RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics (Allied) and international development charity, Practical Action, are joining forces to host Power Hack at Google’s UK offices on December 9 and 10. The two-day hackathon event will provide an opportunity for industry-leading designers and engineers to solve the critical challenge of getting affordable and easy-to-manufacture domestic electricity generators to people affected by poverty across the globe.

Three teams of world-class electronic and engineering designers will tackle the challenge using the newly updated suite of rapid prototyping tools from RS and Allied (DesignSpark Mechanical, DesignSpark PCB and RS Toolbox). Participants will include Ortis Deley, co-host of The Gadget Show, Adrian Bowyer, founder of the open source RepRapPro 3D Printing technology, Jude Pullen from Design Modelling, Matt Johnson, co-founder of Bare Conductive, Schneider Electric, TE Connectivity, Elektor and more.

The hope is that by combining RS and Allied’s technical know-how in rapid prototyping and Practical Action’s expertise and insight into the needs of communities in the developing world, the event could go some way to developing a solution for the critical challenge of energy poverty.

Ortis Deley, co-host of The Gadget Show, Channel 5, and long-time Practical Action supporter said: “Using innovative technology to solve problems of this nature is fantastic on a number of levels. I am personally very excited by the opportunity that Power Hack presents for aiding poorer areas across the world and to see what will result from it and wish all involved the very best.”

Using the RS and Allied tool set, Power Hack participants will be able to quickly create concepts, design prototypes, and 3D Print those designs.

“Practical Action have given a real focal point for the Power Hack, which will help our teams of engineers get right to the heart of this critical global problem,” said Mark Cundle, Head of Technical Marketing at RS Components. “It’s going to be very interesting to see what the engineers create with our suite of rapid prototyping tools over the two days. Hopefully there will be some true innovation in the area of domestic electricity generation, which could make a real difference to people’s lives around the world.

If the prototypes from the Power Hack challenge were to reach a single village and enable communities to teach others how to utilise the benefits resulting from electricity generation, then this is going to be a powerful innovation. We’re really looking forward to seeing the end results.”

Talking about the Power Hack, Neil Noble, Technical Adviser at Practical Action said: “We’re very excited about the partnership with RS Components, Allied and DesignSpark and the potential solutions that will come out of the Hackathon. Designing practical, appropriate solutions that are effective and culturally suitable for the developing world is always a huge challenge, but we think it’s one that the engineers will relish and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

The Power Hack will be live-streamed on the DesignSpark website ( and viewers will be able to follow all of the challengers on DesignSpark’s Facebook, Youtube and Twitter pages.


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