Astronaut Or Astronot: Random Stuff For Random People

In case you’re not aware, we’re running a contest to send one lucky hacker into space. We’re already giving out $50k in prizes to entice the most worthy hackers to submit their project to the The Hackaday Prize. Now it’s time for community voting, and that means trotting out Astronaut Or Astronot, where you decide the best project for this week’s theme. Projects voted into the top ten for each theme will receive Hackaday Prize t-shirts.

But there’s something in it for you too. Everyone who votes in the community voting rounds will be eligible to win a $1000 gift card to The Hackaday Store.

Most Likely To Be Widely Used

This week’s round of community voting will decide which project entered into the Hackaday Prize will be the most likely to be widely used. Everyone on gets 50 votes to pick the project that will be the most popular, most game changing, and most useful. Head on over to the voting page and spend those votes wisely.

Submit Your Entry For Community Feedback

We’ll be doing a new round of community voting as often as every seven days. Everyone registered on gets 50 votes for each round of voting, and every Friday (around 20:00 UTC), we’ll randomly select one person registered on If that person has voted, they get a $1000 gift card for The Hackaday Store. If they haven’t vote — nothing.

So what do you need to get in on this action? Vote, obviously. We’ll be tracking which projects make it to the top of the list, and next week we’ll do it all over again. Enter your project now because we’re giving away a trip to space and hundreds of other prizes.

55 thoughts on “Astronaut Or Astronot: Random Stuff For Random People

    1. @Some Guy: I second you on that. Send Kristina Panos with him, she could entertain him retrotentacularly with tales of glorious past of industrial donuts, weapons …

    1. The earlier you enter, the higher chance you have to win the weekly prize as now there are 200 more projects than it was a few weeks ago. Even if you can only posted a badly taken picture of your drawing on napkin, it is better than waiting to get everything in at the last minute.

      1. Yes. Everything here.

        There are actual stats that probably won’t be published, but here’s the jist of it: The earlier you submit a project, the higher the probability of making it into the 50 semifinalists, p=1.0 x 10^-6. It’s highly significant.

        Also, there are a few people out there that will submit a project after the deadline. I hate those people. Unless they live in Alaska, Hawaii, Samoa, or Kribati, they can’t even use time zones as an excuse.

      1. @The Big One:

        Wow, and here I thought people on this site actually address substance instead of descending to insults. You must be a graduate of the Saul Alinsky School of Radicals.

          1. That’s not what sycophant means. A sycophant is someone who sucks up to their boss, in a really slimy way that annoys the other workers. That’s in general. Doesn’t always have to be your boss, anyone who you might wanna suck up to.

            I think you mean he’s gullible, a rube, or a good old-fashioned idiot.

      1. The store has some neat things, but I wish there were more prizes of smaller amounts. The essentials are cheap, plus I don’t mind spending a little extra to get the whole value of the gift.

        I just bought a bus blaster a moment ago from Seeed for 40$, hence this thought. Actually, shipping would very likely be faster for me through HaD for a few bucks more.

      2. No, honestly. I didn’t know the store carried anymore than shirts and stickers. I would say your advertising for the store and what’s in it gets lost among all the other advertising and stuff in the right hand column that I never look at anymore.

        1. I’ve only been killed once in the thousands of times I’ve used mine. I think that’s pretty good odds. ;-)

          Seriously though you just have to choose the right tool for the job. A cheap Yugo will get you down the block and back, but I wouldn’t take it to the races. I wouldn’t buy a race car either if I never got out of the residential streets.

    1. 50…100 shirts at 150g each = 7,5…15kg or 1…2 washing machine loads. I actually run this type of strategy because it feels right to have one washing machine load of every clothing type: You can handle each sort individually and folding the clothes for storage is much more meditational. I still have to figure out how to dry all of my 500 socks… but there is still some time left until I run out of fresh socks and need to find a solution…

      1. It’s all of them. Everything that’s tagged as a Prize entry should eventually and randomly pop up.

        Last year when we did this… yeah, there were problems with the same projects coming up over and over again. That should be mostly fixed by now.

        If anyone wants to write a script to constantly refresh the page and get a distribution of how often all projects are presented, that would be some major hackaday blog cred. Maybe a tshirt. certainly some stickers.

        1. I think you have a dodgy cache in your web front-end or something because every now and then you’re stuck with two or three different projects regardless if you load the page over and over again. (did this with a script that used wget and same effect there but for obvious reasons I only ran it for perhaps a minute or so…)
          I have turned off local cache but it still happens.
          I wouldn’t complain as much (hehe) if it was one of my projects that was “forcibly” promoted but it’s only fair if all projects get the same exposure. Hopefully in the end all got the same chance. :)

        2. I am having troubles getting through the projects to vote on. The same ones just keep coming up. Today it was the same two-over and over……I only got two votes in so far.

          1. Unless you vote for a project, it might continue to show. If it’s a newer project, the logic behind what project is selected may be pushing it more so we get a similar number of votes for each project. We refined this pretty well last year, and right now it’s doing exactly what we want.

            If you’re having any problems with voting, just ask yourself, “which project is most likely to be widely used”. That’s the question we’re asking, and that’s the question you should answer. Don’t just refresh, because that’s the one way to guarantee the project selection logic will eventually fail.

          2. So you want me to vote for a project that I don’t think answers the question just to make it go away? Not…..I already made my picks-I am just trying to find them and give them the vote they deserve.

          3. @Castvee: It’s a comparative question; Of two projects, which is most likely to be widely used? That’s how the math behind the voting works – one is judged to be more widely used than the other. By default, one of the two projects presented answers the question. It’s up to you to decide which, and your vote will be reflected in the community voting rounds.

            I really don’t understand how anyone can find fault with projects being presented multiple times. We’re asking you to choose between two projects. The response, “I want to pick my own projects to vote on” invalidates our goals for community voting. We’re not letting people vote on whatever projects they want for several reasons (brigading, outside manipulation, and voting that doesn’t answer the question being presented). This is the most fair voting system we can imagine.

            If your goal is to find projects you think deserve to win, you’re undermining the premise we’re using for community voting. We’re trying to find the top projects every week that fit a certain description. This week, it’s ‘most likely to be widely used’. In a few weeks, we’re going to have a ‘most likely to save the planet’ voting round. After that, probably something that we’re tentatively calling ‘dangerously awesome’. If you are just refreshing until you find a project you like, I would question your willingness to vote for the question (i.e., which project is most likely to be widely used), and suggest that you are simply voting for your favorite projects.

            Even if you want to argue against the current voting system, you must accept the premise of what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to find the projects that best answer the question of the week (most likely to be widely used, most likely to save the planet). If we were to give people 50 votes to hand out to random projects, we would inevitably get the same projects in the top ten each week. Why? Because of the steamroller of popularity, someone figuring out how to game the system, and people glomming on to projects that are already popular. We’re trying to be fair, and this is the best way to do it.

          4. Actually-I don’t have any “favorite” projects….I don’t know anyone here. I thought we were asked to actually answer the question honestly-Not just pick between two that are seeded to show up.

          5. @Castvee8 It’s a bracketed voting system. You don’t get to vote directly on the one you want. But, have to choose between the choices given you. Sometimes that vote is between lousy and worse (Kinda like the US political elections).

        3. I am having the same issues. It seems it is the same few projects that keep coming on and on. With 545 projects(currently) I should spend a lot of time before something new comes up. Please fix the randomization, otherwise it is clear that some are favored.

  1. I think it might also be wise to amend your wording in the voting description to reflect what you “want” to do, instead of it just saying “This week’s round of community voting will decide which project entered into the Hackaday Prize will be the most likely to be widely used” as this leads me to think that all projects will be given and opportunity to be weighed. Perhaps maybe saying “you will be presented with two options-select the best one that answers the question” or something to that effect anyway. I sort of see what you are doing now(we just want data, it does not need to be good data).
    It is in fact like the US presidential elections…..Yikes……..

    1. > Perhaps maybe saying “you will be presented with two options-select the best one that answers the question”

      Now that’s a good suggestion! I wouldn’t go so far to say that we ‘just want data’… we want the best data we can get, but it would be insane to think that everyone voting carefully considers each vote they cast… Maybe better prompting is the answer.

      > It is in fact like the US presidential elections…..Yikes……..

      If that were true, the person who coded this voting system would have a project in the running.

  2. Sorry-I am not usually this outspoken……….. about anything. Not trying to make a fuss….But frankly, a comment you made earlier to somebody else has me really fuming.
    “There are actual stats that probably won’t be published, but here’s the jist of it: The earlier you submit a project, the higher the probability of making it into the 50 semifinalists, p=1.0 x 10^-6. It’s highly significant.”

    As an “Impartial” contest administrator……You have failed very seriously.
    I just bet you won’t publish any stats of why someone who enters at any time during the entry period can’t win.

    What that reads to me is “If you did not enter early, you are just frittering your time away, as you can NEVER win” And yet you are still begging people to enter….But not to win? Want them to enter just for the drama?
    Do not even begin to say folks should enter just for the fun of it anyway-First, its a LOT of work. Second, every week you are chunking prizes out there to “win”. And lets not forget the whole” A “trip to space thing”
    That really did not sit well with me… all. And I entered pretty early….

    With the current voting system….Yes, you just want data. No other way to explain it.

    My final thought….Who ever did code this voting thing………….Oh, never mind…..

    I will stop with the comments……..I said my piece.

    1. I think they are just encouraging people to enter early (hackaday is effectively a business with targets they have to meet). I read it more as they are trying to just get people on You only have to start with an idea first and you can flesh it out later.
      If you were selling tickets to a show, would you rather they be bought earlier, or everyone buy them last minute?
      Plus there are heaps of prizes they have been giving away early, so all the more reason to just get your idea on there sooner.

      They have made the point clearly that this competition is more to spark open source innovation. Heck, if my entries don’t make it to the semifinals, I have come so far in the last few months that I will be presenting them at a few conferences and will continue to take it further. My entry last year didn’t make it, but it was fun as well and hasn’t discouraged me joining again. I am thoroughly enjoying developing this as a completely open source project I work on in my own time away from my full-time job and part-time uni, and hopefully one day it might be useful to someone.

    2. That very small p-value (statistic) he gave doesn’t say it’s nearly impossible to win entering late. It says it’s nearly impossible that ‘the later you enter the higher your chances’ isn’t true. Even if your chance of winning only increased 1% for every week that passes before you enter, it would still be better if you enter earlier. So “If you did not enter early, you are just frittering your time away, as you can NEVER win” isn’t quite on the money – what I think he’s trying to say is “if you haven’t entered yet do so soon – any delay is definitely lowering your chances.”

  3. Would love to vote for some projects but this is just ridiculous, i’ve refreshed like 50 times now, and have seen maybe 5 projects. Would show at least 9 per page, and not even start the voting process till theres at the very least 50 entries (or, give less votes to spend)

  4. Most of the projects I have been voting only lately have been opened in the past day or two with like 5 minutes of work behind them and web pics. Seems strange, and I wish there was a pass option as I do look at each project individually and would like to “gift” a vote to someone who has slaved over their idea just a bit. It is hard to choose a project if there is no insight into the follow through you can expect or if it is just a prize grab. Either way I support the voting system as I can’t think of anything better off the top of my head, but can’t shake the feeling of cheating the projects that have actually taken pin to paper and pin to breadboard. The conundrum of late entries reminds me of my elementary school election, kids making impossible promises would win votes of course and while those with more realistic goals were not super exciting. If someone claims they can build a space shuttle I would of course be suspicious, but if someone claims they can build a $30 drone and has only has a few hours to put up their notes it is harder to do a sniff test for those late entries. I guess I should be happy that the late entry votes are at least paired together.

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