Makerthon 2017 USM KKJ



On 27th, 28th and 30th October 2017, Makerthon had been organized at USM Engineering Campus by USM IEEE Student Branch. Makerthon is an event which requires participants to create a project related to the theme of “Sustainability” by using their creativity and innovative. The sponsorship from National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and Cytron Technologies Sdn. Bhd. were the key factors to the success of Makerthon 2017. National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. had sponsor in terms of financial aid for the project while Cytron Technologies Sdn. Bhd. had contributed by providing WiFi Module, Esp8266 for the development of projects. Three days of Makerthon were divided into Makerthon Workshop Day, Makerthon Project Development Day and Makerthon Competition Day.and workshops, including the annual IEEEXtreme Programming Competition.

On the first day of Makerthon, three workshops, Arduino workshop, SolidWorks workshop and IoT workshop were being carried out simultaneously to let participants learned basic skills for their project development. Participants were being divided into nine groups with three people each group. One mentor was assigned to each group to guide the participants. Each participant from three-member-group choose different workshop to join. At the end of the first day, the group members combined together the skills that each of them had learnt to brainstorm out the idea for their project development for the following day. These workshops ensure that those participants learn the basics of SolidWorks, Arduino and IoT so that they were able to realize their project idea.

The second day was the Makerthon Project Development Day. Starting from 8.00 am to 12.00 am, the participants had to develop project from scratches by utilizing Solidworks, Arduino, IoT and other facilities with minimal assistances from facilitator. Before the participants began to develop their project, they had to complete the first task given to them which was company introduction. They were given 2 minutes to pitch on their project. Then, by the end of the event, participants came out with their project which would be grading on the next day of Makerthon competition. This event aims at providing the opportunity for the participants to develop solution for real life problems identified with the skill set and knowledge acquired in the preceding workshop session.

On the Makerthon Competition Day, participants have to promote their projects in front of judges from industries and university during pitching session. This session aim to give the opportunity to the participants to experience the pitching process of a start-up product so that they are able to promote the product they create in the future. For this session, the superiority of project and participants’ pitching skills would determine the marks given by judges. After the participants setup their prototype, the pitching session began. It was the honour of USM IEEE Student Branch of USM KKj to be able to invite representative from company to be the judges for Makerthon Competition which were Mr. Lokesh Anand Vijayakumaran from National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Mr. Mohd Zamzuri Bin Zakaria from Cytron Technologies Sdn. Bhd., Mr. Yusman bin Mohd. Yusof from SilTerra Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Mr Loke Boon Chai from Sandisk Storage Malaysia Sdn. Bhd and Assc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Rosmiwati Bt. Mohd Mokhtar from USM. After the pitching session, representative of National Instruments Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. shared the experience of working at the company and an info-sharing booth for their internship program was set up on that day.

Makerthon 2017 ended with the announcement of winners. The champion of Makerthon Competition 2017 was group “CAT” with their project “Morse Code Generator” which is a device that is targeted to ease the communication of blind people using morse code. It was followed up by the first runner up, group “Interlink” with their project “EasyPark App” which is an app that help driver to find parking place easily. The second runner up was group “Re-Life” with the project “Re-Light” which is a creation that focus on automatic light control. It was the pleasure for the participants to be able to have the judges from industry to give some technical review on the overall performance at the end of the Makerthon Competition.

Makerthon was indeed an excellent platform for participant to release their creativity to create new products that bring benefits to the world. It was a great experience for the participants to improve themselves either in terms of technical skill, problem solving skills or interpersonal skills. Makerthon 2017 was considered successful to be able to bring participants one step closer to the journey of makers.