Aerospace - May '17

Aerospace - May '17

Rockets, satellites, jet engine testing equipment and drone technology were a few of the amazing products showcased by engineers and founders at our Aerospace-themed meetup on 9th May.

A huge thanks goes to Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom from International Space Consultants, Mat Rowe from Dotterel Technologies, Ian Rowe from Air New Zealand, and Naomi Altman from Rocket Lab for coming along to share their stories.

Our event was a big one (we capped registrations at nearly 180), and we were very proud to be a feature event for Techweek 2017. Our amazing sponsors Blender Design, GPC Electronics and GridAKL enabled us to put on such an amazing event, and we also bought on a new sponsor, Adroit, who bought along the beer (Adroit are a specialist smart-tech company also working across AI, image recognition, augmented reality, and voice & gesture control).

Event attendees came from many leading New Zealand companies, including Orion Health, Xero, Rocket Lab, Air New Zealand, Chronoptics, Boxfish Research, JUCEBOX, Navico, Compac, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, The Icehouse, Sunfed Meats, Tru-test, Downer, Tekron, Globex Engineering, Fonterra, and the New Zealand Defence Force.

Speaker #1:
Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom from International Space Consultants

Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom is co-founder of International Space Consultants, and space faculty and former Chief Impact Officer at Singularity University.

Having recently arrived from Silicon Valley, Emeline and her husband are working on multiple space-related projects, including offering to help Kiwi primary and university level kids to build sensors from satellite kits.

They are also working to create a stronger space ecosystem in New Zealand, and help local entrepreneurs to use exponential technologies to build spacecraft and software tools for space data. 

Interested in getting in touch with Emeline? Reach out to her here >>

Speaker #2:
Mat Rowe from Dotterel Technologies

Mat Rowe is CEO and Co-founder of Dotterel Technologies, a company who have developed award-winning noise-reducing drone technology. Dotterel was formed by Mat and his two brothers in response to Callaghan Innovation's 2015 C-Prize - a competition aimed at driving development of UAV technology for the screen industry.

After winning Most Innovative Product at last year's NAB Show (the largest showcase of media technology in the world) the company is now in the process of commercialising their technology.

Think you can help Dotterel Technologies? You can reach out to them here >>

Audience Pitches

Four audience members pitched hardware-related things for one minute each. Products included: 

  • A 3D camera from Chronoptics
  • A device that aids people with hearing impairments
  • A high-speed axial flow fan
  • Electric jetboards from Voltaic Jetboards

Do you have something hardware related to pitch? Want to show off your project, release a new product, or find a team member? Please come along to our next event!

Speaker #3:
Ian Rowe from Air New Zealand

Ian Rowe is a true legend in the world-renowned Air New Zealand Technical Services Operations department, and is currently Senior Technical Support Engineer after being with the company for 49 years.

Ian has designed and commisioned test systems for pneumatics, avionics, hydraulics, flight guidance, wheel brakes, halon recovery systems, transmissivity test systems for military P3 radomes, madbooms, and commercial aircraft radomes (the dome-like shells that protect radar assemblies from things like weather and moving fast). 

You can learn more about the wide range of engineering work Air New Zealand does here >>

Speaker #4:
Naomi Altman from Rocket Lab

Naomi Altman is Electrical Systems Engineer at Rocket Lab, a company developing lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. Rocket Lab have been extremely busy gearing up for their first test launch with NZ-built, carbon-composite rocket 'Electron.' They achieved this goal last week, when Electron was successfully launched from their Mahia site.

Electron will be delivering imaging and communications satellites for the likes of NASA, Planet, Spire, and Moon Express, which are providing services such as optimised crop monitoring, improved weather reporting, internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services. 

A huge congratulations to Rocket Lab for successfully launching Electron last week. You can read more about their plans future plans here >>


Many of Auckland's top engineering and product development minds were in attendance, as well as many up-and-coming hardware enthusiasts. Want copies of any of these photos? You can pull them from our Facebook folder.

What's Next?

  • Sign up to be part of our database!
  • Join our Meetup page
  • Come along to our next event - HealthTech in July

MarineTech - Mar '17

MarineTech - Mar '17

Robotic sailboats, ocean-activity-sensing buoys and underwater drones were showcased by their founders at this month's MarineTech-themed Hardware Meetup.

A huge thanks goes to Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics, Graham Harris, and Ben King from Boxfish Research for speaking.

Our sponsors Blender Design, GPC Electronics and GridAKL were in attendance, and this month we welcomed Hudson Gavin Martin as our legal support. 

Speaker #1: Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics

Simon Werner is Founder of Anemoi Robotics, and has built an unmanned autonomous sailboat to enable marine scientists to conduct monitoring and research all over the globe.

Simon Werner from Anemoi Robotics

Simon's current prototype is a carbon fiber radio controlled (RC) sailboat. He has removed the RC gear and replaced it with a small BeagleBone computer. The BeagleBone is able to receive commands through either Wifi or a cellular network and it is also able to control the servos (motors in the sailboat). 

Anemoi Robotics

The sailboat only needs to control the rudder for steering and tighten the sails for different wind directions. He has also integrated GPS, an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass; these devices allow the sailboat to know it's own position, heading and orientation.

Simon is in the next phase of development, and is hoping to get his products into the hands of scientists as soon as possible.

Can you help Anemoi Robotics? Reach out to Simon here.

Speaker #2: Graham Harris - Buoy Developer

Graham Harris is a buy developer who has been working on a couple of different projects.

One is a buoy to conduct some experiments at sea converting wave energy into a usable form.

The insides of one of Grahams buoys.

The insides of one of Grahams buoys.

Another is a buoy to listen to the sounds of the ocean and detect fishing activity.

The idea is to distinguish fishing activity (which may be illegal) from 'innocent passage' of a fishing boat through an area where it may not be allowed to fish. Thus, fishery enforcement (hugely expensive to keep patrol boats at sea 'in case') can be targeted much better and the odds tilted in favour of the fish. 

Pitches From The Audience

Five audience members pitched hardware-related things for one minute each:

Pitch #1: Cameron Stewart from Parametric Furniture
Cameron has recently launched his company Parametric Furniture, where he partners with designers from all over the world to make beautiful furniture. 

Cameron launched his first product at the event, a designer bed frame which arrives as a kitset and is made up by the purchaser.

Pitch #2: Ulrick Frerk from JUCEBOX
Ulrick is Co-founder and CEO of JUCEBOX, a company which develops IoT and home automation solutions.


JUCEBOX needs a Node.js dev with AWS experience. Can you help them? Reach out here.

Pitch #3: Emily Melhuish from OMGTech! 
Emily is a volunteer for OMGTech!, and pitched a new initiative which is pairing students with mentors.

20 young technology leaders will be selected mainly from decile 1-4 schools around NZ, based on criteria aimed at ensuring more young people in these communities take up 21st Century skills such as coding. The programme starts in April 2017 and they will complete the programme by April of 2018.

They're on the lookout for mentors who can work with students. If you're interested, you can reach OMGTech! here.

Pitch #4: Anne Abbott from AUT
Anne is a PhD student in Machine Learning at AUT, and is organising a panel discussion as part of the Women in Tech event at AUT during Techweek in May. 

She was after female speakers for the panel (and I understand she found multiple speakers for her event after her pitch). Keep track of when this event is happening on the Techweek site.

Pitch #5: Adrian Dorrington from Chronoptics
Adrian is CTO of Chronoptics, and they're on the hunt for team members.

Chronoptics designs Time-of Flight 3D cameras and algorithms, and they're looking for skillsets ranging from hardware designers, to system engineers (FPGA and imbedded Linux), and image processing computer scientists.

They are interested in people who potentially satisfy criteria for Callaghan Innovation funding, possibly new ME or PhD students under the R&D Fellowship Grants or R&D Career Grants. If you can help Chronoptics, reach out to them here.

Do you have something to pitch? Please come along to our next event!

Speaker #3: Ben King from Boxfish Research

Ben King is Co-founder of Boxfish Research, a company who have built an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) for underwater use, specifically for science, exploration and filmmaking.

boxfish research 1.jpg

The Boxfish ROV is the first mini submersible built specifically for streaming live uncompressed 4K-UHD video to the surface.

All research and development has been carried out in-house, and the team have even built much of the manufacturing equipment themselves. The 360 spherical camera, also built by Boxfish Research, is available either with the ROV or as a standalone product.

The team had bought footage of their underwater journeys, and had it available via VR headset.

They want to get their products into the hands of customers - if you can help with this, get in touch with Boxfish Research here.

Event Images

Many of Auckland's (and New Zealand's) top engineering and product design minds were in attendance, as well as many up-and-coming hardware enthusiasts. You can get notified of ticket releases for upcoming events by subscribing to our database.

Other Hardware Meetup News

We're postponing our April HealthTech event to gear up for our May Aerospace event, happening in Techweek. HealthTech will happen in June instead.

Rest assured, we're locking in some amazing speakers for Aerospace. This event will coincide with a nationwide set of technology and business events, happening as part of Techweek (6th to 14th May 2017).


The Hidden Genius - Feb '17

The Hidden Genius - Feb '17

Three outstanding Kiwi companies fit perfectly into this month's Hardware Meetup theme 'The Hidden Genius,' which aimed to showcase products and companies helping other products work better/smarter/harder.

A huge thanks goes to StretchSense, Avertana, and Teknique for speaking. 

This month we welcomed new sponsors Blender Design (specialist product design and development company) and GPC Electronics (complex electronics manufacturers), and GridAKL provided us with an outstanding venue. Blender Design have also jumped onboard as a series sponsor.

Speaker #1: Todd Gisby from StretchSense

Todd Gisby is CTO of StretchSense - global leaders in the supply of smart stretch sensors for the rapidly emerging wearable technology market. Their products are making massive enhancements in fields like biotechnology, augmented reality, robotics and autonomous vehicles.   

You can follow StretchSense on Twitter to keep up with their journey.

Speaker #2: James Obern from Avertana

James Obern is Commercial Director of Avertana, a very stealth company converting low-value industrial waste streams into raw materials for manufacturing, using innovative chemistry, advanced materials, and process design.

Mineral and chemical products of Avertana’s novel process are used in everyday products like paint, paper, fertilizer and building materials.

The Auckland-based company is working to create value for a range of industries, using a new approach with much lower environmental impact than existing methods.  

You can read more about Avertana on their website.

Pitches From The Audience

This month we trialled something different - members of the audience could pitch something hardware related for one minute. Five people pitched in total - here's a video from Facebook Live (6 minutes in length).

Pitches were a combination of help needed and early-stage products showcased.

This is something we will be doing at all future events. If you have something to pitch, let us know.

Speaker #3: Ben Bodley From Teknique

Ben Bodley is CEO of Teknique - a company whose imaging solutions are behind many of the world's largest consumer brands. Their products help companies who are integrating cameras into their own consumer products, all the way from drones and 360 VR cameras, to IoT and Smart Home products.

Teknique are based in Albany, and were named 8th fastest growing company in New Zealand's 2016 Deloitte Fast 50.

You can learn more about Teknique here.

Other News

Our next event will be showcasing MarineTech, and is happening 9th March. You can be notified when tickets are released by signing up to our Meetup page, and following us on Twitter.

Event attendees have indicated a digital form of communication for the hardware community is needed. In response, we're trialling a Linkedin group and a Facebook group for the New Zealand's hardware ecosystem. Please join these groups, and lets continue the conversation together.

AgTech - Nov '16

AgTech - Nov '16

Beehive sensors, meat made from plant protein, horticultural robotics and electric farm bikes kicked off the first Hardware Meetup AKL on Wednesday evening. 

A huge thank you goes to BuzzTech, Sunfed Meats, Robotics Plus, and Locus Research for speaking.

Event attendees included engineers, founders, product developers and executives working in companies such as Emirates Team New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, GPC Electronics, Fonterra, Trademe, BEP Marine, Blender, Anemoi Robotics, TruTest, Callaghan Innovation, Downer and PushPay.

The fantastic GridAKL sponsored the venue, and Wharf42, Datacom and Garage Project sponsored the food and drinks.

Speaker #1: Julian McCurdy from BuzzTech

Julian McCurdy is CEO & Director of BuzzTech, a company whose focus is on developing beehive management software and sensors to address the growing demand for useful data within the global apiculture industry.

Having successfully completed the Sprout Agri-Tech Accelerator early in 2016 and securing seed funding in August 2016, BuzzTech is now piloting its technology with key partners, preparing for production ramp-up, and looking forward to Series A fundraising in 2017.

Julian is looking for more beekeepers to trial his product - if you're interested, please flick him an email.

Speaker #2: Shama Lee from Sunfed Meats

Shama Lee is Founder and CEO of Sunfed Meats. A software programmer turned food tech entrepreneur, Shama is re-imagining the high-protein food system, and her company is turning plant protein into meat. Her product tastes, feels and cooks like meat but is healthier for us, and lighter on the planet.

Shama has attracted high profile global and local investors, and is setting up the first plant-based meat processing plant in the Southern Hemisphere. Sunfed Meats recently won the Innovation Excellence in Research Award at the 2016 NZ Innovation Awards.

Sunfed Meats will be launching their first product soon - "chicken" - and you can follow progress and find stockists through following their Twitter.

Speaker #3: Dr Alistair Scarfe from Robotics Plus

Dr Alistair Scarfe is Director & COO of Robotics Plus, a company who have developed several world first technologies including an autonomous kiwifruit harvester, or Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP) and their Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC).

The Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC)

The Robotic Apple Packing Cell (RAPC)

The Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP).

The Autonomous Mobile Modular Platform (AMMP).

The RAPC was named as a finalist in three categories at this years NZ Innovation Awards, and Alistair was nominated for the Young NZ Innovator of the Year Award.


Alistair and the Robotics Plus team are currently looking for mechanical engineers, and people with software development experience with sensor technology. If you think you can help, reach out via email.

Speaker #4: Michael Peterson and Daniel Faris from Locus Research

Mike (Technical Director) and Dan (General Manager) of product design agency Locus Research spoke about helping Ubco electric farm bike founders Daryl Neal & Anthony Clyde further develop and commercialise their award-winning product.

The near silent Ubco is powered by a 40-amp/hour lithium-ion battery, can travel 100km to a charge, and can be fully recharged in six hours at a cost of 88 cents worth of NZ electricity.

The company is currently looking for purchasers for their bikes - they've just clocked 100 sales and are gearing up for global domination. You can find out more, book a test ride or purchase all from the website.

Other pictures from the event

We were very proud to have bought together such a diverse collection of people to meet each other and talk hardware.

If you'd like a copy of any of the below images, please flick us an email. Photography is courtesy of the very talented Sam and her company The Native Creative.

Stay tuned for the next event - Consumer Electronics - happening February 2017. See the full list of themes HERE. And subscribe to the mailing list to receive exclusive updates.


We're framing up sponsorship packages for both individual events and the full series. Send us an email to enquire about sponsoring these events.