Winners of Hack for Good 2.0: Connected Mangroves hackathon with their prizes at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur recently. Pix by NSTP/Nadim Bokhari

A SOLAR-POWERED product that measures several parameters of water to compute its quality index has won the Hack for Good 2.0: Connected Mangroves Hackathon at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur campus recently.

Named Hydro Health On-Demand, the project involved a real-time monitoring system deploying Narrowband-Internet of Things (NB-IOT) technology in measuring temperature, pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and heavy metal levels across various geographical areas.

NB-IoT is a low-power wide-area network radio technology standard developed by the third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to link up cellular devices and services.

This technology allows correlations to be made between the water source and its topology, community boundaries and population. It also allows real-time monitoring of water sources.

The project was developed by Team H20, comprising four mechatronics engineering students from UTM. They are Foong Siew Wei, 23, Lee Pin Loon, 22, Looi Kian Seong, 23, and Por Yu Kheng, 24.

Team leader Lee said they participated in the IoT in Water Quality Management category. It took them about one week to refine and finalise their idea.

“We came out with the idea to help have effective water quality monitoring to retain the sage quality of water sources. We think our product is scalable and sustainable for smart cities.

“We hope the awareness that we are creating would protect nature from pollution, and thus, provide an ideal environment for the growth of mangroves,” said Lee.

The hackathon’s concept was to stimulate innovation in IoT to support the mangrove ecosystem and create cases to accelerate cellular IoT adoption by universities and industries.

It was jointly organised by UTM, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Ericsson Malaysia, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, Celcom Axiata, XPAND and the Higher Education Department.

Ericsson deployed a NB-IoT network within UTM’s Kuala Lumpur campus in conjunction with the hackathon, which will be used for research and development in the future.

For the hackathon, teams could chose to join any of the four themes — IoT in Water Quality Management, IoT in Fisheries Production, IoT in Mangrove Ecology and Diversity, and IoT in Climate Change.

The second place and third place went to Team Hummingbird 4.0 from Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak campus, and Smart Krabb from International Islamic University Malaysia.

More than 40 entries were received with prizes totalling RM40,000 given out. The top 14 ideas were shortlisted and a Pre-Hack Workshop was carried out to prepare the participants for prototype development.

The participants were taken to Sabak Bernam, Selangor, to experience planting mangroves and identify its environmental issues.