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“Hack the Drone”: the hackathon organized by ENGIE was a big success

Other innovations
29/04/2015

Enhance drone performances and better meet industrial customers’ expectations such were the challenges of the drones’ hackathon organized by ENGIE, formerly known as GDF SUEZ. From April 24 to 26, 2015, 200 participants divided into 28 teams competed ruthlessly within the premises of School 42 in Paris. By organizing this event, ENGIE contributed to fostering the emergence of innovative solutions in the drone sector.

What solutions can be brought to the problems raised by infrastructure ‘s maintenance and surveillance? ENGIE launched the first hackathon dedicated to drones in order to bring the skills of the best stakeholders in this domain together and initiate innovative projects. For several years, ENGIE has been anticipating the civil use of drones. With its network of partners*, the Group contributes to the promotion of the drone branch in France. In line with its activities, it develops research and development projects in this sector. According to ENGIE, drones have a vocation to help developing services aimed at industrial customers and public bodies.

“A drone is embedded data processing that flies! This hackathon will allow us to confront our capacity to write code with the business world. It’ s a very important milestone to us”, explains Thomas, a student at School 42, a drone enthusiast and a regular hackathon participant. 200 developers, start-up managers, engineers, makers and ENGIE employees responded to the “Hack the drone” calling. Within teams organized according to their respective skills, all competitors worked non-stop for 36 hours.

Remote metric measure, analysis of distortion points on tubes and pipes, neutralization of flying drones, creation of an anti-collision system… During three days, to meet ENGIE’s mission statement, competitors had to develop their projects focusing on the above themes.

Winners will benefit from an incubation system provided by ENGIE to turn their project into operational reality. A great number of innovative technologies arose from this hackathon that, as the partners themselves acknowledge, was highly inspiring. The competition level was so high, that breaking a tie among the candidates turned out to be extremely difficult. Thus, in addition to the winners who will be incubated, other high potential teams have been noticed. They will benefit from a support from the Group and its partners. “Hack the Drone” was an undeniable success, which proves that the collaborative mode is a source of creativity.

2015 ENGIE “Hack the drone” ranking:

Anti-collision award: Team DPM

Neutralization award: AIRPMC Team

Testing award: CEDAILLON

Metering award: LIDRON

PARROT Award: Team MILLIMETRE

Staff & Bordeaux TechnoWest award: DSR Team

*Partners’ network: Parrot, the French Air Force’s Drone Center of Excellence, Bordeaux Technowest, the French National Defense and Security General Secretariat, the Pégase hub, the French Directorate-General for Civil Aviation, the French civilian drone trade federation and Redbird.

Source: Juliette Le Reste