As is tradition, my friends and I attended MakeMIT (a hardware hackathon) for the 4th time. The theme of the night was… bananas.

Banana Safety Machine

Every evening, Amazon delivers a bushel of bananas to my doorstep - but sometimes, the local banana gang tries to steal them. It’s a serious problem. How can my team stop this from happening?

Behold - a wireless IOT package theft prevention device! The idea behind it: when a delivery driver arrives, they can leave a package on this platform.

Small pressure sensors embedded in the legs of the platform record the weight of the package and watch for fluctuations. An exponential filter lets the device ignore sensor noise and vibrations. If packages are added, the device pays no mind and lights up a friendly sign. The platform is battery powered and WiFi-connected, so it can be monitored remotely.

If packages are removed without disarming the device via an app, all hell breaks loose.

Banana Ethics Enforcement Machine

(The package theft device was supposed to be our final project. We had some extra time, however, so we decided to take advantage of it)

Behold - a triangular prism made out of fire alarms that violently swings around a pool noodle with a car window motor. Would-be package thieves will be assaulted by flashing lights and 6 feet of foamy fury.

Proper engineering practices were not a priority here.

After building this, we still had some extra time before judging. Buffoonery followed.

Banana Tattoos

What do you do once your supply of bananas is made safe? You tattoo them, clearly.

An old Lulzbot printer frame was jerry-rigged to hold a needle. Bananas oxidize when their skin is broken. We wrote a small script that took a source image and converted it into dots. A poisson noise distribution with rejection sampling was used to make it look more natural. We then commanded the printer to poke a hole for every dot.

We won a first-place sponsor prize at the hackathon. Isn’t life wonderful?