If you always wanted to build a robot then we have an awesome weekend for you! Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon is a chance for newbies, hobbyists and pros alike to come together, build a robot and have some fun.

Positronic: Robots and Brains is presented in partnership with the Ontario Science Centre November 14-16, 2014.  At the hackathon we will explore:

  • Robots that think for us
  • Robots that take care of us when we have trouble thinking
  • Robots that leave us free to think

Positronic is an exploration of robotics and brains.

At the Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon students, adults, families and corporate teams will creatively apply their innovation, design and prototyping skills to conceive of and build a robot. Every team is provided with a kit of tech including hardware, electronics, and building materials – everything you need to build your robot. A team of experienced mentors will be on-hand to help too!

On the Friday evening you’ll meet fellow robohackers, form a team (if you don’t have one), and come up with ideas. All day Saturday and on Sunday morning you’ll be building, testing and rethinking your ideas. By Sunday afternoon everyone will get to see your awesome creation, and prizes will be awarded based on design, innovation and technical wonder.

This is a BYOC event (bring your own computer). We will provide a basic kit of robot tech for each team, but you are welcome to bring your own parts, if you have them.

There are only 5 rules for all robots that will be built:

  • the robot must move in some way
  • the robot must use a microcontroller
  • the robot must be able to sense something in its environment or receive input
  • the robot must be demonstrated on the final day of the hackathon
  • the robot must in some way relate to the theme of “Brains”

You don’t need any technical background. Just bring your creativity and your ideas!

We haven’t worked out all the details for prizes yet but here is an idea of what we are looking for:

  • Design – This is the “You look fabulous baby!” and ” What a sexy robot!” prize
  • Innovation – This is the “What Genius!” and “How come I didn’t think of that!” prize
  • Technical Achievement – This is the “How did you do that?!” and ” Robots will bow down to you.” prize


Get Your Bot On! is a not-for-profit organization that produces robotics hackathons: Do-It-Together events where unlikely collaborators from diverse backgrounds build their robot prototype ideas. We can enable anyone to make robots with some open tech, a few tools, and a little help.

Through their prototyping experience our robohackers better understand this growing industry and someday may bring their insight, ideas and expertise to it. Robots are increasingly a part of our everyday lives and we believe everyone should have basic literacy in this exciting field. We also believe that anyone can make robots with the right tools and a little help. By bringing together unlikely collaborators from different backgrounds we have seen innovative and exciting ideas come to life.

Prototyping is a key theme in all our events. Other hackathons have you sitting solemnly behind your computer screen, plunking away at your code. Get Your Bot On! will have you rolling up your sleeves and getting sweaty trying to get your bot to Bust a Move!

We, the team behind the hackathon, love robots, are passionate about building things, and wanted to meet some people who feel the same.  We are all volunteers and have been working hard hammering out the details of the weekend so you can have fun.


Adriana Ieraci, Co-Founder, Hackathon Director

AdrianaAdriana  started the robotics hackathon with cofounder Nick Stedman because she loves to work with hackers. Adriana is founder of Conveyor Built, an innovation skills and design firm that helps product teams work better together and build their product ideas. Conveyor Built collaborators can be found hacking away on Wednesday evenings on a new wearable product. As founder, Adriana has developed workshops that guide participants in designing and building their own digitally-enabled objects using rapid prototyping tools, electronics, open hardware and software platforms and techniques from sculpture and art practice.

Adriana leads her team of collaborators including software and hardware engineers, artsists, instructional and industrial  designers to develop these workshops and Conveyor Built’s own products. You can find Adriana on Twitter @adrianai

Daniel Mirmilshteyn, Technology

Daniel is a second-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Toronto. He has worked with the University of Toronto Robotics Association (UTRA) Autonomous Rover Team, which competed in the International Autonomous Robot Racing Competition in Vancouver. He designed the software algorithms used, as well as developed communications systems to work with the on-board sensors. He continues to work with the team, co-leading the mechanical team and leading the software team. Daniel also has a passion for game development, developing exciting online multiplayer games in his spare time.


Rachel Wang, Social Media Coordinator

RachelProfilePicRachel is a self-proclaimed hackathon enthusiast, after participating in various hackathons she decided she would like to recreate her positive experiences for others. She believes in  the power of teamwork and enjoys the process of designing and creating projects from scratch. Rachel is fascinated by the way technology is shaping the world we live in and is studying computer programming at Seneca College. She currently works at an integrated marketing company as their web developer and is excited to see what participants will create during the hackathon weekend.  You can find her on twitter @U24C7.


Stephanie Sadownik, Logistics Coordinator

StephanieSadownikStephanie is a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.  Her doctoral research is a collaborative program with Curriculum Studies and the Knowledge Media Design Institute at the University of Toronto. She completed her Master’s and Bachelor degree at the University of Victoria, in Victoria, British Columbia and taught for seventeen years in diverse teaching assignments around the world.  She has worked in both private and public settings, and obtained International Baccalaureate training and certification in Design and Technology as well as Information Technology in a Global Society.

Her passion for teaching has always included mathematics and technology and for the past ten years she has focused on how to develop superior online distributed learning models for mathematics and science courses by utilizing various computer mediated communications and media spaces as well as platforms.  With this development in mind, her focus is on the current paradigm shift to connectedness and collaboration enabled and facilitated by technology as well as the implications of the use of technology on individuals and their learning, both positive and negative.


Christine VanWalraven, Equipment, Communications

Christine Van WalravenChristine is a librarian, educator, artist, designer, and advocate for kid and family friendly maker spaces. She can paint edible portraits, dress herself in traditional Japanese kimono, is a fantastic storybook reader, and can organize just about anything. A graduate of the U of T Master of Information program, she currently works at the Caledon Public LIbrary as a reference and children’s librarian. She is also a member of the Kwartz Labs maker community in Kitchener-Waterloo where she helps out at events like “Ada Lovelace Day”, “Hacky Halloween”, and “SoOnCon”.

Justin Scherer, Equipment

Justin SchererJustin is an interdisciplinary designer based in Toronto. He has a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University and a masters degree (M.I.) in Information and Knowledge Media Design from the University of Toronto. His past and current clients include Scotiabank, MasterCard, General Motors, WIND Mobile, MSN, UEFA, and others. Justin has also collaborated as a Arduino technician and data wrangler for a SSHRC-funded performance art piece called Thresholds of Legibility and built a Twitter-controlled generative art score for telematic, electroacoustic art performances.

Justin gets really excited about human experiences of physical/digital hybridity in the built environment and design’s role in the ways we make meaning (with)in rapidly changing information ecosystems. Barbecue, German, and esoteric Wikipedia entries also reside within the increasingly unmanageable purview of his interests. You can find him on Twitter @jgscherer.


Arvind Karir, 3D Printing

Arvind has a high-technology startup focused on innovative solutions for the electronics industry. He is interested in technology and innovation and its application to solve interesting problems. Arvind is an engineer in his heart and training with a post graduate specialization in Industrial Design with specialization in Product Design. He has worked in high-tech sector in various roles in product engineering, systems engineering, commodity management, marketing and product management. There are even a few patents under his name. You can find him at www.macxmum.com, and @arvindkarir.


Marina Tawdrous, Writer,

Marina Tawdrous is a student in the New Media program at Ryerson University, a program which allows one to evaluate and discover new platforms of communications. One new platform being the use of robots and the different ways innovators are bringing them into our world of communication. Marina has always enjoyed creativity as she admires the exploration of new ideas, the use of imagination, and takes pleasure in being part of the new innovations of tomorrow. Marina Tawdrous is excited to be part of the Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon and is looking forward to meeting creative makers and being around innovative minds. You can find her on LinkedIn, and on her blog.


Nadia Wong, Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator

Nadia is an avid knowledge grubber. She has a deep love for science and discovery and wishes to share that with the world. She believes curiosity brings excitement and hopes to encourage everyone she encounters to start asking questions. Nadia has traveled through her academic career with the goal of one day helping the world. As a result, she has found herself working for a PhD in Psychology at McMaster University aiming to develop rehabilitative applications based on Brain-Computer Interfaces. When Nadia is not exploring her passion in the sciences, she spends her time exploring the world of baking desserts. You can find her on Twitter at @nanapedia.


Ian Sero, Photography, Graphic Design, Innovation

IanSeroIan Sero is an artist living in the city of Toronto. He seeks to explore the pressing issues of health, environmental disaster and the fragility of living. Mediums are boundless for this artist who uses sculpture, Subversion and honest fun. He takes an enthusiastically interdisciplinary approach to all the work he creates. With recognition that both the failure and success are essential to understanding. The wisdom is in the: “why did you do it that way?”. You can see his work on Flickr, or on Tumblr, and on LinkedIn.



Alec Nunes, Equipment

Alec loves dealing with technology in all facets in life. He loves that technology has advanced to the point that everyone can have access to sophisticated hardware and software which gives the everyday person the ability to create really great projects. Alec has worked in the home automation/custom integration industry and studied Electronics Engineering at Seneca College, where he also ran the Seneca Robotics Club. Alec can’t wait to meet everyone at the hackathon and he’s sure it will be a great event!


Uttam Bajwa, Media Outreach Coordinator



Nick Stedman, Co-Founder, Advisor

Nick StedmanNick started the robotics hackathon with Adriana and is excited to see what amazing robots are built. For the past decade, Nick has been designing and building electronic devices. These range from artworks to products to tools that enable others to be creative. Nick does electronic and mechanical design, programming, and fabrication. In recent years he has made several robots that physically interact with people. These have been shown around the world, including on a Japanese game show. More recently he founded Steddy Robots, a company that develops tools that make it easy to develop robots and animatronics. Nick also teaches at Ryerson University and York University.


Nick Yee, Advisor
NicholasYeeNick is currently Chief Architect at Manulife Financial, but also has extensive experience as an entrepreneur in the software industry. He started to get involved with the hackathon out of interest for collaborative innovation and the maker movement. You can find Nick at @nywhoever .


Nick Pagee, Advisor

Nick Pagee is the Curator of the TIFF Kids digiPlaySpace, an interactive exhibition for children, families and students as well as a Film Programmer for the TIFF Kids International Film Festival. Independently, Pagee is a multidisciplinary designer and award-winning interactive art + videogame curator hustling for the win every day in Toronto, TMI at nickpagee.com. You can find him on Twitter at @nickpagee.


Norman T. White

NormNorman started his art career as a painter, but in the late 60’s he taught himself electronics and began to create electrical machines in order to better model the often unpredictable behavior of dynamic systems, especially that of living organisms. In1978, he helped to initiate at the Ontario College of Art and Design a program dedicated to teaching electronics, mechanics, and computer programming to artists. He teaches now in the Radio Television Arts Department of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.



Cosmin Munteanu

Cosmin is an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Communication, Culture, Information, and Technology (University of Toronto at Mississauga), and Associate Director of the Technologies for Ageing Gracefully lab. Cosmin’s multidisciplinary interests include speech and natural language interaction for mobile devices, mixed reality systems, learning technologies for marginalized users, assistive technologies for older adults, human factors of interacting with imperfect systems, and ethics in human-computer interaction research. You can find out more about his work at TagLab here.

Skills and Expertise: Accessible Design, Assistive Technologies, Human Factors and Design, Independent Living, Ageing in Place (at home)


Phil Tesseyman

I’m an Phil Tesseyman Electronic Technologist, retired. Worked in digital control and communication in the nuclear industry. I’ve been playing with micro controllers for about 10 yrs. Started with Picaxe, now working with Raspberry Pi and Arduino Yun. My current interest is in Home Automation. I like radio control and just got a DJI Phantom 2 drone. I live in London, as this is where my children have settled. I grew up in Scarborough.

Skills and Expertise: Electronics, Testing, Troubleshooting



Evelyn Sham


Evelyn is an undergraduate Industrial engineering student at the University of Toronto. She is currently Co-President of the Spark Design Club, nicknamed Spark, which designs, builds and displays interactive installations around the downtown campus. Spark holds workshops for fellow students to build these displays and gain hands-on experience with power tools, as well as building and debugging circuits. In the past, Spark’s displays have been featured at Nuit Blanche and the Discovery Channel’s, Daily Planet.

When she’s not tinkering away at things Spark-related, Evelyn enjoys learning about biomedical technologies and human-centred design. You can find her on LinkedIn.