Powerpoint Presentations

You can view or download the presentations shown during the Space Hackathon.

Michael McCool, Intel

Professor Bob Twiggs, Morehead State University

Eri Gentry, BioCurious

David Ramondi, ARLISS





Space Hackathon powered by Intel

Welcome to’s first Space Hackathon sponsored by Intel.

redrocket-1a————— Latest Instruction for Confirmed Participants —————–

** Friday night starts at 9PM **

Space Hackathon launches at 9pm in Sutardja Dai Hall this Friday. Come early! We’ll have snacks and refreshments and jump right into the weekend with the following agenda:

From Japan, we’ll chat with a lead Intel engineer that developed Edison, and a university team from Takadama Laboratory will show their award winning robots from the last ARLISS event this last September;

Intel will walk through the key features of Edison and answer questions in person;

We’ll discuss the 3 primary challenges (CanSat, ARLISS Robot, Multilab), and will openly discuss other ideas that you have;

By midnight we will have formed most (if not all) teams and completed basic ideation.

For those that want to get started right away, overnight hacking moves to Omni Commons (Home to Sudo Room and Counter Culture Labs) 4799 Shattuck Avenue in North Oakland.

We will have a shuttle available for those that need a ride to Omni Commons.

Hardware will be distributed to a self-assigned team leader once the team has committed to a project.

We head back to campus bright and early Saturday at 8AM.

We will have expert guests joining us over the internet and in person to help you out throughout the weekend.





Map to Omni Commons

Map to Omni Commons



Space is more accessible today than it has ever been. This hackathon explores some amazing opportunities that are available right now. Build your own space-related project or enter one of the 3 main challenges, or have fun with the creative wearable design challenge.

CanSat – A CanSat is a sounding rocket payload that uses space technology similar to that found in satellites. It is required to fit inside a soda can (66mm diameter and 115mm height) and have a mass below 350g. CanSats are equipped with a recovery system, usually a parachute, to limit damage upon recovery and to allow the CanSat to be reused.

Last month Intel announced their new microcontroller, Edison. Concurrently with the announcement, Magnitude built and launched an Edison powered CanSat in the Black Rock Desert aboard a high-powered rocket. We are now open sourcing all of the code and hardware design so you can build and expand on our own CanSat project! If you do something extraordinary with your payload there is a chance it could be the design basis for an actual satellite. All projects that started at the hackathon will be eligible for a free rocket launch during the 2014-15 school year at Snow Ranch. The winning team will win an Extreme rocket launch over 30KM (100,000+ feet) in the Black Rock Desert!

ARLISS – Build a robot and fly it in a rocket! Deployed from a rocket in the Black Rock Desert at an altitude of more than 2 miles, your robot must find its way to a designated marker on the desert floor. Design a fixed wing, quad drone, rover or some other unique design with the mass and volume specifications. ARLISS (A Rocket Launch for International Student Satellites) is an international competition that began in 1999. Learn more about it here:

International Space Station – ISS design challenge! Can you design a robust Exo-biology environment platform for microgravity experiments? This challenge has a team developing a control board that manages up to  8 unique environments for things such as humidity, temperature, lighting, image capture, scheduling, data downlink. An extraordinary design solution may get your team aboard the International Space Station between June and August 2015. We will also have biohackers working with us during the hackathon if you are more interested in the wetware and what you can do with a microgravity experiment!

Wearable – Imagine your future outfit for the Martian journey. You have 6-12 months on a spaceship heading to Mars Colony. What special things might your outfit do? Get creative. This is just fashion fun!

Design your own challenge – We hope you are excited about our real world challenges. If you have an idea you would like to implement here that is different than these, by all means, this is the place to get it started! Tell us what you think would be cool to do in space!


How it works

Get you team together and choose a mission. If you don’t have a team, we will have the opportunity for everyone to present their interests early so you can form a team at the beginning of the event.

We will have support from Intel engineers throughout the event along with special guests that will be joining us virtually through Google Hangouts or Skype.

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 When and Where

DatesNov 7th to 9th
LocationUC Berkeley Campus: Citris Atrium
Omni Commons



Raffle prizes and food are supplied by us. We will also have Edison and Galileo hardware that hackers can use (along with various sensors). If you stay through the event you can keep the gear you’ve had been working on to take it to the next level!


You must be 18 or older to participate in the hackathon. Seating is limited, and by signing up, we do not guarantee that you will be able to attend. We will notify all applicants at least 1 week prior to the event. Having experience with hardware and software is very important but not critical. Creative thinkers that can get things done are very desirable too!



 Judging Criteria and Awards

Eligibility for the Cansat rocket launch is conditioned on a working prototype that can be demonstrated during presentations on the last day. The winning team for the Extreme rocket launch will be chosen based on added functionality and real science that your hack adds to the open source design.

Should your team work on the ARLISS challenge and be selected as a winning team, you will be working on a conditionally funded project to take your design to the International competition in September 2015.

ARLISS and Cansat winners must provide their own transportation and lodging for the Black Rock Desert launch. Alternate launches will be made available for CanSats East of Stockton at Snow Ranch, weather permitting.

All teams including the  International Space Station Exo-biology hack, Wearables hacks, and your own custom space hacks are eligible for a Best of Show award. Prize TBD!


How to Enter





The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) creates information technology solutions for many of our most pressing social, environmental, and health care problems. CITRIS was created to “shorten the pipeline” between world-class laboratory research and the creation of start-ups, larger companies, and whole industries. CITRIS facilitates partnerships and collaborations among more than 300 faculty members and thousands of students from numerous departments at four University of California campuses (Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz) with industrial researchers from over 60 corporations. Together, the groups are thinking about information technology in ways it’s never been thought of before.


The Foundry@CITRIS is a technology incubator based at UC Berkeley that helps entrepreneurs build companies at the intersection of hardware, software, and services. The Foundry provides access to design, manufacturing, and business tools within a community of mentors that transforms startup teams into founders. Currently in its 2nd year of operation, The Foundry has incubated 10 companies that have already raised more than $7MM from a variety of sources, including angel investors, venture capital, crowd funding and federal grants. Foundry companies are bringing new solutions to market in areas such as semiconductors, low-cost robotics, air quality monitoring, and medical diagnostics. New teams are invited to apply twice yearly.


Expert Guests

Professor Bob TwiggsProfessor Bob Twiggs

Robert Twiggs has been a professor of astronautical engineering at MSU in July 2009. He was instrumental in the development of a space systems curriculum. Prior to his time at MSU, Twiggs was a consulting professor in the aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford University for 14 years. He is responsible for developing the curriculum for students interested in designing, building and operating small space experiments. He helped develop the original concepts for the CricketSat, CanSat, CubeSat and the PocketQub for educational applications for use in space. In 2010 he was selected as by the Space News publication as one of 10 space professionals “That Made a Difference in Space”. One of his recent publications is as a co-author of the article “Citizen Satellites” in the February 2011 Scientific American. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Idaho and an master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Dennis WingoDennis Wingo

In 2014 Dennis blazed new ground in technoarchaeology with the ISEE-3 Reboot project. In 2001 Skycorp founder Wingo Co-founded Orbital Recovery. This company was founded to develop the market for the on orbit servicing of GEO Communications Satellites. With funding provided by telecommunications billionaire Walter Anderson, the company moved quickly into this business, capturing customers and developing the technology necessary to succeed in the business. However, this project stalled when Mr. Anderson was arrested and later convicted of federal tax fraud. Dennis developed his second patent (6,945,500) during his tenure working with Orbital Recovery. Since its founding Dennis has worked through Skycorp to develop further the concept of orbital assembly of spacecraft. From a fifty meter in diameter optical telescope designed for DARPA to a 120 meter long 500 kilowatt space tug designed for NASA, Skycorp has pushed the bounds of spacecraft hardware development.


Michael McCoolMichael McCool

Intel Principal Engineer Dr. Michael McCool has experience in a wide range of areas, from computer graphics to high performance computing to IoT to robotics.  He has been both a university professor and a successful entrepreneur; his venture RapidMind was acquired by Intel in 2009.  Currently he is working on programming models for Makers and the Internet of Things (IoT), including high-productivity programming environments and systems for real-time and embedded HPC software.  Most recently, he has been working on the development of an HTML5 and Node.js-based programming model that combines low-level device control with sophisticated internet and user interface capabilities.



Headshot_EriEri Gentry

Eri Gentry helps technology find the people who love it. She is a proponent of technology democratization, citizen science, and “hacking” medicine. Her work has been covered by the New York Times, Forbes, Wired, and The Atlantic, and in the books Biopunk, Regenesis, and The Nature of the Future. Recently, Eri was included on Techonomy’s Top Ten list for 2013 list and named a White House Champion of Change. Eri is a Research Manager at the Palo Alto think tank, the Institute for the Future and co-founder of BioCurious, the first hackerspace for biology. She thinks about the future of being human, behavioral economics, and how to think better.


Twyman ClementTwyman Clements is Cofounder, President and CEO of Space Tango Inc. Previously Twyman served as lead Space Systems engineer with Kentucky Space LLC. While in that role he managed the companies technical programs including dozens of high altitude balloon launches, co-designed, built, and certified hardware permanently installed on the International Space Station. Currently Twyman is developing the TangoLab research facility for the International Space Station, slated for launch in mid 2015.
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