Lake Mac launches the Smart Liveable Neighbourhoods Challenge

If you're a maker or you're into IoT then you might be interested in a new competition launching this week, from UTS and Lake Macquarie City Council.

Raspberry Pi LoRaWAN device

TULIP (with our partners Meshed) has installed two LoRaWAN gateways in Lake Macquarie in recent months and both are connected to The Things Network, an open global platform for community IoT. We want the community in Lake Mac to use this great new resource by making and connecting DIY devices to the network and exploring what LoRaWAN can do! Did we mention that there is a $600 prize pool for the winning entry, AND we'll provide competition entrants with some free kit to get things started?!

Two great events

September will see two fantastic events happening in the area, both of which are perfect opportunities to talk about the new LoRaWAN network in Lake Mac, and show off what the community can do with it. The Greater Hunter Makers & Technology Festival is on Friday 21 September, Newcastle Jockey Club, and the Lake Macquarie Living Smart Festival is on Saturday 22 September, Speers Point Park.

Here’s the plan

If you’d like to work with us, the deadline for creating a LoRaWAN device and connecting it to the network is the Makers Festival. Your device will be showcased at our stall and we invite you to come and talk about it, as well as your broader interest in IoT. It’s the same deal at the Living Smart Festival.

To make a device you’ll need some kit, which the University of Technology Sydney will provide. We're talking a microcontroller, a LoRaWAN shield and antennae, plus sensors and other necessary items. We’re very happy to talk with you about what sort of kit you’d like – let us know and we’ll order it (within reason). We do ask that you volunteer some of your time at both events to help showcase your creation, but you don’t have to hang out all day unless you’d like to. And you can hang onto whatever you make when it's all over - the kit we give you is a contribution to say thanks.

What sort of device are we looking for?

Whatever you like really. It could be a simple temperature or GPS sensor, or it could be more sophisticated. If it’s relevant and useful to the community, that’s a definite bonus! Here are some thought starters for things we’re actively interested in:

  • We want to count people through the gate at the dog park and the playground so we understand how much those spaces get used and when. This helps Council with maintenance, emptying bins and generally ensuring great facilities. We may even publish live data so people can see when those places are less busy.

  • How can we introduce people counting at our public amenities blocks? If we know when they are used, we can optimise cleaning schedules and ensure they’re always clean and pleasant.

  • Can we use LoRaWAN devices to help make community sport more practical or fun? Maybe an automatic scoring system? Or a fun training game?

  • Can you mix art and tech to create something playful and interactive for our public spaces?

  • What would you use a LoRaWAN device for at home? We’d love to know and we’d love to see your ideas in action. Would it help your garden grow? Maybe it monitors wildlife? Or perhaps you want to monitor local air quality?

Sign me up!

Register by the 14th of September

Read the competition terms and conditions

Further questions?

Contact Tom Boyle at Lake Macquarie City Council


We'd like to thank Newie Ventures and Core Electronics for their support of this competition

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