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Takachiho, Miyazaki, Japan





October 13-14, 2018 at Hasso-Plattner Institute
University of Potsdam, Germany


Potsdam Rathaus, photo by A. Savin
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Brain Hackathons are brainstorming and collaborative marathons designed to rapidly produce working prototypes. At 2018 UIST School, BR41N.IO brings developers, technologists, engineers, students, artists, and scientists together in teams of 5 participants each over 2 days to cram and build solutions that they can present. Hence, the Hackathon provides an environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.  By putting creative minds from multiple disciplines together for a short period of time, we have the opportunity to discover and uncover possibilities for using BCI-related hardware and software not readily thought of.  Hacks and innovation developed from the BR41N.IO Hackathon have great potential for commercialization and are designed to be a learning experience for everyone.

There are several predefined projects at the hackathon, which the participants can choose to work on. Below, the projects are described in detail including hard- and software specifications as well as the number of possible participants for each project.  Motor imagery and EP based systems are mostly used to control the applications. Specific hardware for the projects will be provided, however, software should already be installed on your personal laptop before you come to the hackathon. If you would like to attend the hackathon, you must register for ACM Symposium.

Read more about UIST School program: 2018 UIST School: 31th ACM Symposium

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate who has interests in BMI, BCI, robotics, AR, VR, machine learning, computing, sensors, human-machine interface systems, control, signal processing, big data, haptics, rehabilitation, and similar areas. One does not have to be a BMI expert to participate on a team! Interdisciplinary teams with a combination of BMI and non-BMI skills are often successful in building solutions and producing working prototypes. 

Can I submit a different project?

Professional teams can also participate to develop applications during the Hackathon to demonstrate full potential of some of the sponsored hardware/software. If you are looking for team members, your project will be included in the table plan below where people can apply for it. Submit your project to contact@br41n.io.

What's in there for me?

Be creative, think outside the box. The Hackathon is fun and gets you to network and collaborate with other Geeks. The best Hackathon projects will be awarded with cash prizes:

  • IEEE Brain Prize: € 500*

* Travel budget + 1 free registration and acceptance to present hackathon results during the poster session at the IEEE Brain Initiative Workshop on Advanced NeuroTechnologies on November 1-2, 2018 in San Diego, USA

#schedule "schedule"


Address: Hasso-Plattner Institut, Prof. Dr. Helmertstrasse 2-3, 14482 Potsdam 
Room: H-2.57 and H-2.58


Saturday, 2018/10/13

10:00–10:30 Welcome

Current and future applications of
brain-computer interfaces

Armin Schnürer, g.tec neurotechnology, Austria


How to run a real-time BCI application
Armin Schnürer, g.tec neurotechnology, Austria

11:30–12:00 Unicorn demo
Armin Schnürer, g.tec neurotechnology, Austria
12:00–13:00 Hacker groups and mentoring

Sunday, 2018/10/14

10:00–10:45 The physiological basis for BCIs
Lewis Chuang, University of Munich
13:00–14:00 Preparation Project presentations
14:00–15:00 Project presentations
15:00–15:30 Meeting Hackathon Jury
15:30–16:00 BR41N.IO Ceremony
19:00 Hackathon project demos at UIST opening reception
#jury "jury"




Armin Schnürer (AT)

g.tec medical engineering GmbH


Lewis Chuang (DE)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Patrick Baudisch (DE)

Hasso-Plattner Institute, University of Potsdam



Albrecht Schmidt (AT)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Florian Alt (DE)

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich


Hamed Bahmani (DE)

Dopavision GmbH
Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics



Brain-computer interfaces are realized by 4 different principles:

slow waves

steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEP)

motor imagery (MI)

evoked potentials (EP)

In the BR41N.IO Hackathon Series, motor imagery and EP based systems
are mostly used to control the applications:

In the case of the motor imagery application, participants have to imagine e.g. left or right hand movement to produce an event-related desynchronization over the sensorimotor cortex. This is basically an amplitude change of the alpha and beta regions of the EEG.

In the case of EPs, the BCI system is showing different flashing icons and the user has to attend to the icon he wants to select. When the icon flashes on the computer screen, than a P300 wave is produced in the brain and the BCI system is able to detect it.

For BCI usage it is important to calibrate the system on each individual person. This is done within 5 minutes. Afterwards the user can already control an application in real-time. An important aspect of BCI usage is that EEG electrodes are fixed over the corresponding brain regions to allow high quality EEG control. Therefore, we are using 8-16 electrodes that are assembled on the sensorimotor cortex, parietal and occipital regions.

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#projects "projects"


‌‌ Unicorn Smart Home Control

The unicorn is supported by the P300 based spelling application intendiX. It is possible to control home devices such as lamps, radios or television. Watch the intendiX/extendiX Smart Home video.

soft-/hardware specifications: unicorn, everyday objects (bring your own objects)
participants: 1-2 groups, 5-7 people per group
skills: Basic programming skills (Matlab, Simulink)

Registration ‌‌


Unity Games

It is possible to create a brain-controlled unity game.

soft-/hardware specifications: Unicorn
participants: 1-2 groups, 5-7 people per group
Skills: Basic programming skills (Matlab, Simulink), Basic graphics programming with Unity



‌‌ Unicorn Sphero Control

The unicorn is supported by the P300 based spelling application intendiX. It is possible to controll a robotic ball called Sphero with intendiX. Watch the Sphero Control video.

soft-/hardware specifications: unicorn, Sphero
participants: 1-2 groups, 5-7 people per group
skills: Basic programming skills (C#)



Dream Painting

To use the dream painting app, the user is wearing an unicorn headset while sleeping. When he wakes up, he will get an image created according to his EEG signals.

soft-/hardware specifications: g.USBamp
participants: 1-2 groups, 5-7 people per group
skills: Basic programming skills (Matlab, Simulink)



#tableplan "table plan"


Unicorn Sphero Control

Apply for this team

Unicorn Smart Home Control

Apply for this team