Tech Innovation Challenge

28 June – 23 July 2021

Birds eye view of a cluttered table with hands typing on laptops

This coming semester break, the Smart Spaces team, which is part of the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne, are hosting a Tech Innovation Challenge.

The Smart Spaces team conducts research that explores the design, engineering, and evaluation of novel interaction techniques and devices, including VR, AR, AI, Internet of things, wearable computing, tangible interaction, sensing, and much more!

For this Tech Innovation Challenge, we will set a series of fun, technical challenges and offer prizes to teams who can address them. The challenge will run between 28 June – 23 July 2021, and use our new state-of-the-art facilities at Melbourne Connect. Our aim is to provide students with an immersive lab experience, where they get exposure to the latest interactive tech, receive mentoring from our researchers, and work on exciting challenges.

These challenges will require teams to design and build electronics and physical prototypes, do some programming, and maybe include some machine learning. You are welcome to include 3D printing, PCB building, laser cutting, CNC milling, or other prototyping techniques into your prototypes. We have a budget you can spend on extra equipment to address the challenges.

We are looking for dedicated students – either undergrad or masters – to come and tackle these challenges. You will need strong problem-solving skills and creativity. Ideally, you will have at least one of the following skills: programming, electronics, or mechanical engineering. You will need to be in Melbourne, as the Tech challenges will take place in our new lab in Melbourne Connect.

The challenges themselves are a surprise, but an example could be: build an autonomous robot that I can stand on in VR.

The best projects will receive gift vouchers. If successful, we will also help each team submit their work to a conference. Teams can be 2–4 people. You can apply as a team or apply on your own and we’ll place you in a team. Only students at the University of Melbourne are eligible to participate.

For more information, contact Dr Jarrod Knibbe at jarrod.knibbe@unimelb.edu.au. Interested? Complete the application form:

Apply now

We expect to conduct online interviews to select participants on 24–25 May, and we will notify you by 31 May.