Cog is a hardware checkout system for hackathons, originally written for use at HackMIT and MakeMIT.
Add inventory items individually or in bulk from a spreadsheet, providing links and descriptions to give hackers resources for getting started. Items can even be individually named and tracked to make sure nothing goes missing.
Flexible Request System
Tweak Cog to fit the logistical needs of your event, with options to manage lotteried items, items that require checkout, or simply a grab-and-go style inventory.
Keep Track of Users
Easily determine which hackers have which items, and get in touch with hackers via phone or email. You can additionally track whether or not you've collected collateral (such as an ID) from each hacker.
Real-time Admin Panel
View, approve, and fulfill item requests in real-time as they come in. As soon as an organizer approves a request, hackers can see that their item is ready to be picked up.
Users login using credentials from an associated Quill instance, forgoing the need to create an additional account.
Deployment & Configuration
The easiest way to deploy Cog is to smash this Deploy to Heroku button right here:
If you're interested in deploying on other infrastructure, that should be
doable as well. Cog is written in Python 2, and all dependencies can easily
be installed using Pip via
requirements.txt. Cog uses PostgreSQL as a
database. Deployments of Cog generally use Gunicorn as a web server
(alongside gevent or eventlet for handling websockets). The exception to this
is Cog's default Heroku configuration which uses the built in
Flask-SocketIO web server
due to performance issues using Gunicorn on Heroku.
A myriad of configuration options are available to be tweaked in
config.py. Alternatively, all values set in
this file can be set as environment variables of the same name - environment
variable values will take precedence over the value specified in
Sensible defaults are in place for all of the event logistical settings, but
we recommend playing around with them a bit. At the bare minimum you
should change the
HACKATHON_NAME and set your
variables to match the associated Quill instance.
We strongly recommend deploying Cog and experimenting with/testing your desired configuration options in advance of your event to ensure it behaves in a manner consistent with the logistical organization of your event.
Adding Hardware via Google Sheets
While you can add individual items one-by-one, we recommend creating a spreadsheet with all your items and importing this into Cog in one go. Currently, the only supported way to do this is via Google Sheets. An example Cog inventory sheet can be found here.
To import from a Google Sheet, simply turn on view-only sharing and paste the main URL (not the sharing URL) into Cog after clicking 'Import Google Sheet' on the main inventory page.
While Cog mostly uses default Semantic UI styling, a minimal amount of custom
CSS lives in
hardwarecheckout/static/sass/app.scss. In order to rebuild the
CSS when the Sass is changed, install Sass and run
sass --watch sass:css in the
If you end up using Cog for your event, please take a moment to add yourself to our users list!
Interested in hacking on Cog? Check out the development guide for some steps to get you started.
Hacking on Cog go well? Contribute back to upstream! We love outside contributions - have a look at our contributing guide for information on how you can get involved.
Thanks to the following folks for their contributions to Cog pre-open sourcing: