About 300 people registered, among students, entrepreneurs and professionals from Ciudad Juarez, El Paso and Las Cruces. During the weekend, in addition of Friday, they worked in 25 teams to solve the problem. It was the Hackathon from Bosch 2018, a competition without precedents in Bosch Mexico, held at the facilities of Technology HUB in the city, with the support of Black Labs.
The event was coordinated by the personnel in Bosch as well as in Technology HUB, among which standout Ricardo Mora, CEO of Technology HUB; Rudy Vazquez, director of operations at Technology HUB; Daniel Perry, information manager, organization and coordination of Bosch in the entity; Erick Valenzuela coordinator of processes; and Samuel Herrera, from Black Labs.
The challenge for the teams registered at the Hackathon included to improve the process of products flow in one plant of Bosch Juarez in order to know the exact position of each material in real time. Taking into account that the Bosch Juarez plant has from forty to fifty thousand movements per day, Perry mentioned that an automatic solution is viable. For that, during a weekend these teams worked in a solution based in technology such as sensors, Bluetooth, augmented reality, iBeacon and the Internet of Things (IoT.) Once the solution was finished, they presented the prototype to a judge’s panel, formed by the team management of Bosch and directives from Technology Hub.
The Hackathon 2018 was broadcasted in social networks and personal visits to schools. This happened with David Teutli and Juan Jose Martinez, students of the penultimate semester of computer science at the University of Texas in El Paso (UTEP,) which saw the event published in Facebook and registered through a link.
Daniel Perry explained that the event was owed to Bosch having a culture of innovation in products, processes and quality. “We are the fourth industrial revolution after the invention of machines, electricity, assembly lines and the robot,” said Rudy Vazquez, from Technology HUB; he considered that the main challenge of this fourth revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – is the integration of people in connectivity world. “It is not the robot, nor automation, neither the technological developments, but how to integrate people that today are part of the manufacturing processes inside this new industrialization,” he said.
The event started on Friday February 23rd and ended Sunday 25th. During the three days teams worked in a functional proposal that covered the characteristics and requirements Bosch settled at the beginning of the competition. Erick Valenzuela from Bosch said that the nature of this project is not simple; therefore they are not expecting a completely functional solution.
Due to the magnitude of the project, many of the participating teams spend the Saturday night and the Sunday inside the facilities of Technology HUB. Some teams got out as of three in the morning and got back at eight to continue working. As the facilities have showers and resting areas, teams could spend the nights without startles. This opportunity resulted suitable for the process of fulfillment of the proposal for some teams. “We started with three projects, one of them was sent to rest on the first day, the other went to get some rest last night, and today in the morning when we woke up we started with this,” said Edin Estrada, team member.
The competition not only had as an objective finding a pragmatic solution to their logistics process, but to show the creative and innovative phase of the community of Ciudad Juarez and Mexico. “The other objective is to show Germany that Mexico is not only a production country; it is a development country, also of innovation, similar to Japan in the seventies and China in the 2000,” said the directive of Bosch. It is important to mention that when he was asked if he believed that Mexico has talent to fulfill innovations, Perry answered that if a person believes they can do it, they will. “Today we have more Mexican engineers than American or German; they are good,” he concluded.
In addition of a space to develop and show their talents, Hackathon is useful because it allows Bosch detecting talented people in the community. “It works for us to see candidates that could work with us,” said Valenzuela. Rudy Vazquez, from Technology HUB, said that Mexican youth is related with the potential the country has for the attraction of foreign investment and to have the fourth revolution. “Mexico is a fourth potential in attraction of investment precisely for this talent opportunity; Mexico still have many youngsters working and it is not the same opportunity other countries have in Europe, where there are not as much youngsters that could participate in these movements,” he concluded.
The winning teams were Alfa, UWB and Milk Runners for third, second and first place respectively. The team Alfa, whose members were Erick, Luis, Julio, Edin, Enrique students of the fourth semester from the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez, won an Xbox game console. The UWB team, integrated by Ramon Corea and Ricardo Martinez, professionals graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez, won the second place, obtaining a 3D printer and an Arduino kit. The team Milk Runners, integrated by Jorge Huerta, Ulises Martinez, Daniel Ornelas and Alejandra Licon, all of them students of Computer Sciences from the University of Texas in El Paso, won a drone and five Arduino kits. It is important to mention that there were honorific mentions for a fourth and fifth place, respectively: Bob Beat and Codiciado teams. Both gather two months membership at the Fab Lab de Technology HUB.
Regarding the experience of Hackathon, the winning team, which previously won other Hackathons in the United States, mentioned that it was hard, as they slept few hours for during the three days the event lasted, but it was worth it. Since the beginning, they had a clear strategy which they followed until the end, that consisted in analyzing what Bosch asked, what they can use and cannot, in addition of products cost. “Since the beginning we made a plan, divided the tasks and it was only about integrating everything,” said Daniel. All members assign their success to the team chemistry and the fact that they have worked together before.
On its part, team UWB considered that the other proposals were good, but what differentiated their proposal from others was that they used barely known in North America. “It is technology from Europe and Asia and it is something that is just starting,” said Ramon Corea, one of the members. They knew this technology during their proposal fulfillment process. “(When we wanted to know) how to identify a point in the map and how to make the routing signal give that point took us to research for different technologies,” said Ricardo Martinez. “When we arrived to the Hackathon we had a very peculiar idea about GSM cellular technology and from there we started the new protocol,” Corea explained.
It is important that the Mesh robotic academy also participated in the event with two teams, one of them was integrated by winners of the Intercontinental Contest from the Latin American Society of Science and Technology (SOLACYT, by its Spanish initials) as Ricardo Adrian Molina Guzman and Abraham David Martinez Nieblas.
At the end of the event, Daniel Perry added that these youngsters are the future of Mexico and Ciudad Juarez and that expects to see them in directive and innovation positions. He explained that the three teams will show a solution in Germany, where the Bosch CEO will be participating. Finally, he mentioned that based in the results from the proposals fulfilled Bosch could start organizing a second Hackathon in Juarez.
Ave Parque industrial Rio Bravo #1150
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua
Phone (656) 637 6600