Automated Judging Of Hackaday Prize Entries


We have some of the Internet’s hacking elite judging The Hackaday Prize, and that means they can’t enter any projects into the prize. All the better for everyone else, we suppose. One of the judges, [Sprite_tm], is a resourceful guy and when it comes to judging the entries for The Hackaday Prize, he’s going to do what comes naturally to him: build a machine to automate the task.

[Sprite]‘s plan for the JudgeTron 9001 is to use neural networks embedded in biological specimens to do the judging for him. Honestly, we really appreciate the effort he put in to this; biohacking is really in vogue right now, and we do love the classic throwback to the AI renaissance here. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s using a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino for this project, either.

Grabbing a touchscreen LCD and a few other parts out of his junk drawer, [Sprite] quickly whipped up a project that would display entries to The Hackaday Prize to the biologically embedded neural nets. These nets needed a little bit of encouragement to select winning entries, so a ‘feed’ back mechanism was laser cut out of acrylic, mounted to a servo, and filled with positive reinforcement.

The software running on the Pi crawls through the list of entries to The Hackaday Prize, extracting images from each one. The plan was for the biological neural nets to select winning entries and be rewarded via the feedback mechanism. These neural nets proved to be very sensitive to the sound of the servo gears of the feedback mechanism, and [Sprite]‘s attempt at finding a winning entry with his creation has so far proved unsuccessful. Still, there’s a video of it in action, you can check that out below.


  1. Joel Severin says:

    Thought for a moment is was April already…

  2. Bogdan says:

    Woa that is pretty cool :d now time to think how to get his chickens to like my project more.

    But here is a question: you go to, click on projects and select the tag TheHackadayPrize which goes to which produces a list of projects that is different from
    Why ?

  3. Karl [k-ww] says:

    B.F. Skinner has revived his pigeon controlled bombs and has a google pix of your home. LOL

  4. echodelta says:

    We number in the 10’s of billions. We are organized. Poultry power!

  5. WitchDoc says:

    Hold on, does this mean that by entering for the hackaday prize you actually might be sent to space by chickens?

  6. WitchDoc says:

    All they need is a little motivation;

  7. jpitz31 says:

    Warning shameless plug
    Better not let the chickens see my Chicken light Timer I developed. They would vote it down due the the lack of sleep.

  8. joejoedancer says:

    Are those real chickens? My chickens crap everywhere every couple of minutes. I see no crap in that coop! The chicken is a lie!

    • jdarling says:

      Those are white fluffy butts!

      Otherwise known as Feather Footed Bantam’s. They don’t poop near as much, they waddle in a really funny way, quack like a duck (I’m not kidding), and are much more friendly than normal chickens.

      At least ours are/do :)

      • joejoedancer says:

        Nice. I have Leghorns and Naked Necks; messy birds they are.

      • Sprite_tm says:

        Yeah, from what I understand they are cochin bantams. I only have had them for a month or two, they are pretty easygoing chickens from what I experienced. I only have three of them in a fairly large coop, so thay may play a role. Also, they don’t quack; as of now they still make the squeeking noise young chicks make; only when they’re scared some real chicken noise comes out.

  9. Hirudinea says:

    About as meaningful as any other vote.

  10. Rollyn01 says:

    I swear there’s a HHGTTG reference in here somewhere…

  11. Renan AFJ (ST) says:

    Hi, i’ve read about the RC Servo noise issues and I suggest you to use stepper motors like the ones found on printers. They are pretty silent and all you need is an ULN2003 and a simple code to use them.

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