Designers Hackathon

A Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) hackathon, sponsored by the IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society and the IEEE Brain Initiative, will be carried out during the conference. Hackathons are brainstorming and collaborative marathons designed to rapidly produce working prototypes. In this hackathon, groups of students and mentoring faculty will be organized to develop some artistic BCI prototypes. These prototypes will be presented on the last day of the conference by the students. Only people partipating in the Doctoral/Postdoctoral consortium can participate in the hackathon. Please, apply to the Doctoral/Postdoctoral consortium if you are interested in participating in the hackathon and you are not a member of this consortium.  


  • Best artistic prototypes:  Three awards sponsored by the IEEE Brain Initiative will be given to the best artistic BCI prototypes: $500 prize for the first best artistic prototype, $300 prize for the second best artistic prototype, and $200 prize for the third best artistic prototype.

  • Most innovative prototype: An Emotiv Epoc+ donated by Emotiv will be given to the most innovative prototype.

  • Most disruptive prototype: A Muse device donated by Muse will be given to the most disruptive prototype.


The jury is composed by all the members of the organizing committee. There is no right of appeal against the Jury's decision.


Hardware available

  • Brain Productsg.Tec and OpenBCI will provide the EEG hardware to be used for the participants to develop their prototypes, as well as technical support. 
  • Devices provided by g.Tec: 4x wireless devices with 16 channels and 6x wireless devices with 8 channels, 3D printers.
  • Devices provided by Brain Products: 5x LiveAmp 32 channel mobile wireless amplifiers: 3 with active dry electrode systems and caps (actiCAP Xpress Twist), and 2 with slim active gel based electrode systems and caps (actiCAP snap).
  • Two EEG devices provided by OpenBCI

List of projects to be developed (alphabetical order)

Below a list of artistic projects to be developed are suggested. These projects have been suggested by the industry sponsors or by the organizing committee. Other projects with a strong creative componente can be proposed by the participants. The organizing committee will contact the participants before the hackathon to ask them about their project preferences in order to organize the teams, as it is explained in the rules section.

  • Artistic BCI: Partner with a professional dancer attending the conference and make your brain-based choreography controlling lights and music using your EEG signals.
    • Team 1: Zachary Hernandez, Karolina Zakarauskaite, and David John Baker
  • Brain and Painting: Is there a relationship between EEG and painting? Can we modifiy some EEG bands during the painting process? Show it!
    • Team 2: Lukas Gehre, David Baker and María Martínez
  • Brain Music: Create music according to your EEG signals and have a jazz session with a performing musician attending the conference.
    • Team 3: Jorge Antonio Gaxiola, Silvia Moreno and Aaron Colverston
  • Design Headsets Using 3D Printing (provided by BR41N.IO): Let’s design a fancy and futuristic EEG headpiece with your own 3d printed parts. Let it move, light, blink, hold things or simply look fantastic.
    • Team 4: Kenneth Veldman, Marianna Zanovello and Justin Tanner
  • Dream Painting (provided by BR41N.IO): For the dream painting app, the user sleeps with a unicorn headset. When he wakes up he will get an image created according to his EEG signals. The participants task is to develop an interface based on P300 paradigms using intendiX and a graphic program.Wear a headset while you sleep, and get an image created according to your EEG signals when you wake up.
    • Team 5: Jesús Cruz, Sven Van Der Brug, and Lindsay Esola
  • intendiX Painting (provided by BR41N.IO): Create images by using your thoughts only!
    • Team 6: Fabio Llorella, Tess Torregrosa and Stephanie Scott
    • Team 7: Luis Mercado, Andreas Wulff-Jensen and Adam Lopez
  • Sphero SPRK Control (provided by BR41N.IO): Control a Sphero with motor imagery by thinking of left or right hand movement to paint.
    • Team 8: Guillermo Herrera, Daniel Pimentel and Julia Anna Adrian
    • Team 9: Michael Winters, Gintare Minelgaite and Saul Cova


  • Each project will be carried out by groups of participants supervised by a senior participant.
  • Hackathon participants will be contacted by the organizing committee before the conference to ask them about their project preferences. Each participant will select a list of 3 projects, ordered according his/her interest. In this list, the participant will be able of including his/her own suggestions of projects. The organization committee will compose the groups trying to consider participants’ preferences and assuring a suitable balance of technical/artistic skills in each group.
  • Participants have to bring their own laptops.

Hackathon schedule:

  • Sunday, Sept. 10, 7.30pm - 8.30pm: Meeting of all participants in the hackathon (Room: TBA)
  • Monday, Sept. 11, 8.00am - 8.00pm: Development of hackathon projects by participants (Cronos room)
  • Tuesday, Sept. 12, 8.00am - 8.00pm: Development of hackathon projects by participants (Cronos room)  
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13:
    • 8.00am - 11.00am: Development of hackathon projects by participants (Cronos room)
    • 11.00 am - 12.15pm: Presentation of the hackathon projects to the conference participants (Centauros & calipso rooms)