The Complete List of Winners from Hackpoly 2017

Second place winners present video game

In its encore to doubling attendance the previous year, event organizers with the Cal Poly Pomona College of Business Administration student organization Poly Founders again broke records with the 2017 rendition of Hackpoly.

A hack-a-thon open to any college student with the perseverance to invent a new product within a 24-hour window, Hackpoly 2017 brought nearly 600 competitors to the Bronco Student Center Feb. 11 after whittling down the list from 1,500 hopefuls.

“Hackpoly has become something much more than just a hackathon,” says Rushi Shah, president of Poly Founders and a senior majoring in Management and Human Resources. “It has transformed lives and has become a centerpiece for innovation in the Southern California region.”

An opening ceremony with speeches from Pomona’s new mayor and President Coley also included a moment to acknowledge out-of-state competitors, marking the first time Hackpoly expanded outside of California. The 71 completed entries--up from 46 in 2016—was a testament to the amount of creativity crammed into one building.

Inventions varied from mobile phone apps to a smart closet, but all were vying for prizes like drones and a VIP tour of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Event organizers say in total, the complete list of prices had a retail value of $1,028,930. Below is the complete list of winners and the ideas it took to grab the judges’ attention:

Apeeling Eats

Overall Winner, Best Beginner Hack
Plenty of apps exist that recommend nearby restaurants based on reviews. What makes Apeeling Eats unique is it also scans the content of reviews, then provides first-time diners menu selections based on the popularity of a dish.

Four UC Riverside students initially tried integrating IBM Watson into the program, but scrambled to develop their own language after hitting the supercomputer’s 1,000-query limit almost instantly during beta testing. The entry was completed in time to earn first place and the newcomers also took Best Beginner Hack honors.

Battle of the Bards

Second Place, Best Game Hack
A group of Cal Poly Pomona computer science students banded together to program a role-playing video game that added a twist to the popular format by using a guitar-shaped controller from Rock Band navigate through the game’s narrative.

With Game Design and Development club president Kyle Turchik on the team’s roster, a gaming-based entry seemed the most obvious route. It still took an all-nighter from CS students Marilyn Hercules, Natasha Tambaoan, Andy Cook, Colin Trotter and Turchick to complete Battle of the Bards.

According to the team’s entry page, Battle of the Bards is a turn-based card battle rhythm game where the player controls a three-character party on a quest to beat bosses through music. The plan going into Hackpoly was to develop a game specifically for use with a guitar controller, but not have it be strictly rhythm-based like everything else on the market.

Battle of the Bards was awarded second place and the top-finishing, all-Bronco team was additionally recognized with Best Game Hack.

Students display automatic rice cooker

Echo Rice Cooker

Third Place
Inspired by a hungry night of sleep after a long day of midterms, three UCR students partnered with a UC San Diego computer science major to build a smart rice cooker.

By simply saying, "Alexa, make me X cups of rice," the desired portion of rice with the necessary amount of water are measured into a bowl. Cook time is determined based on quantity and notifications are sent when the freshly-made rice is ready.

Facebook AntiBully - #HackHarrassment Winner
FacebookAntiBully is the first step in ending cyber-bullying by automatically protecting a user from potentially hurtful comments. The team hopes immediately detecting and removing the negative posts, the bully will be stopped from gaining the gratification that often leads to continued offenses of bullying towards the same or other individual.

Skynet Watches – Best Use of Amazon Web Service
A pair of competitors from University of Arizona, Tucson crossed state lines to attend Hackpoly 2017 and build Skynet Watches, a facial recognition software that identifies people and any image they are in posted publicly on the internet.

Smart RC Car – LEAP Best Education Hack
Self-driving cars and drones are the latest raging trends, but imagine the possibilities when the two are combined. A one-man wrecking crew built an autonomous vehicle out of an RC car that communicates with its own drone to navigate, avoid collisions and detect obstacles. And it was one loose wire from being fully functional when its builder presented to judges a day after arriving to Cal Poly Pomona with a box of parts and some ideas.

Daisy’s Closet – JPL Best Internet of Things (IOT) Hack
Daisy's Closet is an Internet of Things shopping experience. Take a clothing item off the rack and try it on. Daisy will automatically decide which object has been removed and add it to the customer’s virtual shopping cart accessible from a mobile device. Alternatively, clothing can be added to carts using voice commands. No facetime with a sales associate is needed and all inventory is tracked for the retailer.

Stop Annoying Messages (S.A.M.) – Best Domain Name from
S.A.M. Don’t Spam is a programmable Facebook user that helps reduce spam messages. Add S.A.M. as a friend and he will send a private message when your name is mentioned in a group.

Wolfram Alpha Best Use of Wolfram Tech

UCR Population Visualizer – Experience big data in new ways using a 3D model of the globe. The visualizer Displays trends in population across the globe in international cities, and displays weather information about the selected locations.

MC Alexa is a rapping computerWolfram Speech – Wolfram Speech was recognized for the use of a Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine while building a companion capable of answering any question its owner may have.

Wolfram_Beta ChatBot – Facebook more and search less with the Wolfram_Beta ChatBot. No longer will Facebook sessions be interrupted by having to open Google to check weather and things of the like.

Alphafy – Identify specific models, makes and trim levels of automobiles using the Aplhafy app. Not sure what year a car is or what it’s called? Snap a picture and let Alphafy do the rest.

Wolf – For those curious about the probability of getting heads twice from 10 coin flips or were in the market for a voice-activated binomial/Poisson calculator, just call the Wolf. The Wolf turns a common Amazon Echo into scientists' best companion.

MC Alexa - Forget using an Amazon Echo for mundane albeit helpful tasks like grocery shopping or making reminders when MC Alexa is around. Simply say, “Alexa, rap using..,” and the electronic device becomes a lyrical genius, laying down a series of rhymes based off any word it’s told. Sure, an Amazon Echo can be used for more productive tasks, but would they be as much fun?

Visit our Hackpoly 2017 Facebook Album for 107 Photos of the Hack-a-Thon