Makerdays December 2015 (previously Hackdays)

Makerdays are always a big event at Polymorph, and the last one of 2015 was no exception. For two days all Polymorphers have the opportunity to work on or explore whatever interests them, usually a new technology or a new process or just a new idea for an app. This time around, mostly everyone worked on a project of their own choosing. Not only was everyone hard at work at making their Makerday project a success, but a videographer was also working on documenting the event (we’ll reveal more about that later in the year).

20151210_131400-1Makerday had a few surprises: Hilda, a designer – developing her own app; the coffee machine being moved to the recreational room and being monitored by a camera; Madi co-directing the video-making.

But then, of course, there was the pre-recorded motivational speech that Dawid always plays on the opening of the first Makerday; also the reminder that we are aiming to build something incrementally.

Percy and Ryno had loads of fun exploring various animations in Android.

JP, Russel and Paul worked on Soaring Coach, an application that analyses IGC-format GPS trace files and uses the resulting information to help glider pilots understand areas they need to work on to improve their flying.  For example, this app answers the question of how long it takes to complete a circle for a given thermal – which tells the pilot whether he’s banking steeply enough to stay in the fastest-rising air found in the core of the thermal.  Paul designed the graphical layout, JP worked on the back-end (in Java) and Russel implemented the front-end (Ionic).

Hendri developed an app for new bluetooth beacons that were supplied by ETSE. He asked me to thank ETSE for the beacons – thanks ETSE!

Pieter and Christine worked on sta20151210_151910-1rting a LadyBird robot project; Pieter gave a dramatic demo of the robot leg playing on a kiddies’ keyboard.

Hilda, a member of the creative team, developed a survey/questionnaire application ‘SurveyApe’ in Ionic.

Madi, also part of the creative team, designed a prototype in Invision for an internal voting app called ‘Polynotion’, that allows employees to upload and vote for new project ideas.

Wim used the Google tool Blogger to streamline the creation of an fast automated blogger that shows locations on a map. His blogs of the Pieke mountain can be viewed at

Anthony, Mitch, Nicolaas and Hendrik were working on something they refer to as “OpsDev” – operationalising some of the tedious activity that happen during development project set up. In typical DevOps style they ended up using Chef to get some initial items up and running, these included setting up a new iOS Xcode project with CocoaPods dependencies; setting up a new Andriod project using the Android SDK tools; setting up a new Github repo for a new project; and setting up a Jenkins build for a new project.

Dawid worked on a PIR linked to cellphone app. He used USB On-The-Go to send signals via the serial port and took photos via his cellphone, which were uploaded to a cloud backend.

All-in-all Polymorph had an extremely enjoyable and successful Makerday in December 2015. What a great way to end the year!

Richard Barry
Richard Barry
Chief Innovation Officer at Polymorph

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