IoT Hackathon at the Amazon AWS Summit, Cape Town

Yesterday I attended the Amazon AWS Summit in Cape Town. The talks were good – even Werner Vogels, the CTO of, showed up! Getting to speak to experts in their fields and AWS engineers from the world over was eye-opening for sure.

A couple friends and I participated in the IoT Hackathon, which Intel kindly sponsored. Given an Arduino 101 (containing an Intel® Curie™) and a Grove starter kit, we had a couple of hours to have fun and see what we could hack together. As we were new to AWS’s IoT platform and the Python libraries we were given, it took us some time to get it up and running but we ended up with a working prototype.

We designed a prototype of a notification system for a cold room refrigeration system to monitor temperature and door opening/closing events, which are sent over to the AWS cloud and logged. We planned to add a stepper motor to simulate our door among other features, but we didn’t have enough time; We had to just use a push button to toggle the door opening and closing.

Here’s a brief video of our setup, and some pics:

The members of team AckerTech, from left to right: Joseph Rautenbach (me), Matthew Baas, Torsten Babl, Bradley Fourie.

All in all, it was great fun. Our team came second place, so next year we’ll be back for round two!

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