Right Now: Your Chance Of Winning A Prize Is 66% Or Better



Everyone who enters The Hackaday Prize is already making a statement that Open Design is important to them. But if doing things on principle isn’t your primary motivation, you do stand a really good chance of winning something. At least at this very moment you do.

We’re giving away 55 really awesome prizes, and “hundreds of other” prizes. Since we just passed 300 entries over the weekend, a bit of quick math shows that right now your chances of winning something are quite good.

Still not enough for you? Consider the top three prizes which offer a cash value of $10k. At this moment each entry has just under a 1 in 100 chance of placing. And a 1 in 300 chance of claiming the trip into space valued at around 250 grand.

Do it because you support Open Hardware, do it because you want to go to space, or just do it because the odds are really really friendly at this point! You now have until the evening of August 20th to document your concept of an open, connected device.

11 thoughts on “Right Now: Your Chance Of Winning A Prize Is 66% Or Better

  1. I’ve been thinking about the grander goal of open hardware and how it relates to the mythical ‘Maker’ of sci-fi. Perhaps the first iteration of the maker isn’t a desktop-sized device but instead an entire room, just like early computers? If we had a website, or a catalog, of open components and designs based on these components we could have a ‘tech tree’ which a human maker (a ‘computer’ was once a human too) traverses in order to reach an end goal.

    Say you wanted a specialized polymer which otherwise cost kilobucks per m^2, and you needed to e.g. plaster a room with it, you could save a whole lot of money by re-configuring your maker cave to a manufacturing line of this. You would perhaps have to manufacture spinnerets, requiring sintering of specialized alloys, and casting your own micrometer-scale diamond tip tools. You would perhaps have to process HF without laying waste to the neighborhood, and build a nuclear isotope-izer to get those wavelengths just right.
    Once you’re done, regulatory bloat might stop you from selling your stuff, but they probably can’t stop you from ‘storing’ your old gear in somebody else’s shed. There would probably have to be a lot of community effort just to keep herders and their sheep (cough) I mean lobbyists and their politicians from sabotaging an economy like this…

    More likely than that finicky stuff, you would want your own fab so that you didn’t have to worry about chip ‘brokers’ buying up the world’s stock of the critical component your Kickstarter is based on and holding your reputation hostage in exchange for your margin and more… You’d get your chip samples in hours instead of weeks, and you’d be able to make complete SoC designs which you just slot into standard enclosures. You’d even be able to make your own high-energy laser diodes.

    Hackaday.io is a prototypal free webshop in this regard. Lots of giants with strong shoulders, and an invitation to stand on them. I wish it was more connected somehow. The Hackaday project features are great as summaries, leading you to the cream of a hacker’s crop, but for a maker webfront the info should be more condensed, like Digikey’s component directory.
    Positive reinforcement such as a maybe-timebank or a karma system which is more like a forum post count than an upvote popularity contest could increase everybody’s productivity here. Community standards, like choosing either SPI or I2C but not both, and just low-voltage, intermediate-voltage, and high-voltage TTL classes instead of exact numbers would help with interop. Arduino shields are a great example of how this can work, but it really gives the educational/harmless toy-vibe instead of a lever long enough to move the world.

    1. I really like the idea of a “tech tree”, how difficult would something like this be to set up? Would a wiki-style website work?

      Organizing something of that scale would take a pretty big community effort I think, especially with the large variations in project capabilities. Some of this may be able to be automated though. Imagine if each project author recorded the fundamental requirements to complete that project, and also what fundamental capabilities that completed project unlocks. Then the long chains of getting from here to there could be generated automatically by a search algorithm chasing all the connections. There would undoubtedly be several routes to each goal, so some way of choosing the fastest cheapest option would help.

      It would require a standardized set of requirements/capabilities. A simple feature like this could perhaps be worked into hackaday.io easily enough, so folks don’t have to duplicate their documentation and readers don’t have to chase down random project logs in other linked sites.

    1. Just because you’re working on it, doesn’t mean you can’t submit it. My project is in there as I develop it. It’s an unusual experience, but sharing your ups and downs makes it a bit more personal.

  2. I’m confused by the “connection” part. The rules sure are phrased like the contest is for widgets that communicate with other electronic things, but it seems like quite a few of the entries don’t follow that format. What’s up with that?

    1. Its up to you the entrant to define what connectedness means, and pursuade the judges that the connected part of your project is in some way meaningful.

      For instance an LCD screen connected to a microcontroller is a ‘connected device’ for some definition of connected. Personally though if I was a judge it would take some convincing for me to accept that as a meaningful part of the project.

      I hope that clears it up tomdf!

  3. The official rules make it seem like I missed the deadline to enter. They also seem to really want my project to be “connected” — so looks like my clock project won’t be my entry. Internet, eh… I might be able to come up with something for that.

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