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Arthrex Challenges Students at Annual Hackathon

Excitement filled the air at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) on January 11 as more than 400 students descended upon the campus for their annual hackathon, sponsored in part by Arthrex California Technology (ACT).

SB Hacks is a 36-hour career and science fair hybrid that welcomes students interested in programming to work together to create innovative projects. Once completed, the projects are evaluated by industry professionals and academia who offer feedback and select winners.

“SB Hacks gives students a chance to learn new software languages and technologies in a fun and non-intimidating environment, as opposed to learning through graded assignments,” said Electrical Engineer II John Batikian. “The students get a chance to try out something that interests them with mentors that can give them insights about the industry.”

ACT has been a sponsor of the event for the past few years, alongside prominent companies such as LogMeIn, the Google Cloud Platform, Bloomberg and more.

The event kicked off with representatives from various companies, including Arthrex, talking to the students about their business and challenging them to solve a unique problem. Software Engineering Manager for I&R Kevin Vallance introduced the students to Arthrex and asked them to create the “Best Security Hack.” Four student groups decided to tackle ACT’s challenge to improve security using their computer programming skills and Synergy cameras.

Team Open Sesame created a camera-based door lock to enhance home security. Package Cop was created to eliminate package thieves by using cameras and doorstep theft alerts. Secure Zone uses facial recognition to identify intruders, and lastly, Snap Polls used Snapchat’s poll system to enhance security. 

Kevin, John and Software Engineering Intern Frank Mera evaluated each of the four submissions and decided on the Open Sesame team as the winner. The group of five UCSB and UCLA students used several software languages (Angular, Node JS, OpenCV Library and Google Cloud Server) as well as hardware (RaspberryPi and Arduino) to build a home security system that unlocks doors using facial recognition.

“The event was a lot of fun, especially judging the projects,” said Kevin. “It was really interesting to see what all of these talented, young software developers came up with in such short time. We saw some very imaginative projects utilizing some cutting edge technologies.”

Thanks to the entire ACT team, especially Michelle Norton, Rodrigo Rengifo, John Batikian, Kevin Vallance and Frank Mera for representing Arthrex so positively at the event.

Category: In the Community