On April 14 and 15, over 490 attendees met at Drexel University’s Daskalakis Athletic Center to compete for the best software and hardware hacks for social good at the
sixth annual Philly Codefest, presented by BrickSimple LLC and Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics
Students and professionals from all experience levels and backgrounds worked together to develop novel applications and tools to impact a variety of challenges affecting the
Greater Philadelphia area and beyond.
Drexel’s premier hackathon event kicked off with a welcome from CCI Associate Professor and Director of the Women in Computing Initiative Michelle Rogers, followed by a keynote address from BrickSimple CEO Det Ansinn.
Philly Codefest 2018 sponsors included CCI Corporate Partners URBN, DXC Technology, American Water, SAP, eMoney Advisor, Dell Boomi; and JPMorgan & Chase Co., HomeNet Automotive, Cerner, Linode, U.S. Army, Google, and Google
Cloud Platform, Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and Aramark.
Codefest 2018 also featured interactive and educational workshops throughout the day hosted by sponsors such as BrickSimple, SAP, American Water, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and
with student groups such as the Drexel Cyber Dragons and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Student Chapter.
Attendees formed teams to work on projects over the course of the 30-hour hackathon, and then presented their final creations to a panel of judges – comprised of Drexel
faculty, alumni, sponsors and Philadelphia tech community leaders.
The following eight teams and projects were selected by the judges as some of the most innovative and promising projects to emerge out of Philly Codefest 2018:
1) Team Can Deux
Nicolena Stiles (BS computer engineering student), Cameron Scott Graybill (BS computer science student), Becquerel Jones (BS computer engineering student), Safa Aman (BS computer
science student), Jen Bondarchuk (BS computer science student)
Can Deux is a recycling station kiosk that tracks collected aluminum and displays information about its equivalent worth in USD, which
can be redeemed by returning the collected cans to a local recycling facility. Collected funds are then donated to the causes, charities, or organizations as advertised on the
kiosk. Each kiosk tracks and displays its own can totals, as well as the cans collected within the entire network.
Aluminum cans – they're so ubiquitous, we sometimes stop seeing them. Common as they are, it's easy to forget that every aluminum
can is actually worth something, and those pennies at a time can really add up. Inspired by the large amounts of waste college campuses and cities can produce, we wanted to
provide immediate, reactive feedback to incentivize recycling and prove that every can counts.
Winner of the Philly Codefest 2018 Student Award
Recognizes the best student team hack.
Winner of the Philly Codefest 2018 Best Hardware Hack Prize
Recognizes the best hardware hack.
2) Team SAFE
Vuk Petrovic, Jesse Xiong, Ervis Zeneli, Chul Ahn
An iOS application that provides real-time active shooter alerts, guidance, instructions, and response to prevent casualties in schools
The sudden rise in mass shootings in the USA.
Winner of thePhilly Codefest 2017 Collaborative Award
In the spirit of Philly Codefest, the Collaborative Award is open to teams with a mix of students and professionals. This prize goes to the best overall hack.
3) Team Pipe It Up
A quick handheld app solution to calculate on-the-job safety-related measurements.
American Water Works workers currently have computers with them on the job site to calculate things important to their own safety, like
restraints needed for pipes. A handheld easy-to-use app would allow efficiency and simple workforce integration.
American Water Pipe Restraint Calculator Prize
Prize: 3D Printer Bundle & Invitation to 2018 American Water Looking Forward Conference
4) Team Out Safe
John Galletta (MS information systems student), Rebecca Goldstein, Alexandra Alsid (BA interactive digital media student), Bobby Ren,
Out Safe allows a venue’s organization to create its own training sessions. The administrator can mark exit doors, safe rooms,
and corners to create the layout for the venue. The administrator can then add an evacuation (fire) or emergency event (active shooter) to any part of the venue. When the staff
opens the AR application in the venue and scans around they will be able to see icons that indicate the event being practiced and will also be able to scan and see icons that
indicate exits that are usable (green door) and not usable (red door). While the staff is using the application, a timer will be running that logs how long it takes them to get to
safety. Once each staff member completes the training session, the staff member presses a green “I am safe” button which stops the timer ending the session.
Practice is an important component to learning. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) allow personnel to train for situations
where it is difficult or unethical to recreate real-world scenarios. VR and AR tools are being used by law enforcement and medical personnel to practice their craft. Ongoing
research shows the benefits of practicing via VR and AR simulation. Our mission is to design an application that uses AR to provide a simulation environment in which emergency
teams can practice their evacuation and emergency procedures and protocols real-life scenarios. Personnel who work in venues are required to know their evacuation and emergency
procedures and protocols. In the heat of the moment it can be difficult to remember what to do when practice does not match the actual situation. The objective is mastering
existing protocols to free cognitive resources allowing the personnel to handle unexpected disruptions in the predetermined protocol.
Winner of the Most Likely to Go to Market Software Award
Awarded to the most innovative, high-impact and scalable software project for social good.
Winner of the JPMorgan Chase Best Hack for Social Good Award
Prize: Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speakers
5) Team Active Shooter/Emergency Notification System
Description: An employee notification system
that interacts with existing technologies and notifies emergency services for events. Receives events and broadcasts events to end users. Notifies emergency services of emergency
type and location.
Inspiration: An Emergency Notification system that works for an office/campus setup and relies on existing dedicated networking to ensure timely
Winner of the American Water Active Shooter/Alert App Prize
Prize: Drone Bundle & Invitation to Invitation to 2018 American Water Looking Forward Conference
6) Team CrashCoin
Tolani Oyefule, Isaiah Harrison
Description: A crypto token for autonomous car collisions generated on the spot of impact.
Inspiration: We were inspired by news of three different autonomous crashes that have occurred within the past few months, as well as personally
witnessing a three-car collision on the highway.
Winner of the Cerner Block Chain Currency Prize
Awarded to best system with a block chain currency for people to use in a social network for custom
Prize: VR Headsets with Remote Control
7) Team Comfy
Noel Rajkumar (BS computing & security technology student), Sofia Chiccarine (BS computer science student), Palash Pandey (BS information
systems student), Sanskriti Seernani (BS computer science student), Jacob Taylor (BS computing & security technology student)
Description: The goal behind developing Comfy was to provide assistance for people with mental and physical disabilities to determine whether
a restaurant’s environment will be suitable to their special needs. When the user visits the website, they will see a map of the area they are in. There is a search bar
where the user will type in the name of the restaurant and it will return a list of the possible triggers or red flags for various mental disorders and physical disabilities.
Potential triggers that Comfy will identify are harsh lighting, loud music, crowded or not, smoking, and any other things that can overwhelm the senses of people with mental
disorders that can result in overstimulation. For people with physical disabilities, the app lists whether the location is wheelchair accessible, if there are stairs or any other
hurdles that may cause inconvenience. Users can also submit information to update the system.
Inspiration: “My friend and I, who are both neurodivergent, found a restaurant's environment to be rather overwhelming to our senses
because it had a poorly lit, loud and crowded environment. We both wished we knew of this before, when we looked up the restaurant online.”
Winner of the Google Best User Interface Prize
Awarded to the most well-designed, most intuitive, and unique mobile interface that focuses on the user experience.
Prize: A tour of Google's NYC office, one-on-one Q&A and resume consultation with Google Engineers, and Google Home Minis
8) Team ChatAssist – Cybersecurity as a Service
Shaw Levin (BS computer science ’10), Quentin Gipson (BS general studies student), Zachary
Levine, Darnell Williams, Jeff Ginsburg (BS digital media, ’10), Aisha Ali-Ahmad (first-year exploratory studies student)
Description: Natural interfaces for making cyber security accessible to the public, small business and dev teams. Chat assistant supports
conversations on key cyber topics and connections to individual consultants and firms.
Inspiration: Data leaks, hackers and other cybersecurity topics are dominating the news and concerning companies large and small.
Cybersecurity help however is not very accessible today. Our service offers entry level information to the public with the ability to reach an expert consult for more complex
Winner of the CoxAutomotive Best Use of Cloud Platform Services
Awarded to the team with the best use of Cloud Platform Services as part of their
Prize: Amazon Echo