We are excited to announce that two of our engineers were part of the team that recently won the 2015 NASA International Space Apps Challenge! The challenge was a “two-day hackathon where teams of technologists, scientists, designers, artists, educators, entrepreneurs, developers and students across the globe collaborate and engage with publicly available data to design innovative solutions for global challenges.”

Martin Kuvandzhiev (above left), our firmware developer, headed their team, and Konstantin Zhlebinkov (above right) was in charge of quality assurance. Georgi Velev (pictured below with Martin), who has worked for Tao Wellness in the past, was the hardware developer. Also on their team were Peter Lazarov, Borislav Fillipov, Phillip Yankov, Miroslav Dobrev, Violeta Kaneva, Evgeni Sabev, Krisi Ilieva, and Teodora Malashevska.

Their winning project was Valkyrie, an “innovative approach for gesture and voice recognition using a ‘smart’ glove and mobile device (Android, iOS or smartwatch).” The glove was fitted with 5 force sensors, a heart rate monitor, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. It can be used “for home automation as well as controlling devices such as robo arms, robots, etc.” It also will function as an activity tracker. Learn more about their winning project here!
AccGyroHeart rate sensorForce sensor graphic


Each member of the team had their own area of expertise, but they all shared the same personal goals when they chose to participate in this challenge. The overreaching motivation for everyone was to see how their skills and imagination would compare to others in their field around the world. Clearly, they stack up quite well!

Creating technology that will be fully functional in space is a challenging endeavor considering the obstacles such as lack of gravity, low data speed, etc. They explained that the biggest problems that they encountered while creating Valkyrie were caused by burning hardware such as servo motors, but they assured us that no processors were killed during the development process.

They received their award from the US Ambassador to Bulgaria and the entire team was thrilled to receive such high recognition of their efforts and skills. We want to offer our deepest congratulations to the whole team and their outstanding accomplishment! We are very proud of them!