The Best Projects That Fit In A Square Inch

A few years ago, we started as a project hosting site for The People Who Actually Make Stuff™, and since then we’ve been amazed by what the community can put together. We have well over 100,000 hackers on board in an awesome community. Sometime around September, a few members of the community decided to follow in the footsteps of the very successful contests we’ve had on This led to the Square Inch Contest, a challenge to put the coolest electronics inside a square inch PCB. An inch the distance light travels in 1/11802852665.12644 of a second for those of you without freedom units.

The winner, Quadcopter In One Inch

With almost eighty entries, the judges had a very difficult task ahead of them. In the end, only one project would be the best. The winner of’s first user-created contest is Quadcopter In One Inch from [jeff]. This wins the grand prize of a $100 credit for the Hackaday Store and a $50 gift certificate to OSHPark.

There are six other prizes, each receiving a $50 credit to the Hackaday Store and $25 for OSHPark:


The judges for the Square Inch Project would like to give an honorable mention to Twiz and the blinktronicator. The judges would also like to express amazement in how much work actually goes into judging a contest on Spending a few weeks working on the judging for a contest with eighty entries imbues a sort of respect for people who can judge a contest with one thousand entries in three days, as the Hackaday crew has done with two Hackaday Prizes so far. While they were doing that, I was sitting back and cracking jokes about Fleiss’ Kappa.

This was the first community-created contest on, but it is surely not the last. We don’t know what the next contest will be – that will be up to someone on – but there will be one, and like the Square Inch Project, it will be awesome.

45 thoughts on “The Best Projects That Fit In A Square Inch

    1. I vote for the Judges that had to Weed through that Mess called I clicked on one of the finalist links and when the page loaded I closed the Tab an asked myself why the f**k I bothered.

  1. Freedom units? Really? There are a grand total of three countries in the world that “officially” use Imperial units only, USA, Myanmar (aka Burma) and Liberia. I’m gonna go out on a limb and declare the majority of that list of countries are not “free” countries.

      1. You beat me to it. The contest was started by group based out of the U.S., so they can choose Imperial units if they so choose…besides, in the U.S., engineers/hobbyists/etc. have to learn to use metric in addition to Imperial, so it’s sort of a “bilingual” argument… ;)

        1. If you are designing electronics, you pretty sure have to have some sense of the imperial system, even if you are outside of US anyway. Not that a big deal, more just a nuisance.

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but it was a joke making fun of American Exceptionalism. Its pretty common in the US to give things ridiculous freedom names, mocking the scarily high number of Americans that actually think that way.

      1. Now here’s someone with an American Grade™ sense of humor! No other country in the world has a population with such keen insight into literary devices such as irony! America is so great! Third greatest country in the world right after God’s and Marlboro.

        1. Surely McDonalds instead of Marlboro? :)
          I was once told that if you’re in a foreign county and not sure of the exchange rate just go and have a look at the price of a big mac.

    1. I would also like to congrat the winner of the contest as well as to thank for the contest itself. I had a lot of fun participating and I long for the other contests to come!

  2. The “freedom units” troll is really getting old. But the contests are great fun — surprising how little you need to make people realize the ideas they had been carrying in the backs of their heads. I still haven’t gone through the whole list yet.

    I wonder if it would make sense to actually build an “organize a contest” button into You know, so that you would have a consistent layout for the descriptions, list of entrants, maybe even public voting. And so you could enter your projects with a simple dropdown list, like you can for the hackaday prize. Most work would still have to be manual, but at least some of it could be automated.

      1. Yup, we are rather confused, stones, lbs or kg for weighing people, miles for distance(long) metres/cm/mm for distance(short), sometimes inches too, if I’m woodworking I go with whichever one is closest, officially grams for item weight, but you can still ask for food in lbs, and both gallons and litres, depends on what you are liquidating..

        1. It’s funny, because you dispense fuel in litres at the petrol station, and quote miles per gallon for fuel efficiency (at least, in Top Gear they do) which makes no sense to anybody given that a UK gallon isn’t even the same as a US gallon.

  3. Will this becom anual or at least bi-anual thing? Because the entries are awsome and now I feel bad, that I didn’t enter my own project. I think it is awsome to have so limited requiremets with unlimited posiblities and ideas. And it costs HAD less than a $1k. Maybe add a plaque for top 10 entries 1″x1″ in size.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.