About ATHack


The goal of ATHack is to bring awareness to the important field of developing assistive technologies. We pair teams of students with clients in the Boston/Cambridge community who live with a disability. Each client has a problem in mind which they face because of their disability. Over the course of the hackathon, students brainstorm, design, and create prototype solutions for their client.

What We Do:


Check this page in October for ATHack 2019 dates and information!

Meet-the-Co-designers Dinner

February 13th, 2018 7:30 PM
@MIT Morss Hall (1st Floor of MIT Walker Memorial), 142 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA

ATHack 2018

March 3rd, 2018 8:00 AM
@Beaverworks, 2F of 300 Technology Square, Cambridge MA

ATHack 2018 Closing Ceremony

March 3rd, 2018 7:30 PM
@Forbes Cafe (1F of Ray and Maria Stata Center), 32 Vassar Street, Cambridge MA


What shop tools will be available for use?

Participants will have access to the Beaverworks lab area and machine shop, with supervision. This includes drills, hand tools, a laser cutter, and other machines.

What materials will be available to work with?

We will provide a stock of basic materials and some special contributions from sponsors - including Arduinos, Raspberry Pis, breadboards, acrylic, and Oculus VR. Participants will have a chance to request specific materials after forming teams with a client.

Am I expected to produce a working prototype my client can use?

The purpose of ATHack is to get students involved in creating and hacking with the AT space. Clients understand that the results of the hackathon may not be an immediately usable project. But if you'd like to continue developing your project after the hackathon with your client, we're happy to help and provide some resources.

Is this only for software engineers? Do I need to have previous project experience?

AT projects are interdisciplinary! We're looking for mechanical engineerings, electrical engineerings, software engieners, designers - anyone who is interested in creating products in the realm of AT. The hackathon is about learning and creating - if you're excited about the projects, you're welcome to participate.

Will the client be telling us exactly what they want us to make? Is there a creative aspect to the hackathon?

Clients are looking for your ideas and inspiration so that they can work with their teams on an AT project. No one will be dictating what you're building during the event.

Who is allowed to participate?

The hackathon is open to MIT undergrads, grad students, and affiliates. The hackathon is also open to students from other universities, though we unfortunately cannot provide any travel assistance.


Amanda Fike

Sally Beiruti

Ishwarya Ananthabhotla

Jaya Narain

Hosea Siu

Tally Portnoi

This hackathon was founded with the help of Professor Seth Teller. We continue to be inspired by him.

Past Projects

Projects from ATHack 2018!

We really appreciated all of the hard work, time, and dedication put in by all of the teams during last year's hackathon! Here's a list of the projects from 2018.

1st Place, Co-Designer Collaboration: Team Adrianna, who worked on the design of a portable device to help Adrianna safely and comfortably shower while traveling

2nd Place, Co-Designer Collaboration: Team Juan, who modified Juan's wheelchair to play power soccer more competitively (within the rules of the league), like improved kicking performance via ultra capacitor energy storage and wireless communication between team members

1st Place, Functionality: Team Kate, who designed and fabricated a device that allowed Kate, who uses cochlear implants, to use earbuds and documented their work on Instructables: Airpod Wireless Earbuds, Wired Earbuds

2nd Place, Functionality: Team Annette, who designed and fabricated a prototype of a wearable arm band that vibrates to alert Annette, who is deaf, when her doorbell rings/p>

1st Place, Technical Design: Team Ellen (zipper), who designed a mechanism to make closing zippers with one arm easier

2nd Place, Technical Design: Team Ellen (blood pressure), who prototyped two wearable devices for blood pressure monitoring: (1) modifying existing blood pressure monitoring devices to be easily used by someone with one arm, and (2) a prototype device using novel sensing mechanisms described in published literature

Other Projects:

Team Evan worked with an occupational therapist on designing an improved swtich-adapted pourer to dispense liquid from its original container

Team Elizabeth prototyped a rear view camera and display mount for a power wheelchair

Team Jeffrey worked on adapting a collision avoidance cane

Team Paul worked on improving the design of an arm brace to allow for coordination between arms, with increased breathability and reduced weight

Team Stephanie worked on designing and prototyping an accessible version of the game corn hole

Team Steven worked on prototyping a device to help open mail, remove letters from envelopes, and hold them for reading without requiring fine motor control

Team Taylor developed an app that allows users to replace the default keyboard on Apple devices with keyboards (e.g. Dvorak right) that are easier to use for people with limited fine motor coordination

Thank you again to all of the teams that particpated last year! We greatly appreciate your time and efforts and we look forward to seeing you again this year!

ATHack 2018 celebrates after a long day of hacking

Team Juan makes modifications to a power wheelchair to improve its kicking power for soccer

More Details on Past Projects:


Coming soon for 2019!



Questions? Reach us at at-hack-core@mit.edu!

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Press Highlights

ATHack 2018: MIT News
ATHack 2018: EdTech Magazine
ATHack 2018: DisabilityTek
ATHack 2017: MIT News
ATHack 2017: Metro News
ATHack 2017: MIT Lincoln Labs
ATHack 2016: MIT Lincoln Labs
ATHack 2015: MIT Lincoln Labs
ATHack 2015: MIT News
ATHack 2015: MIT Admissions Blog
ATHack 2015: Perkins School