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JackBord system 'unravelling curious minds and imagination'

"A unique product, being assembled in Waikanae, is helping to break down the barriers in science, technology, engineering, maths and more, for school children of all abilities and demographics. The all-in-one computer, coding and robotic educational system, called JackBord, is hoped to create a renewed interest in the subjects for students and teachers alike."

 
CRIsIsLab Challenge - Massey University, August 2021

The Crisis Response and Integrated Simulation Science Laboratory (CRISiSLab) is a research and learning laboratory based in the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR), Massey University, Wellington.

 

In an effort to encourage more students into the field of Technology and Crisis Management, they ran a competition, in which students were required to design and build an earthquake alerting device or system. The purpose of the students’ device was to monitor live data from a Raspberry Shake seismometer, one of which was given to each school, and when it reached a given threshold create an alert that would warn people nearby of the impending earthquake risk.

 

The teams from Paraparaumu College and Te Kura Māori o Porirua used JackBords extensively in their alert devices, in conjunction with JackBord’s programming language Octagon, for data processing and creating their alerting program.

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The results of the competition saw "Earthquack" from Paraparaumu College win the joint award for the best dashboard, and Te Kura Māori o Porirua win the award for the best alerting device.

 

The Te Kura Maori o Porirua alerting device was based upon Rūaumoko, the god of earthquakes in Māori Mythology, holding a Waka with three warriors in it high above his head. When an alert was triggered the four JackBords used in the alerting device came into action with each one being the responsibility of one or more students.

The first JackBord monitored the data coming from the Raspberry Pi Shake and sent an alert to the other 3 JackBords when an earthquake occurred. The second JackBord controlled the three Māori warriors in the waka with the number popping up depending on the severity of the quake. It was also responsible for the LEDs below Rūaumoko which represented the sea. The warriors were controlled using RC servos mounted on JacKano metal parts. The third JackBord controlled the lights on the side of the waka and the fourth was responsible for the alert sound played based upon the strength of the quake.

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Image: Alerting program in Octagon showing data from the Raspberry Pi Shake plotting in real time.