This time GarageHUB was the proud host of RAUD, which is already the second time for Rene Rebane from Hobilabor (a space for hackers) to gather hardware hackers and believers. The idea of RAUD is to build a stronger community around the hardware scene and to focus on relevant topics and problems regarding hardware.
The attendees included hardware engineers, designers, users, startups and everyone inbetween wanting know more about hardware, which is by all means no less important than software development.
It was a beautiful evening on the last day of February. People started to gather at 18 and the HUB quickly filled with hardware geeks and some people zipping a drink while finding a place to sit on the cozy orange charis. The evening started with some good-old networking and get-to-kow-each-other-in-estonian-way, while the speakers were doing some final voice warm-ups (a lot of hummmmm-s).
The first presenter was Liivatera, represented by Phil Macphail, who specializes in modular synthesiser modules. He walked us through on how to make a sound, why modular synthesisers are important and where have all the knobs gone on a piano. The presenter was a lovely man, very charming – just too bad nobody could hear him. But he looked good too!
The second presenter was Markus Järve from Krakul (krakul.eu). A former hobbyst and hacker, who started from his home lab like all great innovators, and quickly moved forward to Tartu Science Park, since then he has been working on various projects in the electronics, aviation and educational field. His top speciality: crytical systems that will not fail!
Though his real passion is UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), Martin was more than happy to talk about the ongoing educational issues in Estonia and how it affects the job market. As Estonia doesn’t have enough people to cover everything and there is a huge need in hardware engineers, there has take place quick and serious changes in the educational system and Estonia has to find ways on how to import foreign specialists. His golden advice is to specialize (no one can do everything), train people in the company, cooperate and keep your good reputation (get your projects done in time and if possible, on budget). For the future, he plans to work on more specific projects and keep on growing in his field of expertise of flights without pilots.
The third presenters were Raivo Raidvee and Mihkel Salm from Tallinn Creative Hub Makerlab. The idea for the labs came together with Kultuurikatel, which is fueling creative and cultural projects around the clock in Tallinn’s most driven community in the North-Tallinn harbor district. The fablab is a registered hackerspaces around the world (50-50 to Europe-USA) and Tallinn has 2 in total for the hardware enthusiasts. The prices for the workshop spaces are reasonably priced and vary from 50 € to 150 € depening on the size of the office space and the services included. The Makerlab has rightfully deserved the title “hacker community” as there is nothing else quite like it.
Rene knows the importance of these kind of labs, as he himself has been involed with Hobilabor many years already. He stated that the hardware scene has become accessible to more and more people, as today we don’t need so many skills to create a prototype. The compontents are very accessible as they are cheaper, they are more integrated, there are more wikis, instructural videos, which all contribute to the hardware popularity. There are also many possibilities to start something, for example to get started in hardware startups, to lean forward to a accelerator program or to start their own company like many Lab-residents have successfully done previously.