First edition of the HackFIT hackathon reveals young IT talents

In February 2020, FIT organized the first year of the technology hackathon HackFIT. Its aim was to use the faculty’s unique laboratory equipment, take in the mentors’ know-how and in 24 hours create innovative projects with the potential for research or commercialization. Competitions focused on virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics and open data, among others, were attended by more than 60 competitors from different high schools and universities.

The idea behind the event was to give high school and university students a chance to show how talented they are. In the presentation part, the awestruck jury composed of the members of the professional public watched presentations of projects that could be immediately approved for use in everyday life and industry. Companies like Meteopress, Škoda Auto, Prozeta and Profinit are already interested in the results of many of the projects developed at HackFIT.

A team of students from the University of Hradec Králové was the overall winner and winner in the category Work with Open Data and Software Applications. They won first place and CZK 50,000 from Škoda Auto, CZK 10,000 to be spent in Alza.cz from Profinit and an excursion to the research facilities of SAB Aerospace that are normally closed to the public with their project “Applications for Portable Devices in Production Process”.

“The aim of our project was to design suitable devices and an app that would work on these devices and make the whole production process in a company more efficient,” says Štěpán Záliš, a member of the winning team.

In the project, the team worked with a smart watch that will be part of the communication bridge between the people at the production line and the managers.

“Competitions of the hackathon type have one great advantage – the immediate connection between students and international companies. Thanks to this, a spontaneous and seemingly simple idea can overnight become very helpful in the real world of production and industry,” adds Štěpán Záliš.

Thanks to winning the competition, the mission of the event– i.e. to present original and innovative ideas that can be used in practice, where they can be meaningfully applied and further developed – was accomplished.

“Due to FIT’s focus and the attractiveness of hackathons, I was sure a lot of people would be interested. But it really surprised me – in a good way – how influential the event has become,” says doc. RNDr. Ing. Marcel Jiřina, Ph.D., FIT’s dean, adding: “I was surprised how enthusiastic and professional the organizers of the event were – the team around Lukáš Brchl, for whom any new idea is an opportunity and a challenge.

HackFIt was organized by Lukáš Brchl, a veteran of many hackathons. He and his team won several of them, which kickstarted his career as co-founder of the start-up Dronetag.

“Thanks to our faculty’s top technological equipment, we were able to solve many challenges in a way that no experienced IT engineer or developer would be ashamed of,” says Ing. Lukáš Brchl, FIT CTU graduate and organizer of the event.

Young and talented people who are not afraid to have skin in the game will succeed today. In the case of HackFIT, we saw the beginning of an efficient collaboration between students who have never been employed and companies that are big names in the market.