The SEA Makerthon is a summer-long regional hackathon taking place in 10 cities across Southeast Asia. It was organized by the Southeast Asian Makerspace Network (SEAMNET) to address issues concerning sustainability. The theme “Designing a World with Zero Waste” will be addressed by makers in different ways based on local needs and interests.
You can see other articles on the SEA Makerthon here.
Thailand is known as a country of constant reinvention. With one of the largest numbers of makerspaces in the country, it also has the most creative maker communities. Leading the way in democratizing making through more accessible technology in Bangkok is Gravitech Thai. Led by the affable Dr. Pan Tulabadi, his organization is paving the way for Thailand to be known as the IoT hub of Southeast Asia. Gravitech Thai produces low-cost but highly effective Wi-Fi chips in partnership with Espressif Systems and Maker Asia. The latest of which is the Nano32 , with increased processing power and other peripherals, it can be used from making wearables to securing low latency media applications.
For more on the ESP8266, check out this Makezine review! Also look out for projects that use the ESP8266 such as this Wi-Fi water valve.
Gravitech Thai – Making a Home for Makers in Bangkok
Gravitech Thai in Bangkok also operates Home of Maker. It is an all in one space that is a makerspace, workshop/training center , crowdfunding consultancy and DIY Electronics Shop. It is located at the easily accessible Fortune Town IT mall in Bangkok.
First opened in 2014, it gained many positive reviews for its range of equipment available to makers and its wide range of memberships offering different benefits to cater to the diverse community of makers in the city.
Home of Maker also helps promotes the latest developments from Gravitech’s R&D electronic facility for innovation-based electronic products. The facility which is located at the Phathum Thani Ransit are is positioning itself as a incubator for hardware start-ups in Thailand.
IoT for Sustainability at the SEA Makerthon 2016:Bangkok
As one of the members of the Southeast Asia Makerspace Network (SEAMNET), Gravitech Thai and Home of Maker was excited to be able to host the Bangkok leg of the SEA Makerthon 2016. The SEA Makerthon 2016: Bangkok was an ambitious one. It wanted to combine the use of technology in envisioning a future that reduced pollution, fuel, and wasted electricity in a developing city such as Bangkok.
The theme “Designing A World With Zero Waste” was turned into a challenge where participants create products that address the many aspects of city life which they found to be wasteful. Participants also had access to the Esp8266 and Nodemcu v.2 for their prototyping needs. The makerthon in Bangkok was co-created with Sustainable Living Lab who assisted in the designing of the sustainability theme of the makerthon.
This covered two main areas of transportation and logistics. The makerthon was held from September 30th to October 2nd. The 53 hour long marathon saw 25 teams ideate, hack, and network over the weekend. The high profile makerthon was also supported by Amazon.com, Software Park Thailand, and Autodesk. There was a mix of programmers, designers, makers and entrepreneurs at the competition.
A Connected Sustainable City for a Modern Thailand
Thailand’s booming IoT scene provides a lot of opportunities for growth in that sector. There are still a lot of inefficiencies in the logistics sector in the country. However, this makerthon aims to push potential entrepreneurs and makers to envision a less wasteful and more productive logistics sector. This affects almost all industries as logistics are an integral part to their business.
Team All Star Innovation were crowned as the Champions of the SEA Makerthon 2016: Bangkok. As a team, they were concerned about the human errors made in warehouse management. Their project called the AWMS (Automation Warehouse Managment System), is a fully automated system that uses RFID and database to control robots in the warehouse. It has a system where users can easily monitor and control using any device. This can help businesses be more productive and efficient as it reduces cost, time, labour and mistakes in the warehouse management process.
Overall, this makerthon is only the beginning for more tech enabled social impact innovation competitions in Thailand. Alongside Chiang Mai Maker Club and their innovative makerthon focused on designing solutions to address water scarcity at SEA Makerthon 2016: Chiang Mai, makers are at the forefront of positive change in Thailand.
The SEA Makerthon 2016 is a 10 city hackathon addressing the Zero Waste Challenge that will see over 1000 participants across 10 South East Asian Cities, each solving waste issues pertaining to their city such as electronics, food, agriculture, packaging and more. Sustainable Living Lab is proud to be the social innovation partner for the SEA Makerthon 2016 in leading the conversation about the Circular Economy in the region.
To find out more, join the Southeast Asian Makerspace Network.