corps Nepal, Nepal Engineers Association (NEA), and Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN) in collaboration with Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd. and Kathmandu Living Labs at World Trade Tower, Thapathali.

Team Aarcana Team Aarcana: Deepak Lal Karna, Sarad Gajurel, Ranjan Bir Bajracharya, and Rujan Shakya (Left-to-Right)

In this hackathon there were five global challenges by NASA and six local challenges by the collaborators Mercy Corps Nepal and ICIMOD. To cope with one of the global challenges “Earth and Us” thrown by NASA, me along with my team Aarcana innovated a new idea to show the connectivity of rural and urban areas so as to balance the economical, socio-cultural and environmental aspects and our theme was “Live Smart”.

There were total number of 17 teams who participated in this event that came up with different ideas to solve the global or local challenges. Use of hardwares, softwares, data visualizations were made by the participants to propose their solution. It was interesting to share the new ideas and explore what young minds can come up with to address the prevailing challenges. Not primarily but cannot stop mentioning that it was also a kind of fun to make new friends and link up with the mentors and collaborators in these two-days hackathon.

On the first day all the team introduced themselves and pitched their ideas on solving their respective challenge then they initiated the develpment of prototype of their project. On the second day, the first half was occupied with the continuity to prototype development and second half consisted of preresenting the prototype. After that the jury members gave an motivational speech that harnessed our spirit even more to devote ourselves in undertaking such challenges. It was followed by announcement of the winners and the project “Smart Agriculture” that innovated an idea to make smart use of technology in agriculture was the first prize winner which received the cash prize worth Nrs 30,000. Other participants also received certificate of participation and all the participants were awarded with $100 Amazon Web service credit and .CO domain free for one year.

After award ceremony there was a Hi-Tea session and Networking session where participants engaged in extending their friend circle. The participants also created the network with organizers, collaborators and supporters. We discussed about our project with the jury members too and they wanted to know if we’ll be implementing the project, we reported that it is currently in the development phase and it will be further continued if we get support of mentors and sponsers.

Aarcana with RAN president and vice president Photo shoot with RAN President Bikash Gurung and Vice-president Utsab Shrestha (Position 4th and 5th from right to left respectively)

These were the major incidents of the two-days hackathon. Feel free to share your response on how interesting was it for you to know about my experience. Thanks!