The Winner of Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga GAGA Makes Personal Home Assistants Cute

The 6th Garage48 Hardware & Arts hackathon was a total success! With over 100 participants, 14 working prototypes, 34 ideas pitched on Friday and countless new friends in Latvia, the first Hardware & Arts in Riga event couldn't be more wonderful. The physical prototyping hackathon bought fresh ideas from the teams to the table - a charcoal drawing tool, thunder in a box, tennis ball pickup robot, chess clock, interactive turning heads and so much more!

The event has been a beautiful journey with the aim to boost hardware and arts innovations. There was a tight co-operation between the EstLat-Accelerate project, TechHub, RTU and the Garage48 team to make the hackathon happen. We believe that Estonia and Latvian can be very successful in working together to boost innovation and a startup mindset. In addition, this hackathon proved  again that there is so much talent in the Baltic States. 

Having the EstLat-Accelerate 2-month acceleration program available for the teams, where they can continue working on their idea and blossom, is crucial for the future impact. All the the 14 teams of this hackahton are welcome to apply for the program and take their prototype to the next level.

Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga had also the best venue possible. The RTU Design Factory had everything the hackathon could wish for - a wood workshop and labs, where the teams could do laser cutting, 3D printing, soldering, engraving and other works. The Design Factory Director Guntis Kuļikovskis was excited to host the big event: "Personally for me, the big challenge was to share the space, which truly is more than a workplace for me. It was amazing to see that people felt good here, used all the technical options and our RTU team expertise to achieve the result. The technical complexity of the prototypes were great - for example, there was at least 3 teams that decided to use computer vision for object recognition and tracing."

Since the physical prototyping event series started off in 2014 in Tartu, there was been long a desire to create such an event outside from Estonia. "What I have seen during last 3 days is that this decision was right and definitely paid off as the event is described by participants to be even better than in Tartu. I am also really happy to see our friends - Crazy Latvians not only participating, but also mentoring in their home turf, " said the co-founder of Garage48 Priit Salumaa on this amazing hackathon. 

In order to make the event a success, there are so many people and companies to thank. Thank you to Lattelecom for providing with LORAWAN™ rapid development kits and mentors for the event. Big thank you also to Mass Portal, who brought an amazing 5 3D printers and 3D printing team, who helped the teams with their sketches. Also big thanks to Tele2 IoT for mentorship and DevKits.

Thank you so much to all of our amazing mentors. The team at the RTU Design Factory, who helped the participants in the workshop room: Mindaugas Valkavičius, Pēteris Sala, Andris Tjulins and Kristens Raščevskis. Also, huge thanks to our A-team, who bought their A-game the entire weekend: Emil Syundyukov, Jānis Dimpers, Andrejs Pukitis, Harijs Grīnbergs and Jānis Lapsa. Special thanks also the equipment team from the University of Latvia: Aija Čaure, Edgars Piskunovs, Katrīna Svilāne and Deniss Celuiko. And the biggest thanks goes to the Mass Portal team, who the entire weekend helped the teams with 3D printing works: Kristofers Celms, Reinis Lazdāns, Jānis Peipers and Valters Celmiņš.

Huge thank you to our Jury Members, who simply had to flip the coin and choose the best from the best. Thanks you to Talis Juhna (Vice Rector of Research at Riga Technical university), Kristaps Elsiņš (‎Design Team Lead at Ubiquiti Networks), Aldis Cimoška (Plant Manager at HansaMatrix), Krists Avots (Corporate Development Strategy at Lattelecom) and Guntis Kuļikovskis (Director at RTU Design Factory). 

Special thanks also to our wonderful, beautiful and lovely volunteers Agni Raitar, Ucha Vekua and Marge Seppo.  

Now let's go to the most exciting part. We will announce the winners of Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga:

OVERALL WINNER & Favourite of the Audience
Team Lead Helen Kokk: "It's unbelievable what you can build with a strong team. I've slept only 10 hours since Friday, but I'm shaking and excited to bits."
GAGA
Prizes: Ubiquiti Networks prize, 250€ Taxify credit, TechChill tickets
Gaga is a personal assistant and a companion in one device. Smart, mobile and personal, you can ask it to manage your smart home, your schedule or your play time.
Team members: Helen Kokk - Team lead & UX designer, Kristaps Straumens - Software engineering, Andro Lominadze - Electronics Engineering, Giorgi Sheklashvili - Android Developer, Efren Bernardino - Mechanics Engineer, Diana Ivonne Munoz - Electronics Engineer, Khaled Elfakharany - Software developer, Jekaterina Kuznecova - Marketing & Sales, Renata Johanson - Product Designer, Kristine Laurits - Product Designer, Juris Klava - Mechanical Engineer & Product designer, Einars Deksnis - Electrical Engineer, Ahmed Ahmed - Electrical Engineer

Runner-up & Best Design
Fading World
Prizes: Ubiquiti Networks prize, Garage48 tickets
Fading World is an interactive tool that converts anything you say into a unique charcoal drawing.
Team members:  Toms Burāns - Designer, Vilja Nigu - Marketer, Aidas Janulis - Electronics Engineer, Rihards Skrubis - Mechanics Engineer, Konstantin Tretyakov - Developer,
Antonina Vracinska - Developer

2nd Runner-up & RTU Design Factory Special Prize
They Are Watching Us
An art installation consisting of stands with human heads on them. Every head has a different personality and voice. They can rotate and interact with you in a creepy way.

Team members:  Luka Tsulaia - Engineer, Felicita Gaga - Product Designer, Sherif elSherif - Electronics Engineer, Paula Megija Kārkliņa - Product Designer, Jaan Tohver - Software Developer, Kaspar Kalniss - Mechanical Engineer, Kristaps Rats - Software Engineer, Andrejs Rinkevičs - Software Engineer, Justin Zavadsky - Product Designer, Mariia Markovska - Marketer/Researcher, Roberts Darģis - Server Engineer


HansaMatrix Special Prize
Grillmallow, VibroSense, ThunderBox
Prize: Factory visit to world class hardware production plant & process introduction at HansaMatrix

Grillmallow
Electric grill for marshmallows.
Team members: Karlis Gulbis - Mechanics engineer, Reinis Lūsis - Team lead, Toms Skujiņš - Marketing and Research, Mikus Upmalis - Hardware engineer

VibroSense 
To translate visual inputs into vibrational motions to gain extra sense.
Team members:  Danielius Visockas - Marketeer (Lead), Rapolas Norvaiša - Electronics Engineer, Artūras Jonkus - Electronics Engineer, Simonas Gildutis - App developer, Lukas Kairevičius - Server programmer

ThunderBox
Make thunder simulation in box
Team members:
Ervīns Gribuška - mechanical engineer, Erick Pastor - Design, Leonīds Sošinskis - Mobile developer, Jēkabs Krūziņš - Electric engineer, Giorgi Sharia - Mobile developer, Nathan Danzmann de Freitas - Mobile developer, Basanta Lamichhane - Marketer


Most FUN team
The Fidget Spinner Roulette
Once you start spinning, you can never stop.
Team members:  Marija Luīze Meļķe - visionary, Lauma Muižarāja - product designer, Reinis Lodziņš - junior fidgetter, Arsenijs Picugins - magician, Dietrich Nexus - mechanical engineer, Vladimirs Kolovs - mechanical engineer, Dobrina Lazarev - electronics engineer


Huge thanks to all the other AMAZING teams of Garage48 Hardware & Arts Riga:

LimeLight
An automated scenography model which can be used for stop motion animation and for fun.
Team members: Rahul Puniani - Designer/Marketer, Marianna Lapina - Project Leader/Artist, Edgars Grava - Engineer, Cem Turkmen - Engineer/Programmer

Brillo
Affordable e-reading device for people with visual impairment, integrated with Braille alphabet.
Team members:  Vache Kakhoidze - Marketer Estonia, Nikoloz Kalandarishvili - Electronic Engineer, Andro Gvivradze - Web Developer, Kakha Kudava - Mechanics Engineer, Giorgi Goginashvili - Mechanics Engineer, Luka Chitisvhili - Web Developer

Pick-a-ball
Autonomous tennis ball picker robot.
Team members:  Martins Eglitis - Server Programmer, Ansis Jansons - Marketing and Sales, Sandra Ruduka - Product Designer, Klavs Buss - UI/UX Designer, Glorija Baliniskite - Electronics Engineer, Girts Cinkus - Mechanics Engineer, Guntis Laurins - Electronics Engineer, Maris Becs - Electronics Engineer

MovieKnight
Join us and watch your favourite movies and tv shows with your friends from around the globe.
Team members: Sarah Rosenthal - UI/UX Designer, Xuan Le Nguyen - Marketer and Researcher, Richard Roziņš - Marketer and Researcher, Ronalds Sovas - Developer, Paul Hostev - Developer

Mully Care
Learning to Care: a friendly robot that gather information of your child about; gestures, vital signs and regular behaviour; Providing video and photo updates in order to predict and prevent moods or health patterns.
Team members: Farmon Akmalov - Project Manager, Tigran Ghukasyan - Designer, Sergio Contreras - Marketer, Nagarjuna Kandarapu - Mechatronics Engineer, Bitchiko Kodua - Developer

Chessmaster 3000
Chess clock platform, which replace regular/tradicional chess complect and helps develop your chess game.
Team members: Raitis Grandovskis - UI/UX designer, Jānis Vītols - electronic engineer, Gustavs Šķērstiņš - product designer

WilyCAR
Device that detects presence of parking enforcement officers and automatically pays for parking (sms, webservice...).
Team members: Rūdolfs Bundulis - Server programmer, Sergejs Kosigins - Server programmer, Kārlis Auziņš - Marketing and Research, Reinis Lūsis - Team lead