From drone controllers and anti-tank systems to health uniforms - Garage48 makeathon paved the way for defence sector

Garage 48 Defence Makeathon was one of the first defence oriented hackathons in the area, with an emphasis on developing hardware solutions and prototypes and to create the opportunity for like-minded people to share their ideas and think big under the same roof for 48h. The makeathon gathered 170 participants from more than 20 different nationalities to set things in motion.

“An excellent event! You can sum the whole event up with the legendary “get shit done!” quote. Things must be executed quickly, and for the customers. That is an attitude that would also suit the Estonian state, and the Estonian Information System Authority is one of those institutions, where the work environment looks pretty similar to a hackathon.” stated Uku Särekanno, Deputy Director General of the Information System Authority and one of the experienced mentors in the makeathon.

33 ideas were pitched on Friday evening - from drone controllers, weapon cleaning systems to different IT/mobile-controlled firing solutions, in addition to cyber security solutions. Our mentors had to do some serious negotiating and matchmaking to finally confirm the very best of 14 teams who could continue with the 48 hours of hard work! But Garage48 Defence Makeathon was not only about building things, but it was also about creating the space for like-minded people to meet and network. “In the end, forming teams and bringing together people with different skill sets, so they could connect and share their experiences, is more important than the ideas that got brought up here during the event,” confirmed Jaak Tarien, one of the mentors and the Director of the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence.

Quite often the issues of national defence are considered to be something secret, mystical and closed, living their own life behind high walls, staying between field-experts and not concerning the “common people”. Tauri Tuubel, co-founder and CTO on Defendec explained that even tho defence market has traditionally lots of regulations and long sales cycles, it is nice to see that there starts to be mind-shift. “State of technology enables more agile and faster development, and maybe we can have fewer regulations and shorter time to market?”.

With all the hard work, extremely innovative and bold ideas consider, you can imagine, how hard it was for the jury to pick out only one winner after the 48h hacking and making marathon. “For a loooong time, I have not seen so much excitement and high-level hard work in the ideas and in team-work, as I saw this weekend,” concluded our host Priit Salumaa, Co-Founder of Garage48 and Mooncascade.

So, instead of one winner - TWO were chosen.
Instead of one (1st) runner-up - TWO were chosen.

WINNERS - SmartTrig and AMar

Prize: 1000 eur from Alexela, 1000 eur Valge Klaar vounchers, Latitude59 tickets, possibility to pitch for AJUJAHT (as one of the winning teams will get a direct pass to TOP 30) and direct pass to Superangel Base Camp hackathon (for AMar).

a map application that would help anti-tank weapon operators choose the best spot in a terrain map to shoot the target from, by analyzing the terrain and visibility. Team: Siim Kaspar Uustalu - dev; Arvids Pelecis - dev; Viktors Roze - dev; Martin Valgur - dev; Ivo Kubjas - lead, dev; Jaak Laineste - dev; Toms Rijnieks - dev; Tarvi Tiits - business mind/defence expert; Leet Rauno Lember - project manager.

SmartTrig - to increase the time and efficiency of setting up mine ambushes. Team lead: Mattias Luha.

Runner Ups

Cy-Bay - an agnostic and holistic IT security as a service, with a smart marketplace for third party cyber security providers.  Team: Robert McClure - Team Leader; Kristjan Haavik - Business Mind; Ilya Livenson - Automator; Andreas Vija - Front End Developer; Siim Pähn - Business Mind; Rodolfo Perez - Front End Developer. Prize: Tickets to Robotex (sponsored by Startup Estonia)

Sentry Turret -
A platform for the AT-4 anti-tank weapon to aim and fire it from a distance using your smartphone. Team: Kristjan Järvan - team lead; Joel Burke - biz dev; Kristo Palo - developer; Magnuss Karklins - developer; Priit Kallas - developer; Rain Vagel - developer; Silvar Laasik - designer; Tõnis Voitka - mechanical engineer; Arsenijs Picugins - electronic engineer. 

Prize: Material guide for development and free entry to Robotex competition. Best Force Multiplier for EDL Light Infantry Units Value: 1000 € (Set of development hardware and instruments for team members) by Cyber Defence League.

Favorite of the Audience

Health Monitoring Uniform - A wearable health monitoring system to detect bleeding in battlefield situations and display critical information to the medic. Team: Anatoli Kravtšuk (active military medic), Sander Karask (active military), Nora Biteniece (developer), Antoņina Vračinska (hardware engineer), Hendrik Kivi (developer), Kevin Laanemägi (developer), Ivars Bergs (developer), Ivo Uutma (hardware engineer), Kārlis Immers (developer)

sTARTUp Day tickets and gift cards from Tactical Shooting Center.

Special Prizes by Cyber Defence League

Flying Mine - UAV mounted anti-tank stand-off charge with target recognition system.
Team: Holli, White - team lead/defence expert, Liina Guitar - business mind/marketing, Peeter Virk - software/electronics, Martin Arras - hardware, Martin Simon - video processing/machine learning/aerodynamics/mechatronics, Georg Haug - CAD design/mechatronics, Indrek Seppo - data scientist, Lennart Post - visionary/CAD/defence expert. Prize: Post mentorship by Cyber Defence League during 6 months with some hardware support. Value 300€ (Prize was given to the promising project, which needs more than 48 hours to show their real performance). 

Health Monitoring Uniform - A wearable health monitoring system to detect bleeding in battlefield situations and display critical information to the medic.

Team: Anatoli Kravtšuk (active military medic); Sander Karask (active military); Nora Biteniece (developer); Antoņina Vračinska (hardware engineer); Hendrik Kivi (developer); Kevin Laanemägi (developer); Ivars Bergs (developer); Ivo Uutma (hardware engineer); Kārlis Immers (developer).

Prize: Symbolic Prize for Most Brave/Crazy Idea, supporting EDL troops by Cyber Defence League.

Technical Excellence Special Award

Radio Debuggers - Help RF radio end-users to detect and identify problems with comms in real time. Team: Henri Hunt - idea; Aimar Pruul - active military; Tarmo Aia - lead developer; Mirjam Petti - designer; Kaarel Allemann - developer; Martin Viidik - developer; Kristjan Vaariksoo - developer; Andreas Saltsberg - developer; Mallor Kingsepp - developer; Erik Amor- physical stuff; Oliver Tiit - physical stuff; Aleksander Parelo - physical stuff; Sander Sink - developer;  Henry Härm - developer.

But like our mentor Priit Salumaa said - YOU ALL are winners! For showing interest on the topic, for dedicating the time and for getting shit done!

Of course, we couldn’t have done it without our extremely talented mentors, who supported teams with their knowledge and know-how during the weekend. So please, give them a warm round of applause! Priit Salumaa (Co-Founder of Mooncascade and Garage48), Jaanus Sakkis (Creative Director & Founder @ Feks Design), Kieren Lovell (Incident Management Specialist at Tallinn University of Technology), Marek Kiisa (Managing Partner @ Superangel), Uku Särekanno (Deputy Director General of the Information System Authority), Martin Jõesaar (Estonian Defence Forces), Rait Arro (Product  Manager @ ETHR), Jaak Tarien (Director of the Tallinn-based NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence), Andrus Padar (Chief of Estonian Defence League’s Cyber Unit), Martin Verrev (Creative Engineer @ Littlebit), Calum Cameron (Management Team Member @ Startup Wise Guys; CEO @, Tauri Tuubel (Co-founder & CTO @ Defendec), Indrek Rebane (CTO @ Hedgehog Electronics Engineering), Sten Allik (PhD student, Department of Warfare, Finnish National Defence College), Jaanus Jagomägi (UI / UX Designer at OKIA), Romet Tagobert (Software Engineer @ GrabCAD / 3D printing), Pirjo Jha (Senior Legal Counsel @ VAIMO), Karl-Eerik Unt (Eesti Arsenal), Jens Haug (Eesti Arsenal) and Veiko Dieves (Kaitseväe Ühendatud Õppeasutused).

We really hope that after some rest and clearing up your minds, you continue working on the ideas and defending our country(s). It is soooo good to know that Estonia is in safe hands and that Defence sector is developed and taken care by all these wonderful and talented people from Estonia and abroad.

You may also like

The Tartu Urban Space Hackathon had many firsts for Garage48
On 3-5 June, the first-ever Tartu Urban Space Hackathon took place at Lodjakoda. This was the...
Read more →
SPARTA CyberSecurity Hackathon: building solutions on the open-source software
For Garage48, the year 2022 started with a SPARTA Cyber Security Hackathon that took place on...
Read more →
SPACETECH EUROPE Online Hackathon: solving present and future challenges in space.
In cooperation with Garage48 and SpaceOn, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine has launched the SPACET...
Read more →