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LFUI-HIT Hackathon Workshop 2019, Innsbruck Austria


"Connective play things" – Creating interactive play objects to connect children with and without disabilities.


In 2016, HIT and the University of Innsbruck (UoI), Austria, started collaborating. Among the ongoing projects is a joint multidisciplinary course in the field of Assistive Technologies, whose highlight is an intensive five-day hackathon workshop at one of the institutions.


At HIT, the course is led by Dr. Daniil Umanski, head of the Multidisciplinary Assistive Design & Engineering (MADE) lab and Mr. Orr Kislev. At UoI, the course is led by Prof. Mag. Dr. Alexander Ostermann - Department of Mathematics and Research Area Scientific Computing, Prof. Justus Piater, PhD - Department of Computer Science, Ing. Simon Haller, BSc - Department of Computer Science; and Ms. Hannah Strauß, MSc - Department of Psychology.


This year, the workshop took place in Innsbruck. It was mostly funded by the internationalization grant given by the Israeli Council for Higher Education and coordinated by Mrs. Deborah Sharabi, head of HIT's International Office.


At UoI, the workshop was made possible thanks to the grant given by the 1669 Foerderkreis, UoI, and organized by Dr. Marion Wieser, coordinator at AIANI (Austria-Israel Academic Network Innsbruck).


The 2019 course, which was taught in parallel at HIT and UoI, gave the students essential basic knowledge in game design, psychology, mathematics, and programming to enable them to create interactive play objects connecting children with and without disabilities.

At the end of the course, a number of Israeli students traveled to Innsbruck, and met their Austrian counterparts.

Divided into 4 bi-national and multidisciplinary teams, they worked together at conceptualizing, designing and implementing new technological game objects. Each prototype was tailor-made for the children aged 3 to 5 from the inclusive Kindergarden “Kindergarten fur Alle” in Innsbruck. On the last day of the project, the products were presented at the kindergarten. It was a great success: while the children were delighted to play together, the therapist found it to be a wonderful idea and the educational team encouraged the students to develop more features to their games so as to fit a wider spectrum of disabilities (such as hearing impairment).


This intensive work on the prototypes enabled the Israeli and Austrian teams to socialize and give back to the local community, while it tightened the academic ties between HIT and UoI.



At the concluding ceremony, all four interactive games were introduced to the Rector of UoI University- Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Tilmann Märk, Prof. Rolland Wester, the Dean of Mathematics, Computer Science and Physics Faculty,  to the PR of UoI as well as to the local press.


From left to right: Ms. Danit Mimrod Cohen (HIT), Prof. Tilmann Märk (UoI), Ms. Deborah Sharabi (HIT), Prof. Alexander Ostermann (UoI) and Dr. Marion Wieser (UoI)


The Rector and UoI's academic staff reaffirmed their commitment to this collaboration and underlined its importance to the tightening of the cooperation between Austria and Israel.

Over the week, the academic and administrative staff from both HIT and UoI already started discussing the organization of the 2020 hackathon which will take place at HIT, Israel.


To the Austrian TV media coverage >>



Photo gallery











Dancing Robot


Kindergarten Hero



From left to right: Prof. Tilmann Märk (UoI), Prof. Alexander Ostermann (UoI)






Posted: 10/06/2019