We had an amazing turnout for our Robotics Hackathon November 14-16, 2014! 75 participants in 19 different teams built robots for an entire weekend. Our theme this year was “Positronic: Robots and Brains” and teams were challenged to come up with a robot related to this this theme in some way. Special prizes were awarded for robots that addressed the challenges of aging at home and coping with dementia and there was an incredible number of creative solutions to this problem.
Each team was given a kit of technology including a microcontroller, sensors, motors and electronic parts. XYZ Interactive donated one of their GestureSense sensors for each kit, technology not yet available on the market but soon to be released for makers to integrate into their inventions.
Our sponsor Meccano provided their model kits for the robot chassis. Their kits gave our robohackers a platform to build their robot on. The teams were resourceful, merging Meccano, craft materials and 3D printed parts into smart pets that help the elderly, futuristic robotic arms, one team even converted a piñata into a robotic pill dispenser.
We had a stellar panel of guest judges. Our special thanks to Sabrina Greupner, Manager of the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre, Alex Mihailidis and Rosalie Wang from IATSL, Professor Norman T. White from the Radio Television Arts Department of Ryerson University, Nick Pagee Curator of the TIFF Kids Digi Play Space, and Ziya Tong from Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet!
This year we introduced two new categories of robohackers: corporate teams and family teams. Our Corporate Innovation Challenge invited corporations to send teams of employees with diverse skills and backgrounds to work together for the weekend. Autodesk and Manulife sent teams to participate in the Challenge. Both teams transformed their ideas into working prototypes in just one weekend while developing their team-building and innovation skills. We would like to thank Autodesk and Manulife for being part of our robohacking weekend.