Mackay to host Assistive Devices Hackathon to benefit people with disabilities

Mackay to host Assistive Devices Hackathon to benefit people with disabilities

The Assistive Devices Hackathon event is a two and a half day intensive making marathon during which people with a disability, who have a well-identified need, will work with a team of makers to develop a prototype that can meet that need.

Events will be held in Mackay, Toowoomba and Townsville during July and August 2017.

These events are designed to:

  • raise awareness amongst Queensland manufacturers about emerging opportunities in the area of assistive technology
  • support collaboration between educational facilities such as universities and TAFEs and established businesses
  • connect manufacturers with young talent in maker spaces, universities and TAFEs.
  • provide mentoring to makers and students and provide a connection to encourage them to consider career opportunities in manufacturing
  • demonstrate the hackathon process to industry as a way of developing products for emerging markets
  • facilitate the rapid prototyping of devices that may be considered for further development and commercialisation.

Nominations will be sought from people with a disability, or a professional within the disability field, for challenges. Approximately six challenges will be selected for each region and matched to a team of makers with skills, study or experience in relevant areas such as biomechanical engineering, occupational therapy, fabricating, design and coding. It is expected that at the end of the event, each team will have a completed prototype able to be showcased at a closing presentation.

Mentors from the manufacturing industry will also be involved to assist teams develop their ideas while considering the practicalities of manufacturing and production processes.

Representatives from business, disability organisations, manufacturing industry and educational institutions are encouraged to attend and, where suitable, participate.

For more information please email the Advanced Manufacturing Team at advancedmanufacturing@dsd.qld.gov.au or phone on 07 3452 6819.

Dennis is an Electrical and Control Systems Engineer and was appointed President of Startup Mackay Inc. in June 2016. He is a member of Engineers Australia, AISA, MITN, DMLA within the Education, Training, Research and Innovation Pillar, and the Reference Group for the Digital Economy Strategy. He has also been inducted into the Advance Queensland Community Digital Champion program where he aims to encourage Queenslanders to explore and enjoy the benefits of the digital age. You can follow Dennis on Twitter @DenMurphy or connect with him on LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/dennismurphy).

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