50 Semifinalists Selected For Next Stage Of The Hackaday Prize


Who cares about Open Design and building the next generation of Connected Devices? It turns out a lot of people do!

The Hackaday Prize put out the call for Open, Connected design ideas and around 800 projects were posted over the last few months to answer that call. The cutoff for documenting your concept and making entry to the contest was just before midnight last Wednesday. Since then our crew has been going through the entries to select 50 to move on as Semifinalists. Here’s who made the cut:

This list of 50 semifinalists will have until 11:50pm PDT on September 28th, 2014 to refine their designs. Congratulations!

You simply must read the Official Rules for all the details about becoming a finalist during the next round of judging. But we can certainly share some pointers we learned from judging the full pool of entries. The video is your time to make your project shine; tell this awesome panel of judges what the project is, why you’re building it, exactly how it is “connected”, and any thoughts you have on future uses or derivatives of the idea. Project logs insight regarding the feasibility of seeing the hardware finished so keep up with those as your build progresses. And as you near the deadline, hone your project Images, Description, and Details to best engage the judges and readers. Keep the updates coming because everyone is excited to find out who it is that will earn a trip to space!

Semifinalists (alphabetical):

This list of semifinalists is presented in alphabetical order by title.

All of these entrants have done great work so far. Good luck as your builds move forward. The clock is already ticking!

UPDATEI forgot to mention… those hundreds of other prizes that we’ve been mentioning all along will be awarded to all of the entries. If you officially submitted your project before the deadline you will be rewarded for being a Quarterfinalist. Watch for a post later in the week about exactly what and how we’ll be getting it to you. We just need to make sure we have the logistics sorted out before giving out the details. Thanks!

152 thoughts on “50 Semifinalists Selected For Next Stage Of The Hackaday Prize

      1. My advice to the losing projects is to cut out your technical details. It is clear that the first round judges do not have any time to look at them. Do you think anybody really looked at how awesome your schematic, encoding scheme or source code was? (Note this does not apply to CAD models, those are cool). Consequently, don’t bother writing rigorous documentation. Focus on making your video flashy. Get a doctorate degree or work in a team; otherwise as an individual you pretty weak. Enter a project you’ve been working on for years (and laugh at those who think an idea written on a piece of paper will actually go to the semifinals).

        The judging was a great filter because 94-96% of these projects actually deserve to be there.

        1. Still didn’t really help at least in my case. My project isn’t of the scope of the others for sure, having 12 logs, documented, videos, a flashy concept video and mostly working hardware didn’t get me in. Bunch of wasted time in the end really, had I put the time into the project itself instead of documenting stuff here, I’d be 3/4’s done instead of 1/2 done, but that’s besides the point. Really my biggest beef with the whole contest overall: Hackers don’t make schematics, engineers do. I’d like to see future contests more about hacking things rather than engineering them.

          1. You don’t document your projects as you design them? I’d say that was part of the point of the contest. But I am from the “learned to program BASIC in school, and had to write the code on paper before typing it” era, where it was expected that I had a design page or two showing what I was doing, an outline of how things would work, and then the pages of code. Those grade school habits stuck with me, I keep spare paper and have notebooks worth for each ‘difficult’ project. It let’s me say “I chose to do things this way because X, Y, &Z” and remember why 10 years later in case anyone asks.

          2. Nope, I’m a hacker, not an engineer.
            I tear things apart and rebuild them into other things or make them work better or just again. None of that really needs schematics, understanding of them, or putting pen to paper. I don’t design projects, I just build stuff outta my head and things come together day by day. you can document it when it’s done if you need to, with what worked and what didn’t. I prefer video for that now, but shoot and go, no editing.
            I learned to program basic in my room on a TRS-80 that was given to me as a kid. I had to turn it on and figure things out, without the previous owners guidance. The computer knowledge we got in school was Number Munchers and Homerow, You seem to have been brought up to engineer, I taught myself to hack through things.

        2. What are people talking about? I don’t even know where to start, you and those that replied after you are full of shit, and I’m glad you didn’t judge as it seems your priorities, and morals are shit. This wasn’t a contest of who can be the biggest douche and you so put with the details. Every project should have been doing it because they like to, or wanted to, and nothing else. Anyone else doing to win the prizes your f*&^ing insane. With the competition of multi-person teams, university budgets, PhDs, etc, your either super stupid, super arrogant, or just plain delusional. I started a project hoping I’d at least get into the last 50, knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to compete for any of the top places, but rather just get some cool stuff and I would be documenting the process anyways. But whats wrong with technical details? Who do you think is the benefactor of the prizes, money is not grown on trees and no one really just gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars because its cool. Most likely the details are for possible manufactures, who they are contributing to the prize pot, it was a business investment, hence why they didn’t want kick starter projects. But still, being able to create something that other people can use, and possible contribute to a great goal of innovation, discovery, sharing, and collaboration is huge. Grow up and learn to do things because you want to, not because of incentive or money. You can only serve one master, you cannot serve God and money.

  1. Well cool, I made the cut!
    But it’s not clear what the criteria was to pick the 50. While I’m happy I made the To be honest I’m a bit baffled at how some entries made it and how some did not. Any chance for more details how the semifinalists were picked?

    1. I thought it was pretty clear …

      “Sponsor will select fifty (50) submissions to advance to the next round based on the following evenly-weighted criteria: (1) completion of entry requirements, (2) quality of submission as benchmarked against a sample created by the Hackaday team, and (3) the project’s “cool factor” or how appealing, innovative and generally cool the project is. The results of the Community Vote will be among the criteria considered in assigning a cool factor score.”

      1. It is clear if it is right in front of you. The biggest problem was that the information regarding the contest was scattered across hackaday, hackaday projects, and emails from hackaday. There were a lot of satellite pages that had specific information but not the whole picture.

        It would be helpful if all information regarding the deadline criteria, judging criteria, dates/times, and rules were located on one single page and ONLY ONE PAGE. Then have a big obvious link on top of Hackaday’s mainpage, HackadayProjects and in the emails that all link to that SINGLE LOCATION.

  2. It would have been much more interesting to announce the semifinalist 5 days before ending the competition, not 5 days after starting it.

    Good luck to all 50 semifinalists!

      1. We’re not ignoring them. There are tons that didn’t make the cut that are just *awesome*. I don’t think it helped that they put it up on the site in the last week, but still, plenty that are awesome.

        Lots of fodder for Hackaday posts at the very least.

        1. why not? Hackaday spent the last week telling everyone to join in or lose out, but then you highlight the timing as hurting them. If you didn’t want late entries or felt they are less valuable somehow, why spend the last week spamming everyone to join at the last minute?

          1. Agh, you misunderstand. About 125 projects were submitted to the prize on 8/20 and 8/21 (the day of and the day after the contest closed). The majority of these entries weren’t valid, so obviously procrastinating hurt people entering late in the competition. We didn’t have time to go around to every entry and say, “dude, you need a video” or “we need some more project logs from you”, like we did with 500 other projects.

    1. Think of this like American Idol or So you think you can dance….

      First round is only to attract those that believe they are qualified (the first round is like the audition round), the fifty that got chosen are the those that the JUDGES think are qualified (the fifty selected are for the COMPETITION round) and from that fifty the winner will be selected.

      It may seem like a strange way to run a competition, but in the long run I think it works. I could of put together a presentation etc. that probably could of been selected for the fifty, but me actually seeing it through by the September deadline, not so much….

      This way HAD gets to generate excitement with a good assortment of projects, but not totally bogging down the the actual competition with hundreds of projects, most of which may not ever get completed.

        1. Perhaps, but it was a huge task for the judges to review everything. To make meaningful feedback on each one of the entries seems like a nearly impossible task.

          Hopefully the Hackaday.io community will give meaningful feedback.

          1. You should not have given any places to projects which were obviously not going to make it into the finals. Wasting slots makes this stage look like a decimation rather than a selection. If more deserving projects were chosen over mine, getting snubbed would have been a lot less painful.

            The competition’s tagline was “Build the future,” but just now you arranged the list according to popularity.

            You have been talking about your judges’ preferences all the time while we worked. – Who is this team you suddenly introduce? Why are they not listed among the official judges?

            What are you going to say if one of the official judges picks an entry which is not among these 50? “No”? Seriously, why would you do this?

          2. I would imagine that the least you did was to have each judge score each project on the criteria that you defined and then do some averaging or something.
            That means that at least you should have a sheet with the scores of each project for the criteria, right ?
            I think that should be plenty of feedback for many.

          3. It has always said in the rules …
            “On or around August 25, 2014, Sponsor will select fifty (50) submissions to advance to the next round”

            I take that to mean that Supply-Frame (perhaps with HAD help) chose the top 50.

            The rules say that “A panel of qualified judges” (taking that to mean the group HAD has been publicizing) will choose the final 5, and then rank them for the finals.

  3. Rule 4: The project must be a connected device (i.e., transmits information through the Internet). http://hackaday.io/prize/rules-en

    So, what, half of them have nothing to do with communication? Almost all are “another” or “low cost” i.e. “no innovation”. Jesus, if it was going to be a popularity contest you should’ve just said and I would have done something productive. Like, Tequila.

    1. Absolutely with you on this.

      A better title for the competition would have been “The Hackaday Prize for the Project that would be most popular on Kickstarter if it were on Kickstarter”.

      1. Heh, that was one of the community votes; “too cool for kickstarter”.

        I think that’s why people were a bit upset with the voting process, because according to the rules the votes do in fact count towards to total outcome. While the staff did say that the community vote doesn’t affect the orbital voting stage, it still has an affect on the overall quarter finalist pool. Which in itself is misleading, but at least it was black and white from the start.

        In any case, the organisers have done a great job of drumming up publicity and community involvement, which was their intention in the first place. Hopefully the trend continues.

        1. No, the community votes do not count towards the final outcome. At all. The quarterfinal judging process did not look at community votes.

          The *only* thing that happened with the community votes is that the winners of each community voting round got some HaD swag. A t-shirt.

          1. The rules state as such:
            ” The results of the Community Vote are among the criteria Sponsor will consider when it assigns “cool factor” scores to Quarterfinals submissions (see “Competition Criteria and Winner Selection” for details), and therefore late entry may affect a Participant’s opportunity to advance to the next round.”

            “Quarterfinals (Stage 2): On August 20, 2014, Sponsor will snapshot each Project Profile for evaluation. On or around August 25, 2014, Sponsor will select fifty (50) submissions to advance to the next round based on the following evenly-weighted criteria: (1) completion of entry requirements, (2) quality of submission as benchmarked against a sample created by the Hackaday team, and (3) the project’s “cool factor” or how appealing, innovative and generally cool the project is. The results of the Community Vote will be among the criteria considered in assigning a cool factor score.”

            I recall there always being mention that it didn’t affect the final round. But for the quarterfinals the rules seem pretty explicit (which in the end will change the overall outcome).

          2. By the way, I’m not being bitter. I’m glad hackaday hosted this competition since it got a lot of people out of the woodwork to document their knowledge. I’m just mentioning the rules seem to mention the contrary and have done since the start (even when concerns were raised earlier on about it).
            There were alterations to the rules when they extended the deadline and changed a few things. This was certainly something that should have been changed if it was indeed no longer the case.

        1. That’s the one that kinda bummed me out a little, not gonna lie :P
          Being a solar project it’s the first one i clicked, skimming, didnt even see a mention about being connected. My solar project’s feeding data to the web live right now..
          I’d go cry about it, but there’s there stuff to do.

        2. Yes that other solar project is so much better and complete.

          I was very surprised at the other contestants’ projects that I would thought should have been in the 50 chosen because they have the technical contents and good documentations. I would feel much better if one of them had taken a slot.

          1. Complete projects are not what this round was about in my mind, this was about a project idea. In my case, I have a bunch of hardware prototyping done, without that, getting software complete in time while working a full time job would have been too much.

            What do you mean by better? Do you mean more refined as a product?
            I only really see a small portion of what my project planned to attempt, mine being sloppier and without knowledge about these kind of projects, pcb design etc. I don’t see how that makes any difference to the overall idea being relayed. I see what looks to be a nicer end product for the desired function, but there is no reason after prototyping, mine can’t be as nice and refined, with more end features.

            That other solar project above is the part of my project I said I would get to if time permits, the charger. I’m again not an electronics expert, so learning all about inductors, opto isolators, fets, boost,buck all of that knowledge has come during the contest period itself. If I had time and the knowledge to execute in the contest window,I’d try. I’ll still do mppt. just on my own time frame now once I learn more about it all.

    2. That’s a pretty grand statement. This was a thoughtfully judged round and most certainly not a popularity contest.

      The concept of “connectedness” can be abstract and the projects themselves may just be one implementation of that. It is up to the project creators to detail how the device is connected and why that is meaningful.

      1. > It is up to the project creators to detail how the device is connected and why that is meaningful.

        Indeed. However, these two passed:

        – Solar Energy Generator—Does not claim any connectedness whatsoever, and the only connectedness of any kind that can be seen is that of power, not data. Fails to mention any license.
        ( https://hackaday.io/project/1981-Solar-Energy-Generator )
        – Goliath – A Gas Powered Quadcopter—Only makes one claim about connectedness, which is a vague statement that bystanders will be able to “interact and connect with Goliath” somehow using Wi-Fi. Says “creative commons license” but doesn’t specify which one; some of them are not open source-compatible.
        ( https://hackaday.io/project/1230-Goliath—A-Gas-Powered-Quadcopter )

        while these two failed:

        – SAM – Solar Automation Machine.—Streams data to a website, logs data, and controls other devices. Also fails to mention a license.
        ( https://hackaday.io/project/1484-SAM—Solar-Automation-Machine. )
        – GimbalBot—Makes very specific and detailed claims about connectedness even though that connectedness is unconventional. (If connectedness of just power is good enough for the first solar project, GimbalBot’s connectedness should be more than good enough even though the Internet isn’t involved.) Plans to use MIT License.
        ( https://hackaday.io/project/996 )

        In summary, of the two solar projects, the one with no apparent or declared connectedness beat the one that streams data to a website, and of the two flying machines, the one with very vague connectedness and vague (possibly ineligible) licensing beat the one with specific and detailed connectedness and specific and very permissive licensing.

        I don’t mean to say that this demonstrates that the selection was not done according to the declared goals and criteria of the competition (though it certainly suggests it), but I think it does demonstrate that “connectedness” and open source licensing, which were supposed to be core criteria, did not prevail.

          1. We really can’t make sure everyone who wants to enter a contest tags their project correctly other than saying, “tag your projects correctly.” As for a quarterfinalist not meeting the video requirements, that’s just not true.

            The Autonomous recharging project did have a link to the video. We made a snapshot of the server at the cutoff time, and this video is in the project. It’s not in the ‘external links’ field, but the rules don’t say the video must be linked in the ‘external links’ field, only “link to the video”.

            If someone wants to take advantage of the editor, more power to them, I guess.

  4. Does anyone feel put out by not getting through? I mean, I followed their Youtube video series and made all the entry requirements yet now I’m disqualified 5 days later. So unfair. I feel like they just wanted loads of entries even if only in concept form so that they could claim to have “wittled it down” to the last 50. Yours tearfully.

      1. I totally appreciate that I made minimal effort to _enter_ the competition, but it’s a bit rubbish to be ejected from the competition only 5 days later!!! What is the point of minimal competition requirements if the jump from those to the next stage held just 5 days later is so big that no one who only just made the minimal requirements can make it?

        I didn’t expect to _win_ 5 days after entering which is what you are implying that I expected. I was going to put a heck of a lot of effort in to try and get through to the next round but in 5 days very little is going to change.

    1. Entry started at the end of April.

      Please don’t feel bad about not moving on. There were a ton of amazing entries.

      But hey… Keep working on yours and prove that it should have advanced. You can still claim “geek cred” for it, right?

      1. Ha yep, the thing to be bummed about more is seeing projects get through that were entered after the original cutoff date. People that put effort in early get a bit shafted in this regard.

        1. Sorry, I didn’t realize that that word was too strong to use it in a personal opinion. In my native language, it’s not. I take that sentence back (there is no edit/delete button).

          I don’t have a TV and I do not watch sports, so at the first read it was quite a challenge to understand if you agreed or disagreed with me. Very funny!

          1. Oh, I just realized: did you mean ‘close it for entries now, but wait to decide the semifinalists until near the end’? Because that makes more sense. (I thought you meant ‘decide the semifinalists now, but keep them secret until near the end’.)

  5. Congrats to all the semi finalists! I’m a bit bummed that we didn’t make the cut, but looking over the ones who did make it through shows no shame in losing out to them.
    On a personal note, could us poor suckers who got left in the dust get a reason(s) why we failed to impress? You might be seeing something that we’re missing. It would be greatly appreciated.
    I will now sit back and watch the race to the finish. Good luck!


        1. I wouldn’t mind knowing I was a couple spots off, actually. After contemplating things for a while though, getting cut isn’t such a bad thing. First, I had always envisioned the Emergence robots eventually transitioning into a cheap, open source starter robotics kit that virtually any school could afford. Now I have the opportunity to not have to reveal my designs and code and make a few bucks off them. Secondly, I now have even more motivation to complete the project in the time frame given. It will be nice to send pictures of the ‘bots wandering about and evolving and producing data when half of the semi finalists flame out and auger in :)

          1. Greg, I do hope you keep working on The Emergence Project – you’ve got a lot of great Ideas – and lets face it, swarms are awesome. The crossed copper wire whiskers with fast-on’s make a lot of sense – and are a heck of a lot cheaper than long bladed microswitches. I do hope you keep the project open source though – be it here on .io, on github, or wherever. Keeping things open doesn’t mean you can’t make money building and selling your ‘bots.

  6. I’m a bit dissapointed to not make the top 50, but I know making the end of september deadline would have been difficult. However HAD did say that they just needed to be ideas at this stage – I do think anyone who hadn’t made substantial progress by now didn’t really have a chance!

    Some of the projects do seem to have been going for a while before the competition which leaves a bit of a sour taste, but I do trust that HAD and the judges made the right choice for the purpose of this competition.

    It was good to be a part of this, but I’m glad I can take my foot off the accelerator since there’s no deadline to aim for!

        1. I’m not sure how I feel about the others, but I don’t see any problem with an unsuccessfully attempted commercial product—Moti—being in the competition. The crowdfunding campaign was VERY unsuccessful (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/438051715/moti-smart-motors-for-everyday-robotics?ref=discovery ), and they (of course) got no money from that. It looks like they decided that route wasn’t going to work and decided to proceed with the open source route.

          Incidentally, I saw it on Kickstarter back then, read the page, and thought it was a dumb idea. I then saw it it on Hackaday Projects and thought the same thing. Later I went and looked at it again and realized it’s actually a great idea. In fact, it’s now in my top ten out of the semifinalists.

        2. It is like watching a pre-taped cooking show, but the chefs pull out the precooked meals from the oven without showing the intermediate steps, decision and mistakes before the final part. The rest of the people actually do it live and let other see how it is done. It is not just the recipe (open source), but the actual cooking/prep techniques/tips that makes a good cooking show. That should have been part of the rules.

          The worse part is that the ones that have crowd funding backing has a lot of extra time and budget. They can do a flashy video and have existing their fan base to vote for them.

          (I have mentioned before. See below…)

          1. As for you spammers it’s like watching a show of whining little girls that didn’t get a candy as big as their older brother. I propose a contest of top-HAD-hater commentators, you can win that, be happy and then hopefully stop this hating campaign frenzy.
            Dude I’m happy YOU didn’t make the rules. Did you even read them? Probably not, it seems like you’re still hung on the fact that someone actually built something that other people may WANT and willing to pay for to get and save time rather than rebuild from scratch. Or that somehow there’s a missing rule that you just invented. So what if it’s sold or if it’s on KS? Do you own thing, sell it, start a KS, enter a contest and impress with your skills to make not to hate.

    1. As far as I am concern, they really need to have projects that started from the beginning (or at least have most of that) from the project site. The project log should show what they have tried, what works, what doesn’t and how they manage to overcome or find ways around it. Without that, it is just a product placement.

    1. I have tried userstyling (userstyles.org) it a bit, but without much success. I have managed to change the dark gray text to light gray, sometimes, and remove the giant separator areas and footer from project log entry pages (so the scrollbar makes more sense). When they update the site next, I’d like to see better support for userstyles.

  7. “You Build the Future. You Go to Space” for that slogan you sure chose a lot of entries that don’t seem to bring anything of extra value to whatever was already out there.
    Other entries, are purely great!

  8. So I really would like to know where is the “communication” part of a 3D printer or a Thermal Imager!.
    I agree with someone it the comments that said: “The prize for the projects that would have been funded on Kickstarter if they were on Kickstarter”. What a Shame, Hackaday!.

    1. Have you looked at the thermal imager in detail? It’s connected and powered via the headphone socket, which is pretty amazing :) And 3D printers have to get their data somehow … those printers are unique in at least some way, although they bore me a bit.

      1. A post about the other hundreds of cool projects would be pretty interesting. I’m sure there are projects entered that will be turned into future HaD posts, maybe a prelude to that. Or a judges pick to keep going type thing, I’m sure there were plenty that didn’t make the cut but each judge would love to see completed.

      2. You know you guys are the ones that make the rules… The only limitation is the prizes available.

        There is no reasons why you can’t have the judges (assuming that they are willing) for the finals to have their own pick out of the other projects that didn’t make the cut out of how well the project was design/built etc. i.e. from technical aspects and not popularity nor video…

        Not that there would be prizes or anything, but just the recognization/real comments would be a nice closure for the rest of us.

  9. Mike, Brian, and others that judged during this round: I’m sorry to see all the negative comments here. I appreciate all the work you guys are putting in to this competition and I’m sure that many, many people that aren’t commenting are also thankful.

    Keep up the good work, you rock!


      1. Thanks both. This means a lot. I know I’m fried from so much time spent in the last few days judging a mountain of cool projects. I’m sure the others feel the same way. But there is a ton of cool stuff in those entries…. semifinalist or not.

        1. Yes! This! The Hackaday prize has been much fun, and the judges had a ton of work to do, not to mention site updates and everything else. You guys have been great. Huge thanks for putting on the event, and encouraging me to make my project just a bit better in the hopes of semifinal-ing.

          It’s really easy to tell yourself that you didn’t win because others cheated somehow, or complain about the rules or judges.

          I had a look through around 50 random projects last night, and I said, “Wow, I don’t mind if I lose to THAT!” to many of them. If you’re feeling upset about the rules, try having a serious look through the projects that made it. They are excellent work.

          1. I completely agree with that. A lot of the projects are just awesome, even those out of my area of interest (like Global radiation monitoring network).

            I don’t envy the judges to have to go through so many great projects and picking only a few of them for the next stage nor the fact they have to take all the anger out there from unhappy people that didn’t make it.

            Let’s be honest, everyone wanted to win, but unfortunately it is impossible.

            Hopefully I’ll have a better idea next time!

      1. +1, I hope the negativity here does not discourage competitions in the future. I may not be well connected enough, but I do not see many places pulling from the bottom up. There are not many opportunities that allow anyone with just about any idea to put themselves out there for a chance to take home a large purse like this. With out this event I would have noticed about 799 less projects, and personally, as far as complaining goes, I believe that if you can not persue your project to a gainful end just as you would if hackaday had never offered a prize then it has probably come to the same, albeit more dramatic, end that it would have met otherwise. This has given us a running start at something that I would hope will be the wikepedia of hacks, and a hint at another shot next year.

        And for those that are concerned about the polished look of a product, I have worked for companies that have sent products to space as well as some of the deepest parts of the ocean, and when a problem arises and a solution is needed fast the response is to build it and then engineer it (warning – this plan of attack is usually backed by a great deal of experience).

        And for some of the late entries ideas fall into the same category as opinions, they are like a$$hole$, everybody’s got one. At least build a prototype and see if your idea is worth persuing.

        Experience is gained from failure, before there was “Cogito, ergo sum” there was “Fallor, ergo sum.”

    1. I feel that proves community agrees with judges choices.
      As for project age, more older projects made it as they had more time to prepare. They also got more skull because people had more time to vote for them.

      1. Pretty much, yes. With the right incentives and clear evaluation criteria the community could select who advances in a transparent way and save the Hackaday editors a lot of trouble. It was/is particularly unclear whether the winner should have the most impressive concept or make something that actually works. For example, building 1km domes would certainly be impressive but I’m pretty sure the BuckyBot isn’t going to be able to do that by the end of the contest while OpenMV appears to be working already.

  10. Thanks for your hard work judging, must have been hard looking through them all as a lot more than 50 great projects! As a note to anyone who didn’t make it… keep your eyes out for other contests, there’s often a number going on that get a lot less attention than this HackADay one, and you might find a home for your project. Circuit Cellar just had one (http://circuitcellar.com/wiznet2014/), but they seem to run them pretty regularly. If you are into IPv6/Internet of Things the IPSO Alliance has a challenge which has run the past 2 years as well, and I assume will happen next year again (http://www.ipso-alliance.org/challenge). These have pretty good prizes ($5k/$10k first place), there must be some other similar contests too?

  11. Congrats to all the semifinalists! You guys have your work cut out for you in order to make the Final Five…

    I’m a bit saddened by all the negative comments. I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t stand a chance in hell of making the cut let alone being selected as a finalist. That’s not the point. The point is to build something cool, document it and share it. The work is the prize. If you happen to amaze the judges and win something then even better.

    I get that people are upset they didn’t make the cut but don’t be such a poor sport about it.

    1. 100% agree on every point you touched. The real judges are the community members anyhow and to those that are upset for not making the cut… it will be ok as long as you build my project and take it out on some flies or mosquito’s.

    2. I agree as well. This isn’t an X Prize competition, with millions on the line, it was an online hacker community contest.

      I submitted my project knowing full well that I was a small fish in a big pond of very thoughtful and insightful people. I will continue to work on my project because I was intending to build it anyway. It had nothing to do with the prize.

      Congratulations to the 50. Whichever of you wins the day, please be sure to wave as you pass over us in your parabolic arc.

      1. At least people can check the youtube analytics (Overview › Traffic sources › External website › supplyframe.com) to see if the judges watched their whole entry video.

        Whoever was judging from Pennsylvania gets Kudos for watching my whole concept video. Maybe the other visitor through supplyframe wasn’t actually judging, or youtube statistics aren’t 100% reliable.

  12. i didn’t read the rules, i just submitted mspaint drawings, and none of them had the word ‘internet’, but they could all be internet connected devices with me inside. i didn’t even know there was supposed to be a video involved. oh well, the point was to plant the cool idea seeds in other people’s heads, like real seeds, they’re just searching for some fertile ground where they can get all the stuff they need to develop properly (ie: funding/materials).

  13. I did post a critical reply up above, and I (currently, not having received any reply yet) stand by that criticism, but it’s only of one aspect of the competition, and I have enjoyed the rest of it so far. Thank you, Hackaday team, for putting in the effort to run it. It’s exposed me and, I’m sure, lots of other people to ideas we wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and it’s been fun to follow along with (as I’m sure it will continue to be). Also, thanks for giving me the motivation to finally get started on some projects I’d been thinking about for a while. They may be eliminated today, but I when the next interesting contest comes along (on Hackaday Projects, Instructables, or elsewhere), they’ll be more developed and have a better chance. I was more sad for other people’s projects that didn’t make it than for my own; I knew my own were unlikely to pass because I’d entered them so late.

  14. If there is a rerun of this again I would hope as mentioned previously that the entry is a bit cleaner and easier to use.Hope there is a rerun next year, it is a good Ideer

    May be good to have the comp in two sections one (A level) for those talanted / experienced / spare time on hands people who have all the really neat projects in the top 50 or so and secondary level for the beginners, the time and $ poor in a second ranked comp with a reduced prize but perhaps as much recognition.

    1. I don’t really like the division idea, would be difficult to have a “you’re too good” police. I do want recognition for working long hours on things, but I don’t trust anybody to decide who gets a reward for it. I’m going to do it anyway.

      I would’ve rather had more prizes or something like a t-shirt for each of the entries. Also I wouldn’t have minded if the entry requirement were increased to having to have some kind of semi-functional prototype (although I would’ve had to submit something simpler or nothing at all). Would be better if the goal is to get more people working.

    2. This. Seeing all the projects that made the list, it confirmed my assumptions that I didn’t have a chance in hell. Though HaD convinced me to enter anyways. I definately would have entered under the ‘lightweight’ division given the option.

    3. Maybe not skill level, but they could have different themes or scope. I.e. they could limit the number of components allowed (this in itself would be fun), and there could also be a specific problem challenge too. Or utilise a specific part (like the 555 challenges of yesteryear).

  15. I’m disappointed to have not made the list.
    I’m gutted to have lost out to some of the projects that hardly seem new, unique or original…
    Especially those projects that are closed source, products that are being sold…

    Without years of development it seems obvious that there was no way a normal person (i.e with a job etc) could possibly have created something complex enough, and complete enough to have made this round.

    It’s not that I wouldn’t have made my projects, – or that I won’t continue to work on them, it’s that I wouldn’t have jumped through silly hoops uploading videos to you tube.

    1. For this I applaud HaD (Hustle a Day). Any normal person who was also reasonable would not have entered this contest. But we threw our reason out the window when we were tempted with recognition, fame, money etc. So blame yourself and learn from the HaD staff.

      1. “recognition, fame, money”
        Not everyone dreams about that. These may help at some point but shouldn’t be a goal by themselves.

        I’m all alone on my project, no big money to throw in, I own a small one-man company, and I’m also in semi-finals, so it was obviously possible. However my project started long ago and I didn’t waited for the last week to start it. You guys are very negative.

    2. Huh? How do you justify that position?

      My project started only about a month ago, and it’s just me doing it in my spare time and I also work full-time. You don’t need a huge budget either; I’ve spent at most about $150, and I made the top 50.

      I doubt I’ll win, and am just really happy to have gotten so far, but it’s certainly possible to get this far without ‘years of development’, huge wads of cash and a big team.

      I’m a long-time reader of Hackaday, and I have to say, without this competition I would never have bothered starting my project, let alone documenting it and making it open source. Hackaday deserves credit for bringing nearly 800 projects out of the woodwork and into the public arena. I’ve gotten some great ideas from reading through other peoples project logs, and I look forward to replicating some of the great projects out there myself.

    3. Might as well add another data point …

      I made the top 50 and …
      I started my project June 13th from scratch, well after the contest announcement.
      The idea of my project has been in the back of my mind for years, the contest motivated me to actually act on it.
      I’m working solo on it, in my spare time.
      Like David, I’ve spent less than $150 so far.
      I didn’t enter on the promise of fame or money. I figured that making the top 5 much less the number 1 spot were VERY long odds, but I stood a decent chance making the top 50.

      Again, thanks to Hackaday for this contest. Got me building a project I’ve wanted to do for many years, but just never got around to it.

      1. I might as well jump in too…
        I started my project in June.. I entered my project on hackaday.io and then deleted it because I didn’t think anyone would be interested.. Then I entered it again later.. I entered because of a talk with a friend who convinced me that I should share some of my ideas… then Mike S. here actually really inspired me to go the full distance with it.. For this I am very grateful to Hackaday and its staff.. I’m working completely alone, funding it entirely myself. I did then video myself, I document as much as I can while it’s still fresh in my mind, even if it’s 6am with no sleep and I’m completely incoherent.. This contest pulled me out of the woodwork and has really made me want to give back to the community that I’ve been watching in silence for so long. I decided to give back and will continue to do so.. This and all of my previous projects I’ve done for myself, but I plan on documenting almost all of them as time permits after I finish this one.. Hopefully someone finds something I do useful. I enjoy what I do, and I think that’s really all the matters.. I don’t even think about a prize or whatever, that would drive me nuts and distract me from what’s important… I’m actually surprised I made the next round.. I didn’t think anyone would be interested..and I still have my doubts…but I promised myself to persist.. And for that, I thank Mike..and hackaday… :)

  16. Sigh, life is full of disappointment, excitement and learning.
    I, like many have searched for the free ride through; quirky, edison nation, kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc. Every project is full of excitement anticipation and dashed hopes. The HAD prize is no different. here are some lessons learned if people want a jump start.

    1: don’t splurge on project costs expecting to make the money back.
    2: being better at marketing/ knowing someone to market for you is a greater contributor to success than what you make.
    3: if your successful 1 out of 50 projects your doing ok.(see #1)
    4: if your passionate about what you do, success shouldn’t matter(as much), and in the long run you might even get lucky and make some money. Usually attributed to the hard work you have displayed in your project and respect you have earned.
    5: Think objectively when you hear criticism and put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

    Maybe your really awesome and these don’t apply to you. If so I’m jealous but i think for most of us out there this is the case.

  17. Congratulations to all the semifinalists! There are some amazing projects moving on to the next round – I’m very impressed with all fifty.

    For the rest of us – I hope you all will be finishing what you’ve started. If you’re building something interesting, having that something on your desk, on your roof, or in orbit (working) will make it all worth it in the end.

    (Or, if that isn’t enough for you: maybe a few of you will find commercial success with a prototype in hand – or maybe even some of that extra lab equipment… and clothing… floating around from the voting rounds will head your way, haha.)

    All in all, it was a fun sprint and I look forward to seeing how this year shakes out… and entering again next year!

  18. Next time around, the selection should be bracket-based, with community voting playing into the selection heavily. I feel like many of the picks this time are ones the community here would’ve picked. Congrats to all the winners!

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