BROOKFIELD, WI, October 20, 2012 – More than 30 technology enthusiasts gathered at Centare’s headquarters for the fall hack-a-thon. Working independently or in small teams, developers tried their hand at real-time programming using provided Netduino and Raspberry Pi platform boards.

“If Milwaukee is serious about staying current with the latest technology trends, it’s important the developer community comes together in ways that challenge problem-solving skills and promote creative thinking,” said Centare’s Andrew Hall, director of Milwaukee Consulting and hack-a-thon co-organizer with fellow Centarians John Case and David Manske.

In addition to hands-on development, the day-long event included demonstrations and prizes for best concepts and executions. Attendees included Centare developers, area software professionals, and upcoming college graduates from around greater Milwaukee.

The hack-a-thon provided an unique opportunity to learn about embedded development and circuit design. The interactive event also gave developers a chance to work with and learn from their colleagues.

Netduino and Raspberry Pi devices were specifically chosen due to their combination of hardware and software, which is similar to that found in a variety of real-world scenarios today’s developers face.  These devices have become some of the most popular platforms by enthusiasts and have a wide array of projects created with them.

“Centare is dedicated to providing education and exposure to new technologies,” said Case. “This hack-a-thon gave people the opportunity to showcase their skills and develop their craft. Some people created small games, while some interfaced the devices with other things, like a robot or an electric piano.”

Some of the more interesting creations to come out of the Hack-a-thon included:

  • Wireless toaster
  • LEGO Mindstorm NXT robot controlled by a Raspberry Pi
  • Drag-racing game controlled by a Netduino
  • Netduino-powered LED rotating wagon wheel display
  • Media center powered by a Raspberry Pi using the XBOX Media Center project (XBMC)

According to event organizers, the embedded system hack-a-thon is just one of several creative educational events Centare plans to contribute to southeast Wisconsin’s rising technology community.