The idea for the project was born during the preparation for the Intel IoT Roadshow Hackathon held in Berlin on April 25, 2015.
Initially wanting to build an (all-purpose) bike computer, we decided to focus on the aspect of measuring road quality seeing as this had not been done very often before, and it seemed like the perfect fit for the event, both in the time required to build a first working prototype, as well as regarding the hardware we were provided, which included the Intel Edison, an accelerometer, GPS module and other useful bits and pieces.
After 24 hours of intense coding and debugging (most of the time was spent trying to get *any* program running on the Edison at all) and a quick test run around the block with the device attached to the bike frame and a MacBook in the backpack serving as a $1000 battery pack, we were able to present the project to the judges including actual, real measurement data! They were impressed!
The mechanical design, a combination of a 3d-printed mounting bracket for the sensor and LEDs and a quick-and-dirty cardboard box hack to house the controller, was a looker, too!
This event did not only provide the spark of inspiration for the project, but also the right tools for the job, the perfect athmosphere for getting things done quickly, and last but not least, the encouragement of the judges to keep on working on this idea after the hackathon