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Team Catcha does University proud in hackathon series


Team Kacha from Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) came in third in the recent grand finale of The Grand Challenge Hackathon Series 2018.

The competition, held at Connexion@Nexus Bangsar Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Next Big Tech Asia Conference 2018, was organised and conducted by I Tech Train Sdn. Bhd. (ITT) together with Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) as a strategic partner.

The Curtin team comprised mechanical engineering student Muhammad Irfan Mohd Ismail, computer systems and networking student Lancelot Chong, electrical and electronic engineering students Tan Yee Long and Marcos Jay T. Concon; and accounting student Cheah Jia Qin.

They walked away with a cash prize of RM4,000 after ranking third out of eight teams in the grand finale, in which Team Native 404 from University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) emerged the winner.

Team-leader Irfan said that the game utilises machine learning and image identification as part of the game feature.

“My team was very passionate about designing innovative solutions and the hackathon provided us the opportunity to showcase and develop our talents.

We encouraged each other to explore every opportunity and discover our capabilities, and not be afraid to try new things,” he said.

Players were given missions or quests to complete while they were at a national park, and for every mission completed, they were rewarded through an in-game point system.

Points earned can be redeemed for physical rewards such as souvenirs at the end of their visits.

Prior to the grand finale, the team emerged as the grand winner of The Grand Challenge Hackathon Kuching Series in August – a feat that earned them RM6,000.

Meanwhile, the Grand Challenge Hackathon Series is a competition that provides a platform to reveal raw talent and encourages open innovation. It gathers programmers, designers, creative thinkers and the like in the field of big data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) throughout Malaysia.

State-level hackathon events with different themes were held in Kuching, Johor, Penang and Kuala Lumpur prior to the grand finale.

The winning teams from each state then went on to compete in the grand final for the grand champion title.

A panel of judges from various backgrounds selected the winning projects and teams based on their creativity, marketability, uniqueness and impact.