From a railway station to Google Play:
A new gaming app was the winner at #AimtecHackathon 2019. Photo by Aimtec
On the weekend of March 8–10 2019, the fourth annual #AimtecHackathon was held at Pilsen’s Moving Station. It centred on a programming marathon in which participants had fantastic access to technologies, mentors and space for creativity. As for their creations, these were up to them. This year both the jury and the public awarded their prizes to the team named PSI for their gaming app. Yet the Hackathon had plenty to offer the children and the public as well. Meanwhile, this year was also record-breaking in several ways.
#AimtecHackathon’s organiser Aimtec has seen this event enjoy its strongest year ever. Not only did it break the record for the number of participants – 69 of which arrived in Pilsen, including two teams from universities in Cham and Regensburg – but the number of technologies loaned was the highest ever as well. There was also a strong interest in the presentations for the public (TechTalks) and the Sunday afternoon children’s programme (YoungHackers).
“This year was exceptional, and we were pleasantly surprised by the strong interest; it even forced us to end registration several days before the event. But what pleases us far more is that a number of participants keep coming back, and we’ve come to consider some of them our personal friends. I’m confident that many new friendships arose at this year’s Hackathon as well”, says #AimtecHackathon’s main organiser Jiří Dobrý, adding: “The whole event lasted practically three days for the organisers, which was very exhausting. And yet we’re already looking forward to next year, and we’ve started working on preparing it”. Markéta Jedličková from the winning team praises the Hackathon’s atmosphere as well: “AimtecHackathon is great because of how you feel at home here, there’s a great team of people here organising it, and they put a lot of energy into it”.
And what sort of projects came out of #AimtecHackathon 2019? The team named PSI placed first with both the jury and the public. They developed a controller for multiplayer gaming. It lets friends play the same game and cooperate on its progress using just a smartphone – every player controls a part of the movement, for example walking or opening doors. Their HumanPad app is even available on Google Play, albeit still in a limited mode.
The jury awarded second place to KlaVíáR, which lets you play the piano in virtual reality, and third place went to a team with a smart refrigerator that will alert you in advance to approaching expiration dates for the groceries inside it. Other projects included, for example, an application for a music festival, a robot for use in education, and an industrial-robot controller with integrated artificial intelligence.
Saturday’s TechTalks were another part of this weekend programme. They welcomed in everyone from among both experts and the public. The event’s partners brought presentations on topics such as computerised text recognition, cybersecurity and cloud services. The end of the event was dedicated to children. An entertainment programme awaited them on Sunday afternoon; it was prepared in cooperation with the Robotics Centre, the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB), and VOŠ a SPŠE Plzeň. The cooperation with the University of West Bohemia is key both at #AimtecHackathon and elsewhere. Here’s how doc. Ing. Přemysl Brada, MSc., Ph.D., head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, sums it up: “The applied-sciences department has long been cooperating with Aimtec in the area of education and in various promotional activities, including cooperation within the Partner FAS programme. We are glad that Aimtec has taken up the initiative with the Hackathon idea and supports it long-term through its organisational capacities, because thanks to this, an attractive, and now international, large-scale event is regularly taking place in Pilsen. We were very pleased to agree to help with organising the #Aimtechackathon; we provide expert mentors in the areas of virtual reality and the Internet of Things (IoT) and arrange a recreational programming contest”.
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