Awarding the 2016 Hackaday Prize

Saturday evening at the Hackaday SuperConference is reserved for the Hackaday Prize Party. Our engineering initiative each year, The Hackaday Prize, starts in the spring and ends in the fall. What happens in between is magic: thousands of engineers and engineering enthusiasts focus their skills on building something that matters. The top entries take home some pretty amazing prizes. At this year’s prize ceremony (seen below) we announced the five top entries which took home $200,000 in addition to the $100,000 already awarded to 100 final projects.

Check out the presentation which includes appearances by several of our amazing judges, then join us after the break for a bit more about this year’s Hackaday Prize.

The 2016 Hackaday Prize began in March and included five challenge rounds which lasted about five weeks each. The challenges invited everyone to enter a project in one or more of the following topics: Design Your Concept, Anything Goes, Citizen Science, Automation, and Assistive Technology. At the end of each round, twenty entries were selected to receive $1000 and move on to the final round.

Over 1000 Entries; Many Winners

Three segments of the Dtto modular robot
Three segments of the Dtto modular robot

It has been amazing to watch all of the excitement around Hackaday Prize entries. All told, there were more than one thousand projects entered in the 2016 Hackaday Prize. All of these projects are worth exploring. For the prize ceremony we looked at the final ten entries which are summarized in the judges words.

The 2016 Hackaday Prize was awarded to Dtto, a modular robotics platform whose creator has been imagining every possible use case for the prototype he assembled. It’s a remarkable build — simple at first glance, making it possible to fabricate it at any hackerspace, but the implementation goes far beyond your first impression. Make sure to check out the rest of the five top entries.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The Hackaday Prize has drawn to a close but the ideal of using your free time and talent to make the world a better place never ends. Choose something worthwhile and start a new build, or reach out to the team behind some of your favorite entries and offer to help move the project forward. Hackaday.io is a fantastic collaboration platform — you no longer need to be down the street from you engineering dream team to do meaningful work. As winter sets in for at least one hemisphere, the workbench calls your name and we can’t see what you create.

How Is This Even Possible?

How is it even possible to host a multi-month engineering challenge that encourages Open Hardware and includes more than $300,000 in prizes? We have so many people to thank. First and foremost, the Hackaday Community is a big driver for this — your creativity, excitement, and help getting the word out are directly responsible for all the great entries and good things that happen. This extends to Hacker Chats, live events like Hackaday World Create day, and gracious hosts all over the world who helped make Hackaday meetups possible. Thank you!

Our panel of expert judges have been amazing. They donated their expertise and took time out of their busy schedules to be a big part of the entire scope of the Hackaday Prize. Many judged in the preliminary rounds in addition to their final-round duties. We saw them at live events around the world throughout the run of the Hackaday Prize, and many of them were at the SuperCon as speakers and to present at the awards ceremony.

We are also incredible grateful to the 2016 Hackaday Prize Sponsors who hold the same values at the Prize itself: celebrating engineering, Open Source/Open Hardware, and using our skills to Build Something that Matters. These sponsors are: Atmel, Digikey, Microchip, and Supplyframe.

To all who made this possible, thank you!

20 thoughts on “Awarding the 2016 Hackaday Prize

  1. 4x “amazing”
    + “fantastic”, “remarkable”, “incredible”, “magic” .. just that.
    you did not use the word “awesome” or “wonderful”, why not ? too superlative ?

    American English is a poor language: obviously not enough superlatives to describe what you are doing.

    Anyway, great auto-congratulation. Congratulations for the exercise.

    “make the world a better place” wow. THAT is original, who gave you the idea ? Nobody in the Silicon Valley thought to use a such brainwashing mantra.

  2. Man everything about this really excites me. Perhaps 2017 may be a year I can stop hacking random stuff alone and get into this community. There’s so many cool people and I don’t know any of them. Heck, I only ever met Mike Szczys… once.

        1. Troll or not. he does have a point about the overuse of ‘marketing speek’ a.k.a buzzwords/superlatives/whatever other euphemism is currently popular.

          Particularly in connection with a project which, as others have already pointed out, is an almost identical clone of the M-TRAN.

      1. Perhaps instead of snark, or at least in addition to it, as a representative of HackADay Proper you should acknowledge there are many valid complaints to be had about the contest. Especially with regards to the accessibility of the contest to a broad spectrum of the hackaday community instead of just people with the same background as the editors and supplyframe overlords.

        And yes, the hyperbole is a bit much. “The Hackaday Prize is synonymous with creating social change.” Really? So non-profits around the world are saying, “yeah, you know, we’re creating social change, but not Hackaday Prize Social Change, we gotta up our game!”. I don’t think so. Don’t hurt yourself patting yourself on the back Mr. Flagg.

        1. > with regards to the accessibility of the contest to a broad spectrum of the hackaday community…

          The Hackaday Prize is accessible to nearly everyone on the planet. The only restrictions are legal, (not open to people in Iran, Syria, Myanmar, Quebec, etc), and we really can’t change that. I would remind you that the Hackaday prize effectively changed Italian law. That’s pretty cool, and yes, we’re going to pat ourselves on the back for that.

          Or do you mean ‘accessibility’, in that people who can’t, or don’t want to build stuff, can’t enter? I fail to see this as a valid argument. No one would claim an ‘art contest’ is inaccessible to people who can’t draw.

          Maybe that’s not it. Maybe you mean ‘accessibility’ in that all the winners are all white, educated, western males, mostly living in California? Here, the argument fails, too. Last year’s winners have ALS, and probably aren’t going to be alive five years from now. The guy behind the tilt sensor this year is 17 and lives in Hungary. There are actually quite a few projects (maybe disproportionate given our web traffic) from central Europe over the last few years. The creator of the hand drive wheelchair project last year? This is her first year in college. The winners of the 2014 prize are from Greece, which is not California last time I checked.

          But I’ll entertain you. What, exactly, are the complaints regarding the Hackaday Prize? From what I can gather from your comment, the only complaint is that people who don’t want to *do* anything can’t win.

          1. > you should acknowledge there are many valid complaints to be had about the contest.
            So I’ll take that as a “no” on the acknowledgement.

            ” in that people who can’t, or don’t want to build stuff, can’t enter?”
            “But I’ll entertain you. What, exactly, are the complaints regarding the Hackaday Prize? From what I can gather from your comment, the only complaint is that people who don’t want to *do* anything can’t win.”

            Yes, tell people they must be all lazy and unqualified, that always makes people believe you are listening and open minded. I don’t see the point in actually taking the time to try to get you to understand your err.

            I doubt this will even register in your bigoted mind, but FWIW, your comment “Last year’s winners have ALS, and probably aren’t going to be alive five years from now.” is basically like saying “I can’t be racist because I have a black friend: Carl from work.” It would be incredibly offensive if it wasn’t incredibly stupid. Although it might actually still be offensive to those winners.

      1. Yeah, inspired… Come on man, it is exactly the same robot. And one of the things that the judges were supposed to judge was the “wow” factor of the projects, their originality and innovativeness. What is the “wow” factor of a project that looks exactly the same than a robot from 2005? The only contribution of Dtto is making an open source and 3D printable MTRAN rip off.

      2. I did. That link appeared later. However, the project page does not specify if the Japanese authors are aware of their work being such a great “inspiration” for pumping “reward” funds and developing a business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s