Raspberry Pi project wins North America’s largest hackathon

Melda Kiziltan from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, tagged us in some good news on LinkedIn the other day: “This weekend, my team and I competed in Hack the North 2021, North America’s largest hackathon… AND WE WON!”

scaNFT, a system that allows you to scan any object, turn it into a 3D image and upload it as an NFT (non-fungible token), was the winning project. And they did it all within 24 hours.

The first part of the process in action

It’s super simple to use. Simply place an object on a rotating table and press a button.

How does it work?

Raspberry Pi 4 instructs the table to start turning, and a Raspberry Pi camera takes 50 photos of the object from different angles as it turns. The software behind this part is JavaScript and Python.

Then the photos are uploaded to 3DF Zephyr, commercial photogrammetry software that automatically reconstructs 3D models from photos.

garlic bulb sat on spinning plater being photographed by raspberry pi camera
You can see the corner of the Raspberry Pi camera, facing the garlic, stuck to the tall bit of cardboard on the left of the image

The 3DF Zephyr file is then uploaded to NFT storage solution Pinata, where it gets minted. Minting an NFT is how digital art becomes a part of the blockchain and able to be sold.

Almost unbelievably, the team had never worked with the blockchain, computer vision, or 2D-to-3D image technology before. Neither had they used any Raspberry Pi hardware. Not only did they have all of these obstacles to overcome, they had to do it under the pressure of a 24-hour time limit.

3d render of garlic bulb
3D render of the garlic bulb

Next steps for scaNFT

The team accomplished a lot inside of that time limit, but there’s more they want to do to improve their prizewinning project. Here’s the wishlist from their original project post:

  • Developing a true automation pipeline to completely automate the entire process
  • Allow more personalization and ability to change users easily
  • Contract option selection
  • 3D printing parts
  • Adding prices to NFTs
  • Creating a frontend for the user
Video borrowed from the team’s original project post

Say hi to the whole team

Working alongside Melda Kiziltan in the hackathon-winning team were Patrick KimEmerson Gabber, and Shaheer Rana. Thank you for sharing all your files on GitHub, team.


NTN avatar

Nice, congrats to the team.

Murray Ardell Heimbecker avatar

As an old Canadian boy from Preston (Cambridge), who has lived in Texas for years, I congratulate you on tackling and solving many difficult problems. At 86, I still play with Raspberry Pi’s, Python to create interesting, (sometimes useful) projects. I appreciate the effort you put into this project. Thumb up. Great job.

Sanmay avatar

Congrats! Nice job done, Congratulations to the entire team for a wonderful achievement.

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