This is the only way to create innovations and ultimately marketable business models,” concludes Alexander Aberle.
Hacking experiences: Many ideas and a lot of different results
Mouliha Sree Subbian Veluswaami and Sabari Kannan Muthalagu won first prize in the ‘Technology Excellence Award’ category at the SICK Solution World Hackathon in October 2021. At the time, they were both studying for Masters degrees in Embedded Systems Engineering at the University of Freiburg. When she finishes, Mouliha plans to make a career in Analog/Mixed CMOS circuit design, while Sabari wants to do a Doctorate in sensor development and then gain industrial experience as a hardware engineer in Germany. Team Work.Place.Cool.: Mouliha Sree Subbian Veluswaami and Sabari Kannan Muthalagu tells it like it was:
Why did you take part in SICK’s hackathon?
Participating in the hackathon gave us the fantastic opportunity to get to know several hack enablers from a variety of sectors, get into contact with them, and work together to find approaches for solving the most urgent industrial problems of our time. We were also interested in discussing things with other participants. It was exciting to see the innovative ideas that the others came up with, and how different they were – even when they used the same hardware.
Can you briefly describe your project? What exactly have you developed?
In our project, which we call ‘Work.Place.Cool’, we have developed a solution for the automated and individual adaptation of workplaces. The computer monitor at the workplace automatically adapts to the height of the employee, preventing poor posture. The background is that people spend most of their time at the workplace. But as a result they suffer from all sorts of spinal and musculoskeletal problems that have been shown to be caused by poor sitting and body posture. The main reasons for these problems include the rigid arrangement of the workplace – which may be suitable for one person (someone tall for example), but not for another (e.g. someone short).
And how can one implement this in technical terms?
First one must identify the individual workplace preferences of employees and convert them to a QR code. Then every person has their own QR code made up of individual furniture and machine settings. On entering the company, employees could then scan this code with a SICK camera, installed in the entrance area for example. The data in the QR code would then be sent from a computer to Amazon’s AWS cloud and received by a ctrlX core computer installed at the workplace. The height of the PC monitor would then be appropriately adjusted using a robot arm from Universal Robots. This means that a single workplace can easily be used by a variety of employees, but always individually adapted.
Was this your first hackathon? Did you like the event?
Yes, this was our first hackathon and we were delighted by it. The event was very well organized. And, above all, we got a lot of support from the hack enablers, who were very helpful during the brainstorming and prototype development phases.