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    Makeathon «TOM: Aktau» at Yessenov University

    Founded in 1976, Caspian State University of Technologies and Engineering (Yessenov University) is a non-profit public higher education institution located in the large town of Aktau (population range approximately 300,000 inhabitants), Mangystau. Officially accredited and/or recognized by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Caspian State University of Technologies and Engineering is a medium-sized (uniRank enrollment range: 7,000-7,999 students) coeducational higher education institution. Yessenov University offers courses and programs leading to officially recognized higher education degrees in several areas of study.

    The educational activities of Yessenov University are aimed at meeting the needs of the branches of the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and interested persons in qualified personnel. Yessenov University passed state certification conducted by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan; institutional accreditation at the IAAR and specialized accreditation for 43 educational programs (75%) (undergraduate – 26, postgraduate – 13, doctoral – 4) at ACQUIN, NAOCO and IAAR.

    On 8 November 2018, an International 72-hour makeathon «TOM: Aktau»   was launched at the Yessenov University. 

    Makeathon is a platform where in 72 hours, craftsmen (the so-called makers) will create prototype devices that can make life easier for people with disabilities. Previously, the team makers have already decided on the projects that they will implement. In fact, they will get access to the technical platform, expertise and feedback from disabled people.

    Both Kazakhstan makers and makers from Russia worked at this site. During the 72-hour makeahton «TOM: Aktau» seven teams presented prototypes of devices that can help simplify the lives of people with disabilities.

    The jury had a hard time, because each of the 7 projects was presented at a high level, which exceeded the expectations of the project partners. The jury was represented by: Deputy Governor of the Mangystau region, Sholpan Lazarevna Ilmukhanbetova, Deputy Head of the regional branch of the Nur Otan party, Nuri Lazarevich Tumyshev, Vice-Rector for Research and Internationalization of Yessenov University Yermek Talantovich Nurmaganbet, a representative of the ERG Komek Corporate Fund, Dinara Almatovna Mombaeva, an expert from Israel, Daniel Lavey, who provided consulting support to teams in areas such as IT and digital technology.

    7 teams, 7 prototypes and only one winner, who became the team of «ASU» (Russian Federation, Astrakhan) with the project «Hardware and software system for helping the visually impaired in a building». Other teams presented the following types of prototypes:

    «Smart cane for the blind and visually impaired» («Engineers of YU» team)

    «Color Recognizer for Blind People» («A-Robot» team)

    «Passively active simulator for the development of the upper extremities» («Union» team)

    «Beethoven – vibration communication system with deaf-mute people» («Easy Life» team)

    «Camera-icon, for targeting the blind in space and alerting through headphones» («Priborist» team)

    «The solution to the problem of overcoming flight of stairs by people with disabilities in a wheelchair» («MedEngineering» team)

    In turn, the teams with their interest, will be able to continue working on prototypes, bringing them to full-fledged inventions. In this case, the teams will be able to try their hand at social entrepreneurship, bringing inventions to the wide market. The first step for this will be the second phase of the project, PostTOM, which will be held in early December of this year in Aktau.

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