Garage48 Arts & Robots 2020

When Feb 7-9 2020

Where UT Physicum, Tartu

  • Overview
  • Agenda
  • Get Ready
  • Throughout history, technology and the arts have been intertwined in a relationship, where the creativity and imagination of artists has driven innovation with their need for new technologies to realise the artistic endeavours. In reverse, emerging technologies have enabled the creation of new ways of art.  

    For six years, the Garage48 Hardware & Arts series has been bringing the hardware, software and design communities together to combine the physical and digital worlds of technology and arts in prototypes of novel ideas. The experiences we’ve gained and the community that’s grown around the events are now driving us to the creation of a new chapter of the Garage48 Hardware & Arts makeathons.  

    Together with University of Tartu and with the support of Pallas University of Applied Sciences and Estonian Academy of Arts we are really excited to invite you to Garage48 Arts & Robots 2020 - a 48h development weekend for building prototypes of ideas connecting bio- and soft robotics, hardware & software engineering and the ARTS.  


    Come and build a physical prototype of an idea combining hardware/software engineering with the ARTS or/and SOFT ROBOTICS.

    Our 48h development weekend will be your playground to find the needed skill sets in new team members, guidance from experienced mentors and testing opportunities with our wide pool of materials and equipment.

    This is a perfect place to test out crazy ideas at the borderline of technology, robotics and the arts. We anticipate creative ideas for robotic solutions that interact with highly delicate objects such as a human body but also demonstrate efficient mobility in unstructured environments such as wild nature and ruins. Wearable robots, wearable healthcare, human exoskeletons (e.g. ironman), plant-inspired robots, growing robots - you name it!

    Soft and bio-inspired robots are machines that have an organic appearance and produce analogue movement offering new ground for designing interactivity. It is the artists that can test the aesthetics and perpetual properties of soft robotics, while the engineers stay focused on the functionality.

    Get wild, get creative and build the next big thing in the arts or soft robotics to create the next drive in the arts and technology historical cycle!


    Students, working practitioners and specialists in the fields of

    - hardware engineering

    - software engineering

    - mobile and web app development

    - product design

    - UI/UX design

    - the ARTS

    - material science and chemistry

    - biology, incl entomology and botany

    - medicine, rehabilitation, health care
    - business & marketing

    You can come with or without an idea!

    Register HERE.


    * Top-notch mentors, materials & equipment for prototyping, all the food you can eat are guaranteed for you to make your wildest ideas happen!

    *Join the free participants BUS from Tallinn & Riga to Physicum and back.

    Event updates in Facebook. 

    In case you have any questions, drop us a line at

    Stay tuned for event updates and see you in Tartu!


    Garage48 Arts & Robots 2020 is funded by European Regional Development Fund and University of Tartu. The event is coming to life with the support of Tartu City, Tartu Centre for Creative Industries, Estonian Academy of Arts, Farnell Element, Burn Energy Drink, sTARTUp Day, TechChill, Fractory, Estonian Fashion Festival, Hedgehog, SPARK Makerlab, Büroomaailm and Buildit Accelerator.

    Friday, 7th of February

    17:30 - Check-in, networking, coffee, snacks

    18:15 - Opening remarks

    18:45 - Presentation of ideas  

    20:30 - Team formation

    22:00 - Team work begins!

    Saturday, 8th of February

    09:00 - Breakfast

    10:00 - Checkpoint #1

    11:30 - Mentors go around

    13:00 - Lunch

    13:45 - Product development

    17:00 - Pitch training (theory)

    18:00 - Checkpoint #2

    19:00 - Dinner

    19:45 - Product development continues

    Sunday, 9th of February

    09:00 - Breakfast

    10:00 - Checkpoint #3

    11:30 - Pitch drill #1

    13:00 - Lunch

    13:45 - Pitch drill #2 with demo

    16:00 - Coffee break with light meal/snacks

    17:30 - Final Pitches

    20:00 - Winners & networking

    PS! The schedule might slightly change!


    Positive attitude, an open mind and lots of energy! Also, everything you need for a rapid product development. We will have equipment and materials on site, but to be sure, we recommend you to bring your own stuff as well. You never know when you need something yourself or if you could help out another team. Sharing is caring :)

    The fact is that, if you build something what really works on Sunday evening, then we will not ask the bits and pieces back - you don't have to break your prototype, the team can take it home and continue working on it. This does not apply, though, to more expensive things - you can not take an oscilloscope with you or set of tweezers etc.

    But like with any other hackathon and makeathon, please take your:

    • laptop
    • 3-5m power extension cord (as power might be on distance),
    • mobile phone
    • all chargers
    • if you have your own hardware things - bring them along.


    We will provide some floor room at the venue for accommodation - so take your mattress and sleeping bag with you.

    We'll start on Friday at 17:30 with opening doors. Please come on time, as the registration process might take some time - use it to get to know the crowd and to network. See the agenda for further information.


    Consider following key points:

    - Describe briefly your background (10 sec)

    - What is the name of the idea (5 sec)

    - What's the idea all about? What is the problem your idea solves? Target user count and description (30 sec)

    - Technical solution and if there is a revenue model (in case of non-profit idea, how the maintenance and further development costs will be covered?) (30 sec)

    - Minimum viable product and plan for 48 hours. Who do you need for the team? (20 sec)

    NB! Practice your pitch to your friends or family before you present! 90 seconds goes really fast!


    After pitching is over, we will put all the ideas on the wall. Every participant will choose their favorite idea and this is how teams will be formed. Usually, 12 to 16 best ideas will get enough interested people to get the "green light" for the implementation. The average team has about 4 to 7 people and the team should be "balanced" - covering all required roles like necessary engineers, a designer, and an expert in order to get the product/service ready in 48 hours! The minimum size for a team is 4 people and max is 9 people. If some ideas get too few people or not balanced teams (probably unable to build the product), the idea will be dumped. But don’t worry, just choose another idea/team to join.


    After forming the teams, organizers will give a room/space for every team for the weekend. You should start by dividing roles, setting the product vision, customer journey and start working right away.

    It is very important that you have a project manager (team lead) in the team - one of the tasks is to keep the focus of the team, one eye on the clock and the other on the team progress. 48 hours is really a short time.


    We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday. So you could focus on work and building your product. There will also be snacks available!


    We have arranged mentors to work with the teams throughout the weekend. Some of them are more technical, some more business savvy. Be open and ask for their advice and contacts.

    Please wear your name badge during the whole event, except when working with power tools and machines, this will help to encourage networking and gets you inside through security guards. Otherwise be open, get to know new people, share your ideas and give ideas/feedback to other teams.

    MOST IMPORTANT - have fun!



    The Mentors 

    Priit Salumaa
    CEO & Founder at Better Medicine
    Indrek Rebane
    CTO at Hedgehog Electronics Engineering
    Alvo Aabloo
    Professor at University of Tartu, Board member at NPO Robootika, Mentor at BuildIT
    Indrek Must
    Associate Professor of Soft Robotics at University of Tartu
    Sven Kirsimäe
    Chief Architect at R&D, Software and Data at Salto Network
    Kairi Lentsius
    Entrepreneur and designer at Lentsius Design, lecturer at Pallas University of Applied Sciences
    Toomas Välja
    VP of Software Engineering at Hepta Airborne
    Mikko Leo Selg
    Co-Founder & Project Lead at Homne
    Vincenzo Montagna
    PhD Researcher, Center for Micro-BioRobotics at SSSA - Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna
    Isabella Fiorello
    Doctoral Researcher at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
    Mihkel-Emil Mikk
    Industrial Designer at MI/KL Industrial Design Studio
    Piret Uustal
    Industrial Designer at Skudo, Founder & Industrial Designer at Whiteout Design Studio
    Nesli Hazal Akbulut
    Interaction Designer & Lecturer at Estonian Academy of Arts
    Priit Pedastsaar
    Visionary at Protect-ID
    Joosep Sild
    CEO at SmartVent, Mentor at Startup Wise Guys
    Teet Tilk
    Specialist of Electronics at University of Tartu
    Renno Rehtla
    Mechatronics Engineer
    Ragnar Margus
    Engineer at Hedgehog
    Karl Põder
    Meister at SPARK Makerlab
    Matis Averin
    3D Specialist at SPARK Makerlab


    Kadri Tiisvelt
    COO│ Project Manager at Garage48
    Alvo Aabloo
    University of Tartu Institute of Technology Professor of Polymeric Materials
    Maiken Austin
    Development Manager at Pallas University of Applied Sciences, Marketing and Communications Manager at Estonian Fashion Festival
    Mariana Kukk
    Communication specialist at Institute of Technology University of Tartu
    Indrek Rebane
    CTO @ Hedgehog Electronics Engineering

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