IoP-Knowhow at #WirvsVirus“-Hackathon

  Moritz Kröger Copyright: © privat

What do you do when your weekend arrangements only allow you to stay in your own home or when you are not working on site for medical purposes? Quite simply, you committ yourself to @home and fighting the corona pandemic. Some researchers of the Cluster of Excellence “Internet of Production” (IoP), among others, have shown what such an act of involvement may look like on the weekend from March 20 to 22, 2020. In cooperation with more than 42,000 people, the task at hand was probably the largest Hackathon of all times to date, searching for technical solutions in the fight against Corona and to develop those solutions together.

Moritz Kröger is one of them, he works as a research assistant at the Chair for Laser Technology (LLT) and is very involved in the “webification” of plant technology in the Cluster of Excellence research. "I only found out about the hackathon at short notice on Friday afternoon and found the idea very interesting and thought I could help out quite well," said Kröger. Without further ado, the weekend task was tackled on the home PC and the experiment commenced.Katrin Schilling from the Machine Tool Laboratory (WZL) and computer scientist Lars Gleim from the Chair of Computer Science 5 (DBIS), who both work as part of the Cluster of Excellence on various research projects relating to the digitization of tomorrow's production, did the same.

  Zahlen Copyright: ©

Katrin Schilling also appraises the project as extremely positive. “I just signed up and hoped that something from the cluster context could be added. But with so many people and so many projects, it wasn't that easy.” After all, she spontaneously signed up for the next best request that worked. “Someone was looking for Unity developers for a children's app and less than half an hour later we were right in the middle of working on it and producing content,” says Schilling enthusiastically. “The general mood was really cool: the team explained what the projct was about and asked the first questions. In other situations you often have a long start-up phase or a competitive mindset, that was really not the case here and so everyone was in productive mode very quickly - everyone could contribute with what he had.”

  Lars Gleim Copyright: © Anja Wassong

The variety of projects from the total of 1924 ideas providers was impressive - and made the selection difficult

Lars Gleim promptly started the hackathon project with two projects. Together with Moritz Kröger, the two chose one of the numerous video chats to choose a project that was exciting for them and suddenly found themselves in a call with 40 strangers and quickly planned a software together. “My own research focus is on inter-organizational data exchange. So theoretically, it was a good fit for the project Moritz and I worked on together,” explains Gleim. In fact, this was about a simpler development of a centrally operated platform solution (i.e. a single web application in real terms), which should accelerate the flow of information between doctors, test centers, health authorities and other institutes (e.g. RKI). Current, nationwide information should therefore be available in real time at all times.

“In principle, the same thing that RKI is currently trying to implement itself with DEMIS (,“ explains Gleim with reference to the software solution they worked on. While Motiz Kröger worked specifically on the software distribution in Google Cloud and the construction of the individual sub-services because of the proximity to his research topic, Lars Gleim mainly dealt with the software architecture, organization and development of the 1st user interface. “Of course the Hadling of almost 100 strangers who had only known us for 3 hours was a challenge, but in the end the "Infection Report and Information System IMIS" ( -melde-und-informations-system) came to be. A nice result,“ he sums up.

Gleim contributed another, his own project this weekend. “I developed a simple tool that allows you to learn not to touch your face on a PC. Whenever you raise your hands over the shoulder line, the software emits an acoustic alarm signal and conditions the behavior in real time, which after a while is even transferred to everyday life, when you are not sitting in front of a screen. Sounds simple - the know-how behind it, however, has it all, because here neural networks were at work, which made the implementation possible within a short time. Via live demo, everyone can even try it out via their browser using the following link: “ Demo:


What happens now?

The ministry approves that, "... the hackathon is a starting point for a continuous participation process to develop common solutions so that we can master the great challenge of Covid-19 as a society ...".
This project was certainly just the starting signal for the employees of the IoP, “The results and solutions developed so far are, of course, in most cases still very expandable,“ says Gleim. His assumption also corresponds to the direction of the federal government, which hopes that the projects will be processed accordingly in the coming weeks and months. The following statement was posted on the website of the Federal Government's Hackathon: “That is exactly why we are going to start a digital support program together, so that our solutions can have maximum effect in the corona crisis“.

All projects and the jury decision on the federal government's hackathon and the jury decision can be found at: