"At the HACKademy there are interesting cases, nice people and good input from experienced coaches. I would take part again at any time!"

Nadia, HACKademy participant

At the Open Health HACKademy, four interdisciplinary teams with students from different disciplines, people with disabilities and Makers jointly develop open-source hardware solutions, so-called Careables. Because many people with disabilities lack the tools they need to live and work.

The development teams are accompanied and supported by experienced coaches from the fields of electronic prototyping, coding, digital fabrication and design thinking.



The Open Health HACKademy will take place at the fabLab machbar in Potsdam (https://machbar-potsdam.de/about/) on three weekends and the weeks in between during the lecture-free period from 1 to 17 March 2019.

During the week, the project teams carry out and coordinate their tasks largely independently.

The dates in detail:

01 March 2019            Kick-off and introduction to the programme (Friday 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

02 & 03 March 2019    HACKademy - Sprint 1 (Saturday 10 am to Sunday 5 p.m.)

09 & 10 March 2019    HACKademy - Sprint 2 (Saturday 10 am to Sunday 5 p.m.)

16 & 17 March 2019     HACKademy - Sprint 3 (Saturday 10 am to Sunday 9 p.m.)

A first public HACKademy Meetup will take place on Saturday, March 2, 2019, from 5 p.m. in the open studio of the fabLab machBar in Potsdam. Together we discuss ideas and first prototypes. Dr. Claudia Nicolai, Academic Director of the D.School, will give an input about Design Thinking from 6 p.m. on. Afterwards you are welcome to cook and network with the whole HACKademy team.

A second public HACKademy Meetup will follow on Saturday, March 9, 2019, starting at 5 p.m. with keynotes on topics such as Open Health, Citizen Science and research on therapeutic appliances.
To join the Meetup click here: http://meetu.ps/e/GrYYj/FgY60/f

The final public presentation of the four development teams will take place on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at 3 p.m.
For the final presentation you can register here: http://meetu.ps/e/GrZ0R/FgY60/f

More infos under:

These are the CASES …

Case "Eisbrecher"

Thomas, 29 years old, studies interface design, is deaf from birth and therefore German Sign Language is his native language. He likes to live in the deaf world, but he also seeks to exchange with hearing people, for example, when he wants to attend network events, to get to know people and to get ahead professionally. These are challenges for him, because smalltalks cost him overcoming a barrier of verbal speechlessness. In order to address others, he shows typed text on his smartphone and relies on the other side communicating as well. It eliminates eye contact and tapping messages requires more concentration than speaking or gesturing. Unfortunately for many listeners, this type of communication is too unusual and exhausting. He wishes to address this everyday challenge in the HACKademy and also wants to make it a topic of his BA-work. The Goal is to develop an "interface and Hardware design for the overcoming of threshold fears between deaf and hearing people". A"cool" object that acts as an icebreaker between deaf and hearing people and helps in a pleasant way to exchange and keep eye contact.

Case "Belly Button"

Laura is 21 years old and lives with personal assistance. She herself is the employer and thus responsible for the training of her employees. Laura is supported by a direct access to the stomach (Button). This "button" is a kind of connection valve for an artificial nutrition system and needs to be changed regularly. This is not such a big deal, but many, especially new employees still have respect of it. Understandable! Together with Laura we would like to develop a dummy on which the personal assistants can learn and practice changing the button.

Case "Reading out loud"

Rosemaria is 83 years old and still very active despite her advanced age. She was diagnosed with macular degeneration at the age of 74 years. In this disease, which often develops in old age, the field of vision of the affected person and thus the ability to read is reduced. Reading, especially letters from doctors or authorities, are a major challenge for them. Special reading aids, are associated with high acquisition costs. Therefore, her grandson Kai began with the development of a reader that Rosemaria should support in everyday life as part of his computer science studies years ago. The aim now is to develop an aid that should be both cost-saving and easy to use for the elderly. In addition, it should be developed as an open hardware product to be available to other people in similar situations.

Case "LazyEye"

Many people (around 400 million) only use one eye at a time. The eye that isn’t being used falls to one side - which is commonly called “Lazy Eye”. This robs them of depth perception, and often a certain amount of self-esteem among other issues. This is a neurological issue. Normally our brains learn to fuse the input from each separate eye into a single mental image when we are babies. If the baby’s brain received signals from each eye that were so different it couldn’t correctly fuse them (e.g. one eye being much stronger/weaker than the other) the brain suppresses one eye. Ben Senior, the Case Provider is an inventor, problem solver and general asker of awkward questions. His background is computer science, interdisciplinary research, software engineering and construction. His son has a "Lazy Eye" and so Ben has started developing a training program for Lazy Eyes. The software is already quite far. To use them you need a VR headset with 4 cameras. We want to develop an ergonomic, inexpensive DIY kit for VR that allows people who have solved the basic physical problem, such as glasses, to re-train their visual system.

More Infos here:

And a Speech from Ben about Lazy Eye and his Idea at 35C3:


The event is organized as part of the projects Match My Maker (www.matchmymaker.de) and Careables (www.careables.org) by the non-profit organizations be able e.V. and Prototyping Collective e.V. in cooperation with the Wissenschaftsladen e.V. and the D.School / Hasso Plattner Institute Potsdam.



In cooperation with