Students compete in a 27-Hour Neurotech Hackathon


A researcher placing the unicorn cap on a test subject. One test subject had to close their eyes for one minute, open their eyes for another, and then solve a difficult math problem in their head. The brain waves the researcher collected were then generated into imagery.

Allyson Bennett, Staff Writer

From Sunday, October 9 at 4 a.m. to Monday, October 10 at 7 a.m., Union’s Neurotech club hosted the 2022 BR41N.IO hackathon. Armed with several jugs of coffee, participants spent 27 hours coding. 

There were two teams working separately, but both used the Python coding language. One team worked to create images using a person’s brainwaves. A test subject would wear a cap that the team called a “Unicorn” to measure their brainwaves. The researcher waited for waves on a computer to stabilize before they began to collect data.

Another team worked on controlling two robots with thoughts. The basic goal of the program was to mimic the way the brain worked to generate images and actions. Attendees of the hackathon found research papers that already did this work and mimicked the results in their experiments.

The computer researchers used to measure a subject’s brain waves. The researcher would begin to collect data when the lines on the computer stabilized. (Allyson Bennett ’26)

The hackathon generated two new robots and beautiful pictures of swirls. Researchers and research subjects alike both loved the experience of learning something new.