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This past weekend, several of us FirstBuilders headed to MakerBot’s headquarters in Brooklyn to co-host the “Think Inside the Icebox” Hackathon where engineers, students and designers came together to create connected prototypes for FirstBuild’s ChillHub smart refrigerator. Ideas varied from food sharing to encourage community in dorms, apartments or neighborhoods to tools to lock away treats until tasks are completed. Winners received MakerBot Replicators (or Digitizers) and roles of filament. Check out the entries below.




First Place – The winning team, headed by Bryan Berger of NY Hackathons, was FoodShare, a new solution to display and share food from your refrigerator with neighbors. The team 3D printed food baskets and egg holders that have embedded sensors and are placed inside the fridge together with a mounted camera. The sensors can detect freshness, among other things, so no pawning off overripe fruit. The hardware is connected to ChillHub and feeds information to a website, where users can set up a profile and connect to similar systems in neighboring homes. The team hopes that the combination of food and technology can bring people of communities together to share their cultures. FoodShare would lead to less food waste and maybe more community potlucks.

Pavlov's Fridge for MakerBot FirstBuild Hackathon

Second Place – Pavlov’s Fridge is a locked box within the fridge that can only be opened by marking off set tasks to reveal its contents, such as snacks or other goods. The system is designed to incentivize positive behavior based on goals. For example, it could encourage children to complete their chores or help facilitate a diet. The user must complete tasks, such as cleaning the house or running a mile, and check them off on an online portal in order for the box to unlock. The system could also be connected to wearables to automatically open the box when fitness goals are achieved. The team 3D printed the box and gear system, and then used a motor connected to the Wi-Fi-enabled ChillHub.



Fridge Pharm

Third Place – Fridge Pharm is a storage box that organizes weekly medication and administers the proper dosage based on the physician’s input. The medication is sealed into locked containers inside the fridge until the day and time that they are to be accessed, at which point the container unlocks. A physician can monitor the box via the Wi-Fi-enabled fridge. The system will help avoid over-medication and help collect patient data. The team created the casing using 3D printed parts and used the Raspberry Pi to control the opening and closing mechanisms. The team was built primarily of students from UMass Amhert’s Innovation Center.


Other inspired entries included:

Chiliflix — A LED display that is attached to the fridge and that recommends a movie when the fridge door is opened depending on the time of day and other factors. Chiliflix uses the Wi-Fi connected fridge to tap into a database of movies and to display a not-so-random movie on the front of the fridge. The team wrote a script for the movie recommendations, wired the Raspberry Pi microcontroller, and 3D printed the casings that housed the screen and the electronics.

Light Snack Stopper— A locking mechanism that requires the user to play a game in order to open the fridge. Designed to keep children or pets from opening the fridge, the lock will stay in place until a game is completed. The game consists of matching a series of lights using a joystick. The team created a code that randomizes the game each time the fridge is locked. The components for the lock were all 3D printed.

How to Get Involved

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