Tickets and Event Info


Ticket sales are currently closed for participation in the hackathon.

Join us for the showcase and robot demos September 13, 2015, 12:30-6pm.

Eventbrite - Get Your Bot On! Robotics Hackathon 2015

(if you are a member of one of our partner organizations mention the organization at the door for free entry)


Schedule for the Hackathon

  • Registration opens at 6:30pm at the MaRS Discovery District Auditorium at 101 College Street. Refreshments (snacks) will be provided on Friday evening.
  • The following is a tentative schedule – we will finalize details closer to the event:
Friday Sept. 11 6:30 p Arrival
7:00 p Welcome
7:30 p Hardware Partner Presentations
8:00 p Project Pitches and Team Formation
9:00 p Mentored Design
1:00 a Close
Saturday Sept 12 8:00 a Arrival & Breakfast
11:00a Introduction to Arduinos with Johannes (45 mins)
12:00 p Lunch

Introduction to 3D Printing with Hershel

1:00 p Introduction to Raspberry Pi with James and Dinesh (45 mins)
2:00 p Introduction to Electronics, Motor and Drivers with Don (45 mins)
3:00 p Introduction to Sensors with Don (45 mins)
7:00 p Dinner
1:00 a Close
Sunday Sept 13 8:00 a Arrival & Breakfast
12:30 p Robotics Showcase Opens
1:30 p Presentation info submission deadline, building stops
2:00 p Demos and Presentations
4:00 p Reception
4:45 p Winners announced and closing reception
6:00 p Close
  • During the weekend, pace yourself. You want to be sure to have a demo ready when you get on stage Sunday afternoon!  Here’s what we suggest:
Friday end of day aim to have a design and a list of the parts you need and how they fit together (ie a system diagram)
Saturday early afternoon have all of your parts assembled and the robot moving
Saturday end of day have a working demo
Sunday morning finish up the last-minute aesthetics details to the end
  • On Sunday you will have 4 minutes to demo your robot. We’re on a strict schedule and will cut you off if you go over.  Before the demos we’ll ask you to submit code and pictures of your robot and tell us how you built it.


There are only 5 rules for all robots that will be built:

  • the robot must move in some way
  • the robot must use a microcontroller or microprocessor
  • the robot must be able to sense something in its environment or receive input
  • the robot must be demonstrated on the final day of the hackathon
  • the robot must in some way relate to the theme of “Healthy”

Note that you are welcome to bring any materials you wish to the hackathon (as long as they are safe of course) but the assembly of your robot must happen at the hackathon.


We have 3 main prize categories for our maker teams:

  • Innovation (the most novel or compelling concept) – prize TBD
  • Technological Excellence – prize TBD
  • Design for Human Interaction – prize TBD


We have a great judging panel for this year.

Gord Kurtenback, Sr. Director of Research, Autodesk


Dr. Gordon Kurtenbach is the Senior Director of Research at Autodesk where he oversees a group whose focus is research on 3D interactive graphics in the areas of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Graphics.

Prior to Autodesk, Gordon was the head the interactive graphics research group at Alias which researched advanced technologies for products such as Maya, AliasStudio, SketchBook and PortfolioWall. Prior to Alias, Gordon was a researcher at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center working on pen based user interfaces for wall-sized display systems. Before Xerox, Gordon was a member of Apple Computer’s Advanced Technology Group researching gesture-based input techniques for graphical user interfaces.

Nora Young, Host and Creator, CBC Spark


Nora Young is the host and the creator of Spark, CBC’s national radio show and
podcast about technology and culture. She was the founding host of the CBC
Radio show Definitely not the Opera, where she often focused on new media and
technology. Her book, The Virtual Self, on the explosion of data about our behaviours, opinions and actions, is published by McClelland and Stewart.
As a journalist, author, and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes
the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. She does the indie podcast, The Sniffer, with her pal Cathi Bond. Her favourite technology is her bicycle.
Find her on Twitter, @nora3000.

Jon Dogterom, Venture Lead, Cleantech and Physical Sciences, MaRS Discovery District

JonDogterom150Jon Dogterom leads Cleantech and Physical Sciences Venture Services at MaRS Discovery District. MaRS Cleantech assists innovative Canadian energy, water, agri-tech, advanced materials and manufacturing companies in growing their businesses with connections to; customers, capital, partners and talent. Jon is also a founder and part of the Advisory Board of the Advanced Energy Centre at MaRS. He has an extensive background in early-stage and high-growth Cleantech companies. Prior to joining MaRS, Jon led business development for Hydrogenics Corporation, where he focused on strategic partnerships, product development, and sales and marketing. In 1997 he co-founded Sustainable Energy Technologies, a leading Canadian provider of power electronics for the solar power industry.


Kits and Tech

  • We have kits for teams of 4 participants (each family team gets one kit). If you registered alone, we’ll help you find teammates on Friday evening.
  • Bring a laptop – each team needs at least one. We won’t have extra laptops.
  • You’re permitted to bring any material and parts you like to supplement the kit, but all assembly and coding should happen at the hackathon.
  • For more on the kit see:   We are just updating it now.



  • There is paid parking in the MaRS building and metered street parking nearby.
  • The MaRS Discovery District is located at 101 College Street, Toronto at the Queen’s Park Subway Station. For directions:


**Other Administative Info:

  • Any minors under the age of 18 need to have their registration pack signed by a parent or legal guardian (check back for the registration pack). All minors are required to sign into the event with an adult and all minors under 12 must always be accompanied by their adult guardian.
  • GYBO! and our sponsors will be filming and photographing the event. We’ll ask you to sign release forms at registration. (check back for the full release package). We’ll also be encouraging you to use social media to share your progress and final projects.
  • All development and designs created at the hackathon will be shared equally amongst all participants.

Robotics Showcase

On Sunday September 13, 2015 at 12:30 a showcase of local robotics companies and projects and technology companies will be demonstrating at the event. Come and check out:


  • Synaptive Medical demonstrating their neurosurgery robot
  • Kiwi Wearables
  • First Robotics Team 1325 Inverse Paradox will be demonstrating their competition bots
  • XYZ Interactive will demonstrate their GestureSense sensor that they have donated to our teams
  • Wearhacks will have a number of wearable devices they loaned to incorporate into robots including the Muse, Myo, Kinect, Nod Ring, and Pebble
  • Mimetics will be showing their Jade robot
  • Teabot will be there making tea


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