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    AstonHack is a 24 Hour Hackathon held at Aston University, Birmingham UK as part of Major League Hacking's 18th Season.

    Challengers have 24 hours to Build, Code, Hack, Solder and Program their way to victory in a frenzied, sleep deprived festival, featuring workshops, games, pizza and lots and lots and lots of creating.




    250 Hackers, Programmers, electronics students and Hardware nerds arrive on site for the introductions and presentations from the sponsors. Including one, no so photogenic, e14phil.


    Premier Farnell, Newark, and element14 are Gold Hardware Sponsors.





    Over the weekend we ran two mini-challenges for the hackers:

    1) Best overall Use of Hardware win 2 x Raspberry Pi Hats and 2 x  Raspberry Pi Pi 3 Model B)

    2) First team to show me their project working on Raspberry Pi  and Post it to Raspberry Pi Projects win a set of Raspberry Pi Hats


    Our element14 Sponsored Kit

    We provided a hardware kit, support and a hardware workshop free of charge for all attendees.

    50 x Orange Pip Kona328, Open Source Arduino Projects Compatible platform.

    50 x Custom PCB Arduino Hat with RGB LED, Resistors, Buttons, Potentiometers, Thermistors and Stacking Headers


    Hardware Soldering Workshop

    The hardware was provided as a kit so that soldering workshop could be included in the event. Some attendees took to this like a goose to water and others needed some one on one tuition which we were very happy to provide.




    24H Hacking Area - 3 computer labs opened up into one large room, big enough for 250 contestants, their laptops and the sponsors desks.

    Electronics Workshop - A lab with soldering Irons, multi-meters and the hardware kits

    Lecture Theater - for more theory based workshops

    Chill / Eating Area - where breakfast, lunch and dinner was served

    Meditation / Sleeping Area - A quiet low light room for people suffering from caffeine crash to suffer alone.


    Schedule and Format



    11:00 Opening

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00 Hacking Begins

    14:00 Hardware Workshops

    15:00 Software Workshops

    18:00 Dinner

    21:00 Slideshow Karaoke

    23:00 Werewolf

    00:00 Midnight Pizza

    01:00 Tekken Tournament

    08:00 Breakfast

    12:00 Lunch

    13:00 Stop Hacking

    14:00 Demonstrations

    16:00 Closing and Prizes


    Late Night Entertainment:

    As you could imagine, with a room of 250 young hackers pushing their brains and bodies to the limit for 24 hours of pure creation... things get a bit weird after 1am. People have been building, coding, brainstorming and struggling for the past 12 hours with only bargain brand energy drink to keep them going. On a the night there is the opportunity to blow off a little steam.


    Slideshow Karaoke is a game where volunteers are given a random set of slides that they have never seen and asked to give a presentation about the subject on screen.

    Other classic games are run away from the main hacking area such as Werewolf and a classic Tekken (Video game)  tournament.


    Finally, Midnight Pizza is a must for any 24 hour event.






    Our Favorite Hacks:


    Barry the Sweet Release Dinosaur and Friends 

    - Winners of our Best Use of Hardware Prize!

    Ella Barrett, Callum Kendrick and Aaron Tello-Wharton

    A python script that calls MATLAB Simulink on Raspberry Pi using the Xbox Connect Camera, and gaussian mixture model analysis.

    It uses the first 60 frames as the "background" then anything else added to the camera shot is the "foreground" to figure out if any dinosaurs are on the line This is a variant of the Trolley problem




    Monzo Cli on Raspberry Pi

    - Winners of our Mini Raspberry Pi Challenge!

    Andrew Nicolalde, Hugh Wells, Samuel Freeman, Dominic Lobo

    Winners of the element14 AstonHack Mini Challenge at.....  01:50am.

    Build using Raspberry Pi, and post their project and code to Raspberry Pi Projects.



    Their project uses a Raspberry Pi to call to the Monzo API to display their Monzo card Balance and recent transactions in terminal.

    As if this was not good enough to already win some limited edition hats, the team also, in true Hacker style, found a way to push notifications, messages, and custom gifs to users phones spamming them with "DINO ALERT, DINO ALERT, DINO ALERT!"



    Dino Run

    Luke Andrews, Ka-Wing, Alexander Marchant, azostar

    Coded on Arduino using a large LED panel emulating the Dino run game from The Google Chrome web browser.



    Fakt News

    James Vickery, Charlie Parker, Jonathan Marsh, Luke Ryan

    FaktNews provides user with a Chrome Plug-in which checks the "Trustworthy-ness" of the website you are on by it's association with other sites using the Majestic API, for it's content using NLP and sentiment analysis and for it's standing with the community (as represented by a thumbs-up/ thumbs-down feature) presenting an overall grade ranking of A to F.





    Hussein Farah, Connor Wilkes, Abdikarim Timer, Kehzar Mohammed

    Live up is an app that lets you sing and perform with your favorite Bands. When the act is performing, Audience members can register interest and at any point the band can choose to call on a audience member to join in, live, with the performance streaming  from the audience members microphone / camera.



    Goose Vs Velociraptors

    Beowulf Horn

    Beowulf Horn (who has the best name in the world) wrote a full game for the 1982 Vectrex games console, from scratch, using assembly language.

    A very impressive and challenging feat in a 24 hour time period.



    EduAstro - Education App for Astrodynamics in the Solar System

    Sebastià Ramon, Pep Rodeja

    A model of the Solar System built in browser with gravity. The motion of the bodies can be animated and a news feed about each of the bodies from twitter. All ... 8 ... of them....


    Goose Steal Alert

    Abdulhakim Ajetunmobi, Scott Street, Aleix Sanfeliu, Matt Collinson, Hannah Loraine

    This project combined a stuffed goose, sensors, Conductive thread, Red LEDs and a Puck.JS to inform you of when your stuffed goose has been stolen!




    Unity Maze Generator

    Ciubotariu Ioan-Sorin

    Ciubotariu created a maze generator for unity in microsoft visual basics, using Backtracking and Prims's Algorithm.

    This could be built into a game or be used to generate mazes of any size with given parameters.


    Cosmic Compass

    Ben Cartwright, Ishwar Lyall

    A device to real time track the International Space Station and planets in the Solar System. You align the device with true north and it points to the chosen celestial body.



    Rebecca Holmes, Ninthuga Gunasingham, Leen Noopura Jacob, Shaquille Henry

    Fun, interactive game for toddlers and people aged 5 and up, similar to Tamagotchi but with Dinosaurs. Hand drawn and built in java and Libgdx by a team of newcomers.




    A fun and factual, alternative learning, DinoFacts Quiz. The quiz is based on a story, ASCII art and all run in Python and PiGame.


    Citation Needed - PHP Citation Tracker

    Lyall, Alex, Luke

    Created an online "BCU-customised Harvard Referencing System" citation tracking applet using PHP which is currently live on :

    Their code is available at:


    Motor Control Hardware Hack - Using the STM Nucleo and Mbed

    Samuel Earnshaw, Lawrence Homer

    Sam and Lawrence set out to control an RC car motor using STM Neucleo. Algorithms Monitor PWM signals and spoofs the signals sent to the receiver to enable its operation. Sadly it works with a known motor in ST motor control workbench but not the more powerful brushless one in the RC car. See the video below for more info on their trails and issues.


    Dinder - the Dino Dating App

    Claire, Sifat, Ashley.

    It is literally Dinosaur Tinder... Need I say more?




    More about Aston hack -

    All the Demonstrated Projects -

    Our Photos of the Event -