SUDBURY -- Over 40 participants have been working for 42 hours straight this weekend in Sudbury, figuring out computer solutions.

It was the first ever hackathon hosted by Hard-Line, a Sudbury based company that specializes in mining innovation equipment worldwide.

“Form a group talk about that and try solving that again and again," says Kevin Toms, a participant from Georgian College. "Same process, have food, sleep, refresh your mind, take a walk, have a coffee, take everything out of the box, start solving problems again. That’s how you come up with ideas and ways to solve things."

It’s a competition that runs around the clock. Keyboards are clicking and minds are working to come up with new mining innovations using high powered computers and laptops.

Two teams from Laurentian University are developing a computer program to get a mining vehicle to drive itself.

“It’s really a programming competition," says Thomas Bagley, a graduate from Laurentian University. "So there a few teams working on this challenge, and we have stated objectives not to crash into walls and try and reach the target with some efficiency."

A team from Georgian College in Barrie is developing a program to track the position of the arm of a rock breaker underground.

This the first ever machine learning hackathon put on by Hard-Line. Some participants took cat naps to stay refreshed.

“We are working day and night in this hackathon, like hardly we got two or three hours sleep every day," says participant Ravi Rana. "So this is like a really good experience in the real world, so we are enjoying it right now and we are learning a lot from this competition.”

Felicia Brunelle, the organizer of hackathon, says 12 teams from across Ontario took part.

"We actually had a better than expected turn out, it’s a very specific field of study. So we had 40 participants. They have come from across the province. We have teams from Sault Ste. Marie, Barrie the GTA as well as several from Sudbury."

Organizers say the event is a great opportunity to showcase Sudbury and northern Ontario as a global hub for mining technology and innovation.