Clark School Home UMD

ISR News Story

ECE Students Take Top Prize at Michigan Hackathon for Intelligent Trashcan

Second year students in Electrical and Computer Engineering Andres Toro, Zachary Lawrence and Joshua Drubin took home all the marbles at the Fall 2013 MHacks, competition, Sept. 20-22 at the University of Michigan.

The team won first prize for building an intelligent trash can that sorts recyclables from garbage, at the world's largest college hackathon. MHacks drew 1,214 participants from 100 schools around the country for 36 hours of building innovative projects from scratch.

Toro, Lawrence and Drubin built a single-stream receptacle bin with a swing top that pivots in a different direction based on measuring the frequency of the sound an object makes when it hits the receptacle. Cans and bottles that create a "ping" end up on one side of a partition, and items like plastic foam cups that generate a "thud" go on the other.

The Maryland team was one of only a few to build a physical object rather than an app or web tool. "I never dreamed of coming here and actually winning," Drubin said. "It feels unbelievable" — even on six hours sleep total for the past two nights.

At Maryland, Drubin most recently has been part of the CPS and Cooperative Autonomy lab team working on the National Science Foundation/National Geographic Society grant, "Remote Imaging of Community Ecology via Animal-borne Wireless Networks", which will help monitor and protect endangered species. He developed algorithms and hardware under the supervision of Dr. Konrad Aschenbach, Mr. Greg Marshall and Associate Professor Nuno Martins (ECE/ISR).

Drubin said, "Participating in MHacks has made me value my education in ECE much more than pre-hackathon. We ended up applying concepts that we’ve learned in foundation classes such as digital logic and physics in a very real and hands-on way, which is extremely rewarding, and fun."


| Watch GreenCan in action | — MHack is organized by University of Michigan engineering students and held at Michigan Stadium. Thanks to Nicole Moore at the University of Michigan for portions of this story. Return to this story for updates on the students' progress.

Related Articles:
ECE Undergrad Wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
ECE Names 2017-2018 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows
Ulukus named Anthony Ephremides Professor in Information Sciences and Systems
NSF Funds Novel Research to Create Scalable Wireless Networking, Averting Usage Crisis
Naviasky, an ECE Student, Spoke at the 2014 Winter Commencement
Itzhak Tamo Accepts Assistant Professorship
ECE Ph.D. Candidate Menon Wins Kulkarni Fellowship
ECE Graduate Student Sowmya Subramanian Wins 2014-15 All-S.T.A.R. Fellowship
Researchers at UMD, UCONN, and Rice Awarded MURI
Twelve-day test with deer shows viability of animal-borne wireless sensor network

October 3, 2013


Prev   Next

 

 

Current Headlines

Why a robot can't yet outjump a flea

Bill Regli wins Washington Academy of Sciences Excellence in Research in Computer Science Award

Aneesh Raghavan and Usman Fiaz named outstanding graduate assistants

Khaligh, McCluskey to lead new $2.37M DOE solar power converter project

Nau, Gelfand, Goldstein part of MURI developing the potential of mean-field game theory

ECE Names 2017-2018 Distinguished Dissertation Fellows

UMD Celebrates Invention of Year Winners, Ventures, and Partnerships at 'Innovate Maryland'

Ulukus named Anthony Ephremides Professor in Information Sciences and Systems

Maryland researchers develop computational approach to understanding brain dynamics

Alumnus Raef Bassily joins Ohio State as tenure-track faculty

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar