Hackaday + Lagos

On Saturday, the 23rd of April, we had the first meetup of the Hackaday Meetup Lagos at NerveFlo’s premises in Yaba.

Planning started as a bunch of Facebook messages between Ope Ogunkola and I when Hackaday announced their worldwide event on April 23rd to promote the Hackaday Prize 2016.

Hackaday is a platform for sharing open source hardware work using logs with links to other repositories like Github (code), GrabCAD (CAD), as well as stores to purchase components used for the particular project. I’ve been a member of Hackaday for a while, with no project log (smh), and I find the inspiration useful.

Ope had found 150 Nigerians on the platform and we thought we could get a sizeable number — I knew anything more than 25 was preposterous. We succeeded in getting about 20, with more people joining the Meetup page everyday since. Silas Okwoche at NerveFlo sponsored us in his space and we attracted enthusiasts like Sheriff Shittu of Showroom.ng. Present where guys who studied engineering (mostly) in university but have found themselves in software development.

We discussed a lot about Nigerian problems that can be solved with hardware (and software working in tandem) and open source projects that can be built around these. We settled on two: HRNSS and Uninterrupted Internet.

HRNSS is a solution to power; converting otherwise waste mechanical energy into electrical charge — much like bicycle dynamos from back in the day — but in a way that the battery can be transferred from the point of energy capture (say a moving vehicle) to a point of use (say a house).

Uninterrupted Internet is a palliative solution to bad internet in remote locations, especially for people who have to travel. The device should map the best internet provider in different locations and switch the network subscription to the best at any point in time. Much like BRCK, but with a twist.

We plan to document (and open source) the development (hardware and software) of each project on Hackaday, and hopefully qualify for later rounds of the prize and go on to win it. But more importantly contribute to hardware development in some small way. If you’d like to be a part of any or both projects please feel free to contact me: chuma@involute.co

And we’ll be holding another meetup sometime in July!