Aedes Project developed an advanced dengue prediction scheme through an automated information portal that indicates when the disease might develop and identify possible hotspots.
Ocean’s 4 came up with Project PaWiKAN, a pair of reconfigurable boats capable of determining locations of marine “garbage patches” and collecting that waste.
Aedes Project and Ocean’s 4 were the winners from Manila in the recent 2019 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Apps Challenge.
In partnership with Ateneo de Davao University and Central Philippine University, the United States Embassy in the Philippines hosted this year’s apps challenge in Davao and Iloilo from October 18 to 20.
The NASA Space Apps Challenge encourages talented coders, scientists, designers, storytellers, makers, builders and technologists to use NASA’s open data to create open source solutions that address key challenges on Earth and in space.
Matt Keener, the embassy’s Cultural Affairs Officer, fired up program participants on the first day of the challenge.
“Our hackathon last year brought the Philippines its first ever NASA Space Apps global champion, Team iNoN, so the bar has been set high,” Keener said.
”While this is a competition, it is also an amazing global initiative that pulls together thousands of partners, individuals and organizations around the world,” he added.
The 2019 hackathon was a two-day affair in the three-day program of the contest, with one day devoted to a “data boot camp.”
Davao had 14 teams, while Iloilo had 10 teams that participated in the program.
All teams pitched their solutions to one of five NASA-identified challenge categories on the final day.
In both cities, partners included the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), Cebu Pacific, Amazon Web Services and US Government Alumni Association.
In Iloilo, the program was incorporated into the “Innovate Iloilo” event, an initiative of DoST, the provincial and city government of Iloilo and other private partners to promote innovation.
De La Salle University hosted the Manila leg of the hackathon this year, and all three cities linked up digitally on the first day of the event.
Each city selected two winning teams that will go on to represent the Philippines in NASA’s global judging round at the conclusion of the event.
Teams Ad Ultra and Rocketdyne Dynamo represented Davao.
Ultra developed an app that lets users book virtual tours of the “Trans-Neptunian Spaceway,” while Dynamo presented a design for electromagnetic gloves that can reduce the dangerous effects of lunar dust on astronauts and spacecraft systems.
Bruxelles Romuar, Ad Ultra team member, explained this will be “a platform where anyone could learn about space, in a way that is fun, accessible and up-to-date.”
“Our solution may be simple, but we all believe that the smallest things really do lead to unlimited possibilities,” Deanrey James Pono of Rocketdyne Dynamo team, said.
Iloilo winners are Teams Techno PH and Voltage 5.
Techno PH conceptualized a solution to improve Internet accessibility to coastal communities.
“We believe in giving back to society, particularly those that are underprivileged,” Rotherford Marmibe of Techno PH, said.
Voltage 5 aims to convert sound to electrical energy with their prototype, S-Light.
Nico Serrato, Voltage 5 team leader, also explained that their “invention creates electricity from sound, a waste product of human activity.”
“We created S-light to give light to future aspiring professionals in areas with inadequate electricity,” Serrato said.
LEANDER C. DOMINGO