Time For The Prize: Environment-Related Ideas

You should already know about the 2015 Hackaday Prize, but have you submitted your entry yet? All it takes to get started is talking about one idea you have to address a problem faced by a large number of people. To help get the ball rolling we’re giving away some prizes to three entries that discuss possible solutions to Environment-Related problems.

For your chance at this week’s goodies all you need to do is document your idea on Hackaday.io and tag it “2015HackadayPrize”.

This Week’s Prizes:


On Monday, March 30th we’ll take a look at all the entries tagged 2015HackadayPrize and choose three that best fit the topic of Environment-Related. The best will receive the SmartMatrix 32×32 RGB LED matrix along with a Teensy 3.1 to drive it. The next pick will receive a Bus Pirate and probe cable. The final prize will be a Hackaday Robot Head Tee.

An Idea is All You Need for Entry

shower-toilet-tank-ideaWe’re not messing with you; all you need to win these early prizes is an idea. One of the most powerful pieces of the Hackaday Prize is the pollination of thought. Your idea might be the tipping point for someone else’s breakthrough or vice-versa. Start a project on Hackaday.io and add the tag “2015HackadayPrize”.

Pictured to the right is a whiteboard sketch by [MechaTweak] which illustrates one very simple shower water-saving idea (we think this was prompted by our column on the topic last week). The idea here is that instead of running water down the shower drain as you wait for it to heat up, the water cold be sequestered in a holding tank and used for flushing the toilet the rest of the day. This will certainly be in the running as it addresses the issue of water conservation. Going along with our Environment-related topic you might also tackle alternative energy production, helping detect or curb pollution, making recycling easier, reducing waste, etc.

As we move along we’ll be awarding bigger and better prizes. Submitting an idea now will give you an early start on your planning. You’ll still be eligible for future prizes, and you may submit as many entries as you like.

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

38 thoughts on “Time For The Prize: Environment-Related Ideas

    1. Yep, we’re going to do different concepts for the next few weeks. Go ahead and get yours started (if you haven’t already) because we consider all entries at the time of judging so you don’t need to wait for us to announce that topic.

      1. So I couldn’t see it explicitly in the rules, can you enter multiple projects yourself? For example, I have a concept I know I can’t build, can I document that as an early entry and then enter another project if I think of something I can build?

  1. I have an idea, but sadly no time to explore.

    Problem: Lots of people live in flats, or rent houses. Reliant on grid power, and no authority to fix solar panels to the roof or anywhere else. Also, lots of 5V USB chargers plugged into grid – only charging a very small %age of the time.

    Solution: Design a solar panel mount to afix a large(ish) panel to the outside of the window. Suction cups? Hooks? Dunno – I’d have to prototype. Then: Inductive coupling to transfer power through window (or a cable if there’s a big enough gap) to a battery or two. 5V USB chargers direct from battery for charging of phones. Make the whole thing modular and expandable. Add an inverter for mains.

    Then, everyone can benefit from clean and free solar power. Well…I’d have to look up the environmental cost of manufacture for these systems and compare against using the grid, but steps in the right direction?

    1. This sounds like a great concept. You should definitely submit it as an entry. Start with the idea. If you never make it to prototype, that’s okay. But maybe you’ll somehow stumble on an opportunity to take it further at some point.

        1. I’m sure there is junk amongst them, but seeing lithium-ion has a pretty low self-discharge I have to take that part with a sizable grain of salt and if it is that bad the whole solar panel must be fake.

        2. BTW that video is pretty unfair, we know from ifixit that that ‘terrible construction’ is pretty much the same apple uses.
          And he says ‘unless it’s in direct sunlight this is awful’. but guess what solar panels are meant for?
          And he assumes the LED use a certain amount of power without checking what they actually use, nor does he measure those packs, and I could go on and on about this poor excuse for an analysis.

    2. 1. It needs to be on a south facing window and at the right angle to get any real power.
      2. You will be surprised how big it will have to be to charge a battery.
      3. It will block out most of the light coming in the window. If you have to use a lamp instead… You are wasting power.
      4. inductive is not as efficient as a wire.

      1. Pfft, Hackaday is a well known mouth piece for the New World Order, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group and the International Banking Cartel.

        I have personally seen Brian’s inner eyelids blink sideways…Wake Up SHEEPLE!

        1. If you’re going to spread this stuff around, at least get it right.

          There’s ample evidence that we’re shape shifting reptilian overlords from the inner earth who have woken from our ten thousand year slumber, climbed through the hole in the north pole, and are attempting to control the world so we may retake our moon base from the nazi colony that was set up in the 40s.

          1. HAHA, the nazi’s are the reptilians, come on Brian quit leading the rest of us astray. It’s about nigh time they come back and rid us of this GREY menace, I’m sick of our women’s being abducted and impregnated to continue the GREY lines. Maybe if we do some more occult rituals they will hear our pleas.

      2. I wonder if there are more trolls or crazy people on the internet.

        (Not that having doubts about global warming is crazy, but having doubt about the environment being able to fuck you over is though.)

        Oops, now I opened the can anyway.

        1. The problem is simple. Crazy people have a lot of free time and tend to be very active. The rest of us have work to do and families to raise. They are just more visable than the masses that just shake their heads and go back to work…
          Shakes head and now I have to get back to work.

    1. …or better yet…
      Just make the valve which traditionally closes the tub faucet (to turn on the shower) stay in one position or the other. So when someone eventually takes a bath… they’ll get to use that 0.1L of water in the shower pipe.. instead of wasting it.

      I just put a rubber band on that valve stem worked to keep it up!

      Overcomplicatedengineeringsolution: 0
      Me: 1

      Who’s next?

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