A week-long hack for Festival of Creative Learning

Edinburgh IoT Challenge 2017


The IoT Challenge was a 5-day hackathon (20–24 February 2017) during the University of Edinburgh’s Festival of Creative Learning which will bring students and researchers together to build tools and applications using Internet of Things technology.

The IoT Challenge is hosted by the School of Informatics in partnership with Information Services.

During the week

We are encouraging multi-disciplinary teams with a mix of design, business, software engineering and data science skills to develop exciting new products and services. There will be an opportunity to test and deploy your project on the University’s new IoT network.

Teams will be pre-selected by the organisers and at the start of the week you will hear from a number of Challenge Holders who will pitch their project ideas. Each team will be required to undertake two of these challenges and present their solutions at the end of the week.

Sponsors and Challenges

We are grateful to our sponsors for providing financial support, challenges and prizes.


  • Transport for Edinburgh: What are key gaps in the data needed to inform transport policy in Edinburgh and how could we use IoT to help fill those gaps?
  • The Science Festival: How can we develop ways of (i) improving the visitor experience in Edinburgh Festivals, and/or (ii) collecting better feedback from visitors about events?
  • Pycom: What uses of IoT could best enhance the student experience?
  • City of Edinburgh Council: How can we gain an understanding of mobility (e.g., cars, bikes, pedestrians) without using mobile tracking techniques?

The Project Teams

Team 5 Chords

We have taken on the Science Festival challenge, specifically with the goal of improving user experience and feedback. Using microphones we will track the level of sound that people make during an event to gauge how engaged and excited they are. We are working on how to visualising the sound data in a way that is useful for an event organiser.

Team Members
  • Aliaksei Laurynovich (Coordinator)
  • Zichen Yin
  • Adela Rotar
  • Afshi Sabahi Khorashahi
  • Dalimel Hajek

Team Transport for DDNAC

Our project examines ways that Transport for Edinburgh can more efficiently collect data about people travelling in the area. We are looking at a variety of different methods of tracking people including using NFC tickets and motion sensors to detect when people enter or exit a public transport vehicle.

Team Members
  • Agnieszka Wasikowska (Coordinator)
  • Nikolay Momchev
  • Duncan Guthrie
  • Junyi Li
  • Cameron MacLeod

Team Flow

Our project is using smart IoT route-detection technology to improve commute safety by informing car drivers about the presence of cyclists and pedestrians. The same data can also help with direction prediction and with informing city traffic management systems; for example, about when to change traffic lights when vehicles are queing.

Team Members
  • Catherine Wang (Coordinator)
  • Ondrej Bohdal
  • Wojciech Nawrocki
  • Daniel Li
  • Yining Zhou
GitHub Repo

Team Tyr

Our team is working on two projects. Project 1, TIME2TALK, is an SMS-based system that allows attendees to submit questions to event organizers and receive responses. The texts are ranked and displayed by importance and filtered for spam or offensive language. A chatbot is incorporated to provide responses for frequently asked questions.

Project 2, Uturn, uses LoPy devices to collect anonymous data about movement patterns. Software is being designed to utilize the LoPy’s ability to generate and communicate this data to a server over a long range. A model on the server side has been developed to illustrate the usefulness of the dataset by detecting movement patterns.

Team Members
  • James Guyer (Coordinator)
  • Jimhong Lu
  • Elliot Gilmour
  • Alistair Greaves
  • Levi Fussell


Monday 20th February Location
10.00 am Introductory briefing to IoT — Simon ChappleMeeting Room 6, Floor E, Argyle House, West Port
10.30 am Presentations from Challenge Holders
11.30am Team Familiarisation Session
1.00 pmLunch
2.00 pm Introduction to MicroPython — Daniel Campora
3.30 pm User Centred Design Workshop— Ella Tallyn
4.00 pm Project Development Time
5.30 pm Close
Tuesday 21st February uCreate Studio (Room 1.12), 1st Floor, Main Library, George Square
9.00 am Daily Team Stand Up Meeting
9.30 am Business Models for IoT— Craig Fleming
10.30 am Technical Workshop— Simon Chapple
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00 pmProject Development Time
5.30 pm uCreate Studio Closes
Wednesday 22nd FebruaryuCreate Studio (Room 1.12), 1st Floor, Main Library, George Square
9.00 amDaily Team Stand Up Meeting
9.30 amProject Development Time
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00 pmProject Development Time
5.00 pmUCreate Studio Closes
5.00 pm Mid-Point Progress Update & Pizza Mini-Forum 2, Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street
6.00 pmClose
Thursday 23rd FebruaryuCreate Studio (Room 1.12), 1st Floor, Main Library, George Square
9.00 amDaily Team Stand Up Meeting
9.30 amProject Development Time
1.00 pm Lunch
2.00 pm Project Development Time
5.30 pm UCreate Studio Closes
Friday 24th February
9.00 am Daily Team Stand Up Meeting
9.30 am Project Development Time
12.00 pmFinal Presentation Submission & LunchG.07, Ground Floor, Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street
1.00 pm Team Presentations & Demos (12 mins per team)
2.30 pm Judging
3.30 pm Winners Announced & Prize Giving
4.15 pm Drinks Reception with teams & sponsors
5.30 pmEnd of Week