24 hour hackathon produces innovative graphene enhanced products
Last weekend (16-17th of November) saw ten teams of multi-disciplinary backgrounds, from across the UK and Europe, work through the night to design, prototype and pitch a product incorporating conductive graphene inks.
Teams would print, wire and code their ideas into reality over the 24-hour long competition hosted at the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC). With business, IP and technical expertise on-hand to assist prototyping, as well as access to the world-class printing facilities at GEIC, it was not long before designs started to come alive.
Take a walk across the GEIC at three in the morning and you would see participants sewing together a smart canvas bag, figuring out the for-loops to make their tactile recording studio work, refuelling with pizza in the kitchen, and screen-printing graphene sensors onto a pillowcase.
The prize-winning products included Glovene; a set of gloves that used accelerometers and impedance measurements across graphene tracks to interpret sign language in real-time. As well as BackUP; a seat-cover aimed at freight drivers with graphene ink printed strain sensors that could be used to determine and advise on healthy back-posture.
The GEIC £5000 investment prize went to LiquiIDentity, a low-cost, effective graphene ink sensor that could be used to carry-out quick analytics of soil solutions, providing an indication of crop yield and health.
Speaking about the event they said: “It was an amazing experience to work directly with graphene and create a working product from scratch that can have commercial and impactful applications with support from the GEIC.”
A key aim of the hackathon was to make graphene innovation more accessible to all those looking to explore its potential. The organisers, a team of PhD students from the NOWNANO CDT, were impressed with the quality of the products generated, Solen Monteil said: “Organising the hackathon with the team has been an absolute pleasure. I am blown away by all products participants came up with in only 24 hours, and in such a vibrant atmosphere. Better than anything I could have dreamt of!”
Scott Dean also added: “Post-event, seeing the diverse range of products created by each team over such a short period of time, it is clear that conductive graphene inks have great untapped potential across a wide range of markets”
The event was supported by industry and education sponsors including Versarien, Google, Mewburn Ellis, Manchester Nanomaterials, Graphene NOWNANO, UMIP, Masood Enterprise Centre, Novalia, and Potter Clarkson.
A full list of prototypes developed can be found using the link below: