Kathmandu was part of the 2015 NASA SpaceApps Challenge for the third year in a row. The capital joined more than 130 cities across the globe for the competition. Sixty-three youth participants from diverse backgrounds, including 11 women, formed 14 groups to take on challenges that address environmental issues during the two-day event, held 11–12 April.
Team Smart Energy Meter was named the winner of the International SpaceApps Challenge in Kathmandu. The team developed an Arduino-based energy monitoring device that uses an electrical current sensor to read analog data, which is then converted to a digital value and uploaded to a database, which can be accessed through an Android application.
Team Clean Water Mapping took home the second prize, with an application prototype used for locating unidentified water sources through crowdsourcing. Once the app is fully developed, it is expected to contribute to improved water resource monitoring.
Similarly, taking the third place was Team Tracking and Sensing through Android Robotics which tackled the global challenge ‘Sensor Yourself’. Their Android robot tracks nearby objects using on-board sensors present in an Android smart phone. Prospective applications of this platform range from navigating mountains for waste disposal to tracking geological artifacts, scanning atmospheric regions, and possibly assisting in the search for extraterrestrial objects.
The event was jointly organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) under the framework of SERVIR-Himalaya and YoungInnovations, in collaboration with Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC). It was supported by Women Leaders in Technology (WLIT), Karkhana, CSIT Association of Nepal (CSITAN), Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN), and Games & Apps for Mobile Education Studios.