UKZN Students in Winning Codefest Programming Challenge Team
In this year’s Youth Innovation Challenge, the team of UKZN and Durban University of Technology (DUT) representatives - Indeterminate Hub - which won the 24-Hour Codefest programming challenge, was hosted by the Innovate Durban Programme.
Innovate Durban creates a platform for innovation to thrive in eThekwini through enabling citizens to revolutionise their communities and business, fuelling economic growth and job creation.
Innovate Durban was founded in 2014 by the eThekwini Municipality, and this year’s collaborators include the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Oracle, the Durban Chamber of Commerce, Life Co. Unltd., and Adams and Adams.
The programme’s Manager, Ms Aurelia Albert, said it was aimed at equipping young people with relevant skills and the opportunity to learn how to become problem-solvers of real life challenges. A total of 100 young people were shortlisted to participate this year.
‘We want the youth to start thinking differently and learn to be innovative; it is a fundamental aspect on their road to being successful young people,’ said Albert.
In the Codefest Challenge which was powered by Oracle, the winning team, Indeterminate Hub, had been asked by Transnet to devise a way to reduce the impact of freight trucks on road traffic.
The team proposed a custom artificial intelligence navigation system to select routes for drivers based on criteria such as up-to-date traffic information, displayed on mobile devices. The device would offer Sanral’s iTraffic site’s live camera feeds showing road conditions, and for safety, be receptive to interactive hands-free gestures. The web-based system would allow Transnet overseers to monitor trucks using the system, and would calculate the environmental impact of the trucks’ journeys.
Transformation Director at Oracle South Africa, Ms Wendy Beetge, said the 24-hour challenge tested the stamina and all-round skills of the teams, who had 10 minutes to pitch their ideas to a judging panel immediately following the 24 hours.
Winning teams received funding to take their ideas further.
‘Oracle is very excited to be working with Innovate Durban on this,’ said Beetge. ‘We invest heavily in education and this is particularly relevant to us in South Africa.’
Project leader Mr Kriyen Padayachee said the event facilitated making new friends, learning about new technology and advocating his ideas and business plans to like-minded peers.
‘This is definitely an event I’d love to participate in again,’ said Padayachee.
‘The challenge appealed to me as it provided a unique opportunity to test my technical skills in the rigorous Codefest, and more importantly, allowed me to get involved in improving my city,’ said team leader Mr Sulaiman Patel, a Master’s candidate in Electronic Engineering.
The team of seven UKZN and DUT representatives has been invited to the upcoming Innovation Summit in Durban on 8 July.