top of page


The first annual CNT Hackathon was organized by Tyler Libey, a Bioengineering PhD Student at the University of Washington. He saw the success of the CNT tech sandbox course and wanted to make a condensed version available for more students. Hence the creation of the CNT Hackathon.


WrestleBrania in action! Look at that pink fuzzy arm go!

CNT Tech Sandbox Competition

The CNT started a course called "Technology Sandbox" (now called the Neural Engineering Tech Studio) at the University of Washington in 2013. The course was setup as a team-based class competition where students would try to create solutions to neural engineering problems. The first year winners created "WrestleBrainia", an electromyographically (EMG) controlled arm wrestling game. This project has been demo'd multiple times for educational purposes at CNT institutions and at events such as NeuroGaming 2013. See the below links for more information about WrestleBrainia.

The following year, the winning team developed vHab, a rehabilitative game suite for stroke therapy. Even after the course was over, the team decided to continue working on their project, got a patent, and are now their own startup company. The first hackathon organizer, Tyler, was a part of this first place team and is continuing to work on the project.

Tech Sandbox winners 2014. Overhead shot of one of the vHab games in use.

Tech Sandbox winners 2015. Summary diagram of the envisioned final device (prototype developed).

This year, the winning team developed a device that uses 3D simulated audio to help stabilize balance for people with vestibular balance issues. The members of team Symbalance, formerly known as VertiGone, are continuing to work on their project and may head in a similar direction as vHab. More information in this brief article. The current hackathon organizer, Nile, was a part of this team and is continuing to work on the project.

The First Annual CNT Hackathon

The first annual CNT Hackathon took place October 10-13, 2014 at the CNT headquarters and was organized by Tyler Libey (seen to the left).


Last year, the winning team produced iHand, an educational tool to demonstrate how EMG can be used in daily activities for those with certain sensorimotor neural conditions. More details in this brief article. To see about each project from last year's hackathon, please visit the Previous Projects page.

The Second Annual CNT Hackathon

The second annual CNT Hackathon took place November 6-9, 2015 at the CNT headquarters and was organized by Nile Wilson (seen to the right).


This was the first year to also have participants from Spelman College and also the first year to receive corporate sponsorship.


The winning team produced "Face the Music", a set of games for facial muscle rehabilitation and artistic expression through a multiplexed single channel facial EMG interface.


Judges were Eric Chudler, Sean MacLeod, Rad Roberts, Ryan Buckmaster, and Sara Goering.

The Third Annual CNT Hackathon

The third annual CNT Hackathon took place February 10-13, 2017 at the CNT headquarters and was organized by Nile Wilson (seen above) and James Wu (seen to the left).

The Fourth Annual CNT Hackathon

The fourth annual CNT Hackathon took place April 6-9th, 2018 at the CNT headquarters and was also organized by James Wu.

The Fifth Annual CNT Hackathon

The fifth annual CNT Hackathon took place February 22nd-24th, 2019 at the CNT headquarters and was organized by Richie Yun (not pictured). 

Congratulations to the winners (from left to right) Melchizedek Mashiku (Georgia State University, Computer Science), Preston Pan (University of Washington, Bioengineering), and Karley Benoff (University of Washington, Mechanical Engineering) from the team All-brainers! The team created a rehabilitation system for trunk stabilization called Rehabilitation for Independent Seated Extension (RISE) using an Arduino, a magnetometer, Flexvolt, and a Microsoft Hololens.

Photo by Marcus Donner, Center for Neurotechnology

CNT Hackathon 2019 MRD09634.jpg
bottom of page