LOUISVILLE, KY — April 13, 2015 —FirstBuild, a global co-creation community, today announced the winners of its 33-hour Mega Hackathon: Hack the Home challenge, the biggest hackathon related to home appliances ever. Teams of more than 200 makers, designers and engineers converged at FirstBuild’s microfactory in Louisville, to hack and build major appliance innovation for the home of the future. More than $60,000 in cash and other prizes were awarded.
Ideas ranged from hands-free refrigerator doors to a kitchen cabinet greenhouse. Designs were judged by representatives from FirstBuild and the Mega Hackathon’s more than 30 sponsors including Atmel, AT&T, Delta, Renesas, Texas Instruments and hackster.io.
With access to advanced manufacturing tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters, water jets, ShopBots and HandiBots, the teams hacked GE Appliances to conceive and create innovation. Fueled by music, food and caffeine, the teams’ ingenuity was evident in creations like a refrigerator inventory system, an automated pasta cooker controlled with an app, and a rugged microwave powered off a car battery.
FirstBuild is an online community of engineers, designers, makers and home enthusiasts dedicated to conceiving, co-creating, and building the next generation of major home appliances. Participants identify market needs, directly participate in the product development and watch via social media as ideas speed from mind to market.
The top three winning teams, chosen from a pool of more than 30 designs, are:
1st Place: THE ROASTERS
Rob Lewis, Joshua Longenecker, Ali Faraji-Tajrishi, Nick Dillon, Rick Suel
- The winners adapted a conventional GE wall oven to roast coffee precisely using an Arduino control. Their invention, House Roast, adjusts the oven temperature automatically to mimic the professional roasting of coffee beans.
2nd Place: FIX OF WATER
Nelson Tanquero, Mark Shelton, Michael Large, Jose Padron
- Use voice commands to control the water dispenser on your GE refrigerator from a mobile device or tablet. The Fix of Water team hacked a GE fridge to provide filtered water by voice command to illustrate the possibilities for interaction with the appliances of tomorrow.
3rd Place: CROCK WATCH
Jason Chodyniecki, Taylor White, Bill Piepmeyer, Keith White, Eric Sage
- Wifi-enabled remote control crockpot with video that gives you greater control without being there. Crock Watch lets you control your crock pot from afar with an app and even monitor the cooking process with a unique video capability, so not only can you see the cooking process, when it's done you can shut it off without being there. Slow cooking is a popular trend, but existing crock pots stay at the present temperature until you return to adjust or shut them off.
“We are excited to open our state-of-the-art microfactory to makers to ideate and take advantage of our advanced manufacturing facility,” said Natarajan Venkatakrishnan, director of FirstBuild. “The ingenuity generated by these teams was outstanding and illustrates how ideas can come from anywhere. We opened our facility to the maker community and in a day they created innovations that can impact appliances of tomorrow.”
FirstBuild is a global co-creation community backed by GE Appliances, a Haier company that harnesses the brainpower of the maker movement to change the way major home appliances are conceived, designed and manufactured. A physical state-of-the-art microfactory on the University of Louisville campus and online forum, FirstBuild speeds products from mind to market and enables customization through small batch production, without the costs and risks of traditional mass manufacturing. For more information about how to get involved, visit FirstBuild.com.