Today we are proud to launch the 2016 Hackaday Prize. Build Something That Matters and you’ll contribute positively to humanity’s future by expand the frontiers of knowledge and engineering. You’ll also score recognition of your skills, and position yourself to land one of 105 cash prizes totaling over $300,000. Choose a technology issue facing humanity today and build a project that fixes, improves, or bypasses the problem.
You have the talent, the energy, and the capacity to change the world. Make the time and make a difference.
The Hackaday Prize is a competition synonymous with creating for social change. Using your hardware, coding, scientific, design and mechanical abilities, you will make big changes in people’s lives. Every idea has impact, and a massive force of ideas creates real change. This year we have more power than ever before to recognize the engineering projects that are solving problems: One hundred finalists will get $1,000 each for their efforts. This flat prize structure encourages collaboration rather than direct competition. Team up on each others’ projects and improve your overall chances of making it into the finals.
But it doesn’t stop there. From one hundred finalists, five will rise to be named top winners. Our expert judges will carefully review each of 100 world-changing final entries, choosing a grand prize winner to receive $150,000. Second place will be awarded $25,000, with $10k, $10k, and $5k going to third, fourth, and fifth.
New This Year:
This is the third time the Hackaday Prize has changed the world. The first year, we looked for anything that was considered a connected device. Last year we challenged you to create for social change. This year we have a perfect synthesis of constraints and freedom.
There are five challenge rounds that will run in series, each about five weeks. Enter one or more, it’s up to you!
Post your project on Hackaday.io and use the “Submit Project To…” part of your page to enter in the 2016 Hackaday Prize.
Challenge 1 // March 14 – April 25
We want to see your ideas in words and pictures. The Design Concept is the idea, it’s how you think about your project, it’s how you go about planning to solve the question you want to solve. It’s how you use your logic and creativity to move your design forward.
Show that you fully understand the problem, and have a clear plan that will lead to a successful build. The more information you have, the better. Consider mechanical, electrical, and design. What parts and materials will go into this and why were those choices made? How will it function electronically and have you made good decisions about how it is powered, and how it functions. What is your plan to make manufacturing feasible and to make it user friendly?
Challenge 2 // April 25 – May 30
You are a nonconformist, a misfit. You’re an independent thinker, a troublemaker, and have no respect for the status quo. Build whatever you want.
This challenge is for people who refuse to be constrained. Where traditional solutions have failed, you will succeed. Your creation, can be clever, astounding, excruciatingly simple; it can be anything.
Show that it is successful in solving the technology problem you are highlighting. Demonstrate that it can be reproduced and that it will be easy to use.
Challenge 3 // May 30 – July 11
This challenge is about expanding the frontiers of knowledge. Create something new, study something undiscovered, or replicate and verify scientific studies. Need an example? Build a graphene supercapacitor, study the effects of a behavior, build an open source instrumentation device.
The tools at your disposal are unparalleled in human history. The walls of the research laboratory have begun to be replaced by those in your own basement workshop. But our tool set is not complete.
Provide research technology to the masses by building the tools we need, or demonstrating how discovery can take place with your own small team of dedicated Citizen Scientists.
Challenge 4 // July 11 – August 22
Automate your life. Program a robot to obey your every command. Build a device that makes breakfast or buys laundry detergent when you’re running low. Automatically track stuff, automate any process, build a Me-robot to do your every whim.
What tasks are we still doing that should be done by a machine? Invent that machine! Technology doesn’t work unless it works for us, and there’s no better way for humanity to recognize that power than to see things happening without human intervention. Your creation will help raise awareness that automation is not to be feared, but something to strive for and to value.
Challenge 5 // August 22 – October 3
Build a project that helps others move better, see better, or live better. Whether that means exoskeletons, a better wheelchair, a braille display, or educational software, we want to see it.
There is no more noble pursuit than to improve the lives of others. Assitive technology is transformational for those who have access to it. Break down the barriers; make it easier for those who need a bit of assistance to get it and thereby achieve a better life.
Consider the opportunities we have through all different countries and cultures around the world. This challenge has myriad opportunities for entries, and just as many chances at making a life-changing difference.
Collaboration Unlocks Greatness
The Hackaday Prize video you watched above is a beacon of what can be accomplished as a team. All of it was put together by Supplyframe employees — from the script, to filming, acting, editing, and even music composition. A little planning, one day of shooting next to Salton Sea, and then a lot of follow-through produced amazing results. This is a path to follow with your Hackaday Prize entry.
Use the Challenge Rounds to build your dream team of mechanical, electrical, and design skills. The Hackaday community is collaboratively building amazing hardware every day. Jump in, talk about the vision you have for your project and the skills your team needs to get it there. This is the best way to connect with, and work alongside the collaborators you need to supercharge your entry. The grand prize winners from the last two years have been teams; working with others brings out the best in us.
Meet Our Judges
Judging the final round is a big job. We’re lucky to have the time and talents of so many amazing people. Judges for the 2016 Hackaday Prize include: Akiba, James Bruton, Peter Dokter, Lenore Edman, Christal Gordan, Ben Krasnow, Nadya Peek, Luz Rivas, Dustyn Roberts, Katherine Scott, Micah Scott, AnnMarie Thomas, and Anouk Wipprecht.
One More Thing
When realized to their full potential, design concepts should knock the socks off of anyone who reads through them. Because of this we have one more thing in store for you during Challenge Round 1: seed funding to get your build under way.
At least twenty entries with the most likes at the end of the first round will split $4,000. Each time someone on Hackaday.io “likes” your project it will move a bit higher on the leaderboard found on the Hackaday Prize page. The top projects will receive $1 for each like, with a max of $200 per entry so that at least 20 will win.
This seed funding is a little push to help offset the cost of building prototypes. But it really comes down to your decision to make the time and to make a difference. Enter your project in the Hackaday Prize now.