2018 BCI Designers Hackathon

Christoph Guger

IEEE SMC hosted a BCI Designers Hackathon in Miyazaki from October 6-7, 2018. The Hackathon was a 2 day event where programmers, developers and scientists met to design and create new brain-computer interface applications. The Hackathon started on the first day with talks about how to create BCIs and possible applications. Attendees also learned about the most important steps to run BCI experiments. Then, Hacker-teams were created with 2-6 persons each. Before the Hackathon, people could register online and select either a predefined topic or suggest their own application on www.br41n.io. The teams basically could register for a programming project or for an artistic project. The programming projects included developing new BCI applications with drones, robots, prosthetic hands, functional electrical stimulation, social media, functional near infrared spectroscopy, and more! The design projects allowed hackers to develop new EEG headsets with 3D printers or sewing machines, to use a BCI system to create paintings or to post message on social media. Teams were formed by friends or collaborators, but also new persons could join existing teams. Therefore, the event brought together different disciplines such as biomedical engineering, computer science, psychology, electrical engineering, design, artificial intelligence, signal processing and many more.

The Hackers got exactly 24 hours to work on their projects and to prepare a presentation which was given in front of the whole Hackathon audience including an international jury. The jury consisted of BCI experts, SMC leaders, designers, professors and people from industry. The jury selected the winning projects, and Awards and certificates were handed to the Hackers. During the Hackathon, we organized keynote lectures to bring many conference attendees into the Hackathon room. This ensured that the results are widely visible, and it gave all attendees the opportunity to make new contacts. The top keynote speakers also helped attract people to our hackathon.

The Hackathon started at 8 am on day 1, lasted the whole night, and ended at 5 pm on day 2. We had 12 teams participating with 55 hackers. The Awards were sponsored by from IEEE Brain, IEEE SMC, g.tec, br41n.io, Intheon and neumo. Miyuki Giken, NVCC, Hurobint and Intheon sponsored lunch and dinner during the event.

The winning projects and many event pictures can be found on the Hackathon web-page.

More information regarding BR41N hackathon series, images of events, winners and attendees can be found on their Facebook page.