Ten participating hackerspaces must be a record for the biannual gathering of Finnish hacklabs! Hacklab Summit Finland 2018 was arranged in Jyväskylä, and despite the local hacklab was in charge of the event for the first time, they managed to make this happening one of the best in the history of HSF.
The major theme for this year was planning the way how to formalise hacklab.fi as an official organisation of hackerspaces in Finland. We now have initial idea how the organisation should work, based on opinions and votes of those, who took part in this meeting. Unanimous conclusion was, that the founding assembly is going to be the next HSF in Helsinki this summer. Hacklab.fi has a history of more or less informal co-operation between cities since 2012. The new organisation will be strictly for member-operated hackerspaces, supporting new groups to get started, offering web services, representing our local scene in events both in Finland and further away, and making all kinds of PR work to help people find their local hacklabs.
Jyväskylä Hacklab took the responsibility to arrange HSF in connection with Instanssi demoscene event. This enabled us to have more space, content and possibilities than before. As usual, the program was fixed weeks before the start, and a hourly timetable kept us on track with finishing robots ready for the competition, remembering to eat, presenting recent happenings in different hacklabs, doing something more than just sitting behind the laptop, going to a indoor trampoline park and of course, the sauna.
Helsinki participated in the robot race track competition with two robots. The robot track is a 1 × 2 m box which has copies of itself in some of the hacklab.fi member spaces. Joonamo found his robot from last summer still working, and I assembled hastily some LEGO robot that had code running just few minutes before the competition started. The program was written in Python from scratch, the robot did zero practicing on the track, and I only knew it could probably move forward when turned on. For my complete surprise, it actually managed to make one clean complete round on the track, and didn’t even finish last on the results list. Joonamo’s robot came 3rd in speed results and 4th in popular vote, and the host city Jyväskylä took the first place. Robot competition was also included in the Instanssi program, so we had a great audience supporting the bots on the racetrack.
The weekend ended in visiting Hacklab Jyväskylä, which is about to move to a larger location soon. Tampere Hacklab is expanding its place with a new metal room and textile work section. There are also plans in other cities to look for larger workspaces and Nokia just started their own lab. This HSF had a very positive athmosphere where collaboration is taken for granted.
Definitely looking good for hacklab scene in Finland right now. A big thanks to Jyväskylä for hosting us!
HSF18½ in Helsinki, 8.—10.6.2018