Who Will Win The Hackaday Prize? Judging Begins Tonight

It’s been a long road for each of the five finalists; but after tonight they can breathe easy. The last judging round of the 2014 Hackaday Prize begins at 11:50pm PDT.

Each finalist must finish documenting their project by that time as a cached version of each of the project pages will be sent off to our orbital judges. Joining the panel that judged the semifinal round is [Chris Anderson], CEO of 3D Robotics, founder of DIY Drones, former Editor-in-Chief of Wired, and technology visionary. These nine are charged with deciding who has built a project cool enough to go to space.

In case you’ve forgotten, the final five projects selected by our team of launch judges are:

  • ChipWhisperer, an embedded hardware security research device for hardware penetration testing.
  • Open Source Science Tricorder, a realization of science fiction technology made possible by today’s electronics hardware advances.
  • PortableSDR, is a compact Software Defined Radio module that was originally designed for Ham Radio operators.
  • ramanPi, a 3D printed Raman Spectrometer built around a Raspberry Pi.
  • SatNOGS, a global network of satellite ground stations.

The ultimate results of the judging will be revealed at The Hackaday Prize party we’re holding in Munich during Electronica 2014. We’re also holding an Embedded Hardware Workshop with Moog synths, robots, hacked routers, computer vision, and a name that’s official-sounding enough to convince your boss to give you the day off work. We hope to see you there!

28 thoughts on “Who Will Win The Hackaday Prize? Judging Begins Tonight

    1. I agree. The other ones may not be “fascinating” mainly because some of us already understood the concepts behind them. However, this makes them no less useful and they should not be dismissed. Though, I do find the open source tricorder to be cool, but I’m a trekkie and therefore biased.

    1. The US has pretty strict sanctions against North Korea and Iran. We legally can’t have anything to do with them. If you’re wondering how many views we get from Iran and N.Korea, in the last 7 days, we’ve had 4 from Iran and 2 from North Korea

        1. Google it. Quebec has draconian laws regarding contests. IIRC, anyone who runs a contest in Quebec has to put up some percentage of the prize value in escrow with the Quebec government, as well as pay a tax on any winnings paid to a Quebecian citizen. Rather than deal with the paperwork, taxes, fees and all-around bullshit, most companies simply exclude Quebec and its crazy contest laws.

  1. I like both the SatNogs and Portable SDR. They both have very broad real world application, and this kind of equipment and know how would be very beneficial should our current infrastructure collapse, and we find ourselves without communications capability. The Raman PI is cool, but who REALLY needs a Raman Spectrometer in their home lab? I’m sure there are some that do, but a Raman Spectrometer is a very specialized instrument, with pretty specific applications, a lot of which can be pretty esoteric.

        1. Not many things are, but I don’t think that was the point of my attempt at a light hearted reply.. It was more to the point of who needs one in their home.. So, luckily its not up to you.. I’m not sure what use an astronomer would have for a raman spectrometer either. But I do know that raman spectroscopy is becoming a very useful tool in a multitude of industries and it does have a place in everyone’s home.. If you’re interested in quality of life that is.. Only ignorance and a lack of imagination would prove you right with such a blanket statement. How useful is it to have that attitude?

    1. I don’t care who wins, I just care that they pick the TRIP TO SPACE OVER MONEY! seriously! When bigelow industries get’s their space hotel at the ISS in 2015, it’s something like $28 million to stay for a week on the ISS (not including the $20+ million launch), you’ll never feel anything closer than THIS PRIZE!

      1. I agree with you. Some have expressed concern about whether this is actually a trip to “space” or not. Semantics aside, anyone who takes one of these flights will be among a very VERY small number of humans every to that far away form the planet. I would have had an extremely difficult time competing at the level of these five finalists… but had I been eligible you can bet I would have tried for it!

        I’m a pragmatic sort and the cash in hand is hard to pass up. But I’ve got to think that you’ll never stare down a trip to space again.

          1. The official rules say it’s a ‘ride to space on the carrier of your choice’. Unofficially, that pretty much only means a ride on the Virgin Galactic/SpaceShipTwo. No, not orbital, and the contract for Virgin Galactic doesn’t guarantee a max altitude above the Karman line, and you don’t get astronaut wings simply from being a passenger (that’s only for crew). It’s still three times higher than high altitude balloons, and about five times higher than a $20,000 MiG25 flight.

  2. I’m going for the SDR. They’re all impressive projects, and so were many of the ones that didn’t make it to the list. Personally I’d be surprised if the spectrometer won as there is no clear-cut case on the project page as to how this might benefit the greater hacking community apart from those interested in spectroscopy who want something cheaper. Whether that’s a large subset of those people I simply don’t know. Or, how a Raman-type unit is better or worse than any other type of spectrometer?

  3. I’m rooting for the PSDR, but at the same time I can see the value of all of them; specifically the amateur satellite network and the spectrometer. While it may be a smaller subset of people who would use a spectrometer, the cheap price tag means it could be deployed and find use in installations that normally wouldn’t have the budget for it. I’m anxious with anticipation to see the results of the judging!

  4. I am totally biased since I am involved on the SatNOGS project. But let’s skip that for a while. Personally I’ve learned a ton of stuff over low earth orbital communications and hardware prototyping and I am a nurse.

    The important thing, whether my team or any other team wins the Prize, is for us to continue the development of our projects, create inclusive communities for interested people to get involved and contribute to the extended hacker/maker/tinkerer community overall.

    Personally I believe that these 5 projects (and not only these 5) have the potential to do so, some already are doing so.

    Having said that, since in a few hours the judging process will be finished I just hope we will get input, pull requests or just ideas and consultation not only from the judges but from this really awesome community.

    Anyway enough with my babbling. Happy hacking people!

    1. I really like your project and I wish you guys the best! That goes for Peter, Michael and Colin as well! It’s been great watching everyone’s progress over the past months.. Whoever goes to space, make sure to get some great pictures! Peter if it’s you, I expect lots of tricorder readings! =)

  5. personally i am surprised that the satnoks actually made it to the finals. There were many other entries with a lot more potential but were left out!! wtf?!
    Anyway best of luck to the rest of the contestants.

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