(Coming Soon)


As a crew of purely college-centric developers, we know that laundromats are not always the most ideal place to do your laundry at 2:00am on a Friday night. In a large, crowded metropolis, this can at times feel like a nightmare scenario. Now imagine getting clean laundry in a hospital environment during an ongoing geopolitical conflict. At Project MARS (i.e. Project #M.RS.) [pronounced in English like our 4th planet from the sun] , we firmly believe that all people should have access to clean and secure laundry, no matter where they may be on the globe.

What it does

We plan to release $10-100 open source kits that allows those with sufficient technical abilities to retrofit existing coin-operated laundry machines and convert them into "smart" laundry machines that can accept payment through digital wallet services (ideally Bitcoin/Ethereum and something like Coinbase, which just had its IPO 🥳)

We envision a web app running off of an Ubuntu 20 (LTS) AWS EC2 instance that will host an Apache HTTP server. From there, we can serve users a website on port 80, the default HTTP port, a JavaScript/Node.js-powered experience to allow for payment entirely online. At the actual laundry machine, we envision a custom point of sale terminal powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero. These point of sale terminals with Google Pay/Apple Pay already exist. The novelty in this project primarily comes from its open source status, so that we may sell kits to developing nations to allow clean laundry to be done, particularly in hospital environments, during times of conflict/scarcity. Digitizing the wallet experience further allows remissions to be sent by friends and family overseas, assuring the that the "Tide" 🌊🌊🌊 (pun intended) of clean laundry never stops flowing.

How I/We built it

  • Elbow grease
  • Love
  • More elbow grease


  • Vim/Neovim
  • Spacemacs
  • Tmux
  • ZSH
  • Homebrew
  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • Autodesk EAGLE
  • Autodesk ReCap

Challenges we ran into

  1. Team assembly
  2. Scheduling
  3. COVID-19 paranoia

Accomplishments that we're proud of

At this point, with technical difficulty piling upon technical difficulty with regards to our payment platforms (we're all rather young, and thus inexperienced as financiers) we are highly grateful to have any code base up and running, including this markdown file.

What we learned

That it takes all walks of life to succeed in the modern IT-landscape. The future, we believe, belongs to hybrid systems, and that includes hybrid people.

What's next for Project #M.RS.

  • Legal incorporation (LLC preferred)
  • Domain registration
  • Reconciling AWS expenses

About US


M - Michael Pass

⚡ Lighting-fast prototyper 📚 Script-kiddy 👾 Primary developer during hackathon hours

R - Rohan Gupta

Note: Rohan Gupta was unable to actively participate in this Hackathon due to prior academic obligations.

S - Stephen Starr

Note: Stephen Starr was unable to actively participate in this Hackathon due to post-graduate/professional status as a developer.

Other members

Unfortunately, we were unable to recruit any other members through the official University of Iowa sponsored website, primarily due to an inordinate number of scheduling conflicts that arose during the current semester. We, unlike the University of Iowa Board of Regents (who denied all students even basic/alternative spring break), firmly believe in giving students the right to choose.

Inclusivity statement

We at Project #M.RS. firmly believe that racism and other violent prejudices have no place in the work environment. I (Michael Pass) just got done with an internship in Silicon Valley and am relieved to report that it was fully demonstrated to me that in Silicon Valley, the quality of one's ideas are generally valued over the color of one's flesh. At Project #M.RS., we do not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, sex, sexual orientation, or any other class-protected status as currently defined under Iowa law.

Why we deserve to win

Old hardware is currently clogging landfills and left abandoned in consignment shops all over Iowa. We firmly believe at Project #M.RS. that these old machines can be salvaged and put to better use, thereby reducing strain on our already strained planetary ecosystem. Like the Lorax, we're thinking of the forests and the trees. 🌳🌲🏝🎋


  • Autodesk EAGLE schematic capture
  • Autodesk EAGLE board layout
  • Fusion 360 CAD capture
  • Fusion 360 mockup w/ generic coin-op laundry machine from (Note: We model the POS terminal as a literal black box at this stage, with a single red-button for activate coin-based state machine internal to the laundry machine representing successful payment)
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