To come up with a problem for this hackathon, we thought about our daily routines and the inconveniences/problems that occur throughout the day. Our days start with waking up at 8:04 for 8:30 class, get ready, run to class, and be late to class. We asked ourselves why we were late when we were able to get to E5 by 8:25, knowing that the elevator ride from floor 1 or 2 takes less than 5 minutes. Due to high traffic, the elevator makes many stops before and after reaching you, making it take much longer than a direct route. So what's faster? Waiting for the elevator or taking the stairs? We needed to design a solution that would help us get there on time.
The LNvator takes into account external factors to optimize and display the users optimum route. The LNvator is an interactive monitor mounted outside an elevator. Users will select the floor they are trying to get too, and the system will alert them the which route is faster, elevator or stairs. The system uses data from path the elevator is currently on, direction it is currently traveling, the number of stops it has to make before getting to you and its location relative to yours. Based on this data and where you need to go, it will take approximated speed and wait time values to determine your fastest route.
To build the LNvator, we used a mix of Groovy and HTML. We used these languages because this is what we were most experienced and comfortable with before entering the hackathon.
We ran into a number of challenges along the way. Firstly, this was all our first hackathon and we had trouble coming up with a realistic and achievable. Once we had an idea we realized we needed components that no one was super comfortable with. We needed a UI but no one in our group knew front end very well, and no one knew how to connect our front and back end. Another issue that we encountered was in out language of choice. We choose to use Groovy, but it was not very compatible when trying to connect with front end languages.
To get past our challenges, we used Google and asked other Hackers for some advice. We then got the help of a mentor to help us through our thoughts and help us determine the best way to achieve our design goals.
We are very proud of what we achieved over the last 24 hours. This was our first hackathon and we were able to create working code with multiple users having very little coding experience and all of us not have any front end experience. We learned about how to connect front end and back end using servers and request calls. We also learned a lot from the different workshops about creating apps, apis and machine learning.
Next for LNvator is using even more precise data to accurately determine the fastest route. We would add more complexity to the system, including algorithms for multiple elevators, sensors in and outside of the elevator and making the interactive monitor a control system for the elevator. We would also update our UI to be more engaging and informative.