Last week a “Makathon” took place in which “makers” congregated near Carmiel in order to find innovative solutions for disabled people. A group of IAF soldiers also took part in the innovation marathon, which had the opportunity to have a taste of the first “makathon” which will take place in the coming January in the Electronic Equipment Base in “Tzrifin”
Elion Tohar | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida & Ofri Aharon
Last week a “Makathon” took place, in which participate makers (people who develop, build and design technological systems, from microelectronics to robotics).
The “Makathon”, held in the “Tefen” Industrial Park near Carmiel and led by the TOM organization, Reut Institute and the Schusterman Foundations ROI community, it included development teams of programmers, mechanical engineers, electronics experts, industrial designers and user experience designers that met with disabled individuals in order to develop innovative projects that will help ease their daily hardships.
There was also significant IAF representation: soldiers that contributed their knowledge and experience in development and electronics in order to help find solutions for the disabled.
One of the participants on the behalf of the IAF was Prvt. Sean Dinenberg, a soldier from the Innovation Department in the IAF headquarters, which is responsible for the promotion of innovative progress in the IAF and contributed from his knowledge in user experience design and project management.
“When I arrived at the ‘Makathon’, I fell in love with the atmosphere”, shared Prvt. Sean. “I found myself in an empty hangar, filled with tables, people and noise. When my commander, the head of the department, saw my reaction he said to me: ‘OK, you have three days here, enjoy!’”.
Making Life More Comfortable
Carrying only a cell phone charger and water bottle that he brought with him, Prvt. Sean spent the following three days in a marathon of creativity and initiative and joined one of the development teams.
Alongside two industrial designers and civilian mechanical engineers, the team included for soldiers from the Electronic Equipment Base, makers that were chosen thanks to their abilities in software development, electronics and mechanics as a part of the preparation for a similar event that will take place in the IAF base in Tzrifin.
Another development was made to help 85 year old Mina, to whom ironing has become a challenge as it includes standing for a long period of time. The team has developed an ironing-board especially for her needs, which allows her to iron while sitting down.
“The fact that we were able to develop everything in three days truly is a mystery – starting from the brainstorming to achieving the end result”, Dinenberg acknowledged. “I have no idea how we were able to complete the missions in only three days and as someone who was part of the project, I am still in awe myself”.
The third development started from 86 year old Hana’s story, who has found hailing a cab difficult. The team came together to facilitate this task and developed a button using a 3D printer, which when pressed connects to an application that was created for ordering cabs. However, the end result does not only order cabs for her.
“We thought to ourselves – why not expand the project for soldiers?” shared Dinenberg. “It is a small button that can hang from ones belt and can be used to call emergency contacts such as Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross) or the police. We are currently trying to take it another step further to be used for the good of the public as with the guidance of the Electronic Equipment Base and the Innovation Department”.
Coming Soon: From the first IAF “Makaton”
This upcoming January, the first development Marathon of its kind in the IDF will be held and lead by the Electronic Equipment IAF Base in Tzrifin and will mirror the “Makaton” held last year.
The Electronic Equipment Base in Tzrfin, IAF’s maker’s base, is expecting to host dozens of soldiers that will develop their own inventions, based on operational needs for the good of IAF activity. There is currently a competition being held in which soldiers are offering their ideas and the best will be chosen for the marathon, where they will be able to utilize 3D printers using plastic, electronics, mechanics and metal with the goal of developing the ideas to make use of them.
“It has been a great experience for me to see how the process works from inside and to understand the intensity of this event, that is active from 7 am until the late hours of the night and that is without mentioning the participants who worked full nights to ensure their products will be perfect”, added Deanberg. “Now that we know how this machine works, we can form conclusions for the IAF and I believe in our abilities to bring it to the level of civil Makaton”.