These Twenty Projects Won $1000 In The Hackaday Prize

For the last several months, we’ve been hosting the greatest hardware competition on Earth. This is the Hackaday Prize, and we’ve just wrapped up the last of our five hardware challenges. For the Anything Goes challenge in this year’s Hackaday Prize, we’re asking hardware hackers to build the best, the coolest thing. No, it doesn’t matter what it is. We’re looking for technical skill and awesome applications. There are no limits here.

We just wrapped up the Anything Goes challenge last week, and now it’s time to announce the winners. These are the best, the coolest projects the Hackaday Prize has to offer.

The winners of the Anything Goes challenge are, in no particular order:

Anything Goes Hackaday Prize Finalists:

These Projects Are Fantastic

Now that we’re done with the five rounds of the Hackaday Prize, it’s time for the big show. These hundred finalists will now move on to the last round where they’ll be assessed by our amazing panel of judges. From there, five finalists will be selected, with the fifth place winning $5,000, the fourth $10,000, the third $15,000, the second $20,000, and the grand prize winning $50,000. These winners, along with the winner of the Best Product competition, will be announced at the Hackaday Superconference on November 11th.

The Hackaday Superconference is the hardware conference you’ve been waiting for, and a few tickets are still available. Visual futurist Syd Mead is keynoting, a host of other speakers will be talking about everything from attempting landings on Europa to blowing vacuum tubes. Who will stop [Sprite] from walking away with the badge hacking competition again? It’s going to be a blowout, and you’re invited. Don’t miss out.

40 thoughts on “These Twenty Projects Won $1000 In The Hackaday Prize

    1. The low like ones are at least doing real science. My beef is the single application BBB tablet that can do just the same as an app on my phone, in fact you could do it with an app on a PDA, an app on a Palm, even back to a 20 year old HP 320LX can you do this exact thing, and that’s not even the earliest.

      1. Doing complicated things just cause you can, I can live with.
        Science? Measuring the water level of a cpap machine, with a large mdf box that can’t get wet, by weighing the machine so you can’t move the hose normally connected to a sleeping human. No. One stainless wires, a buzzer, and a single transistor could replace this and would do a better job.

        1. If I can defend myself on that one… I wanted a less invasive solution where I didn’t want to modify expensive equipment or mess with the highly pressure sensitive nature of the machine. If I stick a wire in there and decide my “device” is no good, well I’ve got a bigger problem now. If I mess up on part of it I have a bigger problem. Not to mention the expensive part of this machine is on loan to me by the healthcare system. If they find out there is a constant small air leak (they audit the machine and usage once in a while), they might not be happy to find that I’ve modified a part of it in any way. I’d rather not lose it to save a few bucks.

          Whether or not it’s good enough to move on I’m fine with anyone debating though.

          1. I didn’t want to single anyone out and I did it anyway. I apologize for that.
            You had a design requirement and you solved your problem within those constraints. Good job.

            But.. I know there are other projects not represented here where teams of people have put in hundreds of hours of development on good ideas.

            I suppose with this shot in the arm, your project may get there also.
            Maybe that was the point and I missed it, but I don’t think so.

    2. I pretty well concluded at the end of the /first/ Hackaday Prize that anything with real, honest, genuine world-changing potential would be discarded by the judges in these contests, as a matter of course — and only the most irrelevant, doomed-to-be-a-big-nothing project with otherwise seemingly grand aim would be chosen as the supposed king of the hill…

      I’d be lying, though, if I said that I wasn’t at least a little sore because a supposedly-super-affordable 80s homebrew microcomputer build beat out my project… don’t kid yourselves, folks, you’ll never build that thing for $4 — but, then again, applying the previous paragraph, no wonder I lost out — my project had some actual potential for doing Good Things.


      1. Isn’t doing Good Things a prize of itself?

        Don’t kid yourself, any single project here won’t change the world. But getting people to think about it, and giving them a little push to try is a worthwhile endeavor, I think. Because that’s how the world will actually change.

        1. Then why do the judges keep rewarding GNDNs (Goes Nowhere, Does Nothing) and kicking out the good stuff? IIRC this is the third one of these HaD Prize contests, and they’ve done exactly as I describe, three years in a row…

          1. Perhaps they have different criteria about what makes a good project than you. You know, it’s very hard to take a step back and think about this neutrally, if it’s about your awesome project that you worked on so hard and so on. If you don’t like how the projects are judged, why do you take part in the contest in the first place? You said you knew from the start, then why waste your effort?
            By the way, which projects would *you* nominate?

          2. @deshipu — Three projects I would like to see WIN the Prize — all of which are good projects doing amazing things — are as follows… there is no particular meaning to the order here.

            (1) HeartyPatch —
            (2) Cell Phone […] Femtocell —
            (3) MeshPoint —

            If I had to pick ONE of those it would be MeshPoint. Not because of how it would benefit me (it wouldn’t — and, although the cell phone one would, that’s not why I wouldn’t advance it to first prize) — but because it’s genuinely useful equipment for disaster and exceedingly remote areas, where such things really are desperately needed. HeartyPatch would be a very close second, on the merits of what that kind of healthcare at that cost can do for people, and the Cell Phone Femtocell would be third, because it has a lot of merit, although (last I heard) it still needs manual setup/tweaking on the level of “buy an SDR” to work properly.

            What I would LOVE to see (and which would displace even MeshPoint for my vote for first place, if it existed) would be essentially a “class in a box” for American 10th-12th grades (and the world equivalents thereof) — maybe AP / freshman college at the absolute dang highest — that taught a basic overview of computing and electronics, including some soldering, copious amounts of computer history, and hands-on work with some sort of simple/primitive computer — maybe a four-bit board that has switches and blinkies for I/O, simple enough that the kids can assemble it as part of the course — that the kids could keep at the end of the school year. Calling a class that teaches only “this is a mouse, this is a keyboard, the monitor is the big glowy thing, and here’s Word and how to sort of use it, and oh by the way don’t click on banner ads” a “Computer Fundamentals” course makes me want to throw a dunce cap at every person in the room, flip over the teacher’s desk, and walk out with as much of a disgusted scowl as I can manage. This is a HUGE issue to me. and it’s only getting worse as time goes on. People these days should not be technologically retarded, and the educational systems of today offer few opportunities for anything else AFAICT. Even the Micro:Bit (a valiant, if somewhat lacking, effort) is barely the remotest ghost of a shadow of what the real BBC Micro was.

    3. I will quote the mail we had :

      “The 20 finalists of Round 5 will be required to submit a video and have at least 10 project logs or build instructions on the project page. The deadline for the Hackaday Prize finalists to complete this is Saturday, October 21st 7am PDT. If you think you have a good chance of becoming a finalist, you should complete your documentation and video as soon as possible. Don’t wait to get confirmation you are a finalist to begin working on this, as you’ll only have a day or two to complete it.”

      >Orthosense : 5 logs, no instruction, no video
      >DIY VT100 : video 1″50
      >Optical Power Meter : 5 logs, no instruction, no video
      >8-Bit Color Computer From TTL : video 46 seconds!
      > Keymu : 4 logs, 2 instruction, 7min video
      > CPAP Water Reservoir Monitor : no video
      > Radiotelescope Interferometer : no video
      > The Safety Glasses With BT Display is good… but used the same video as last year hackaday prize!

      1. Forgot to mention the precedent mail about the video lenght :
        “TLDR: The Finalists deadline is Saturday, October 21st at 7AM PDT. If you’re in it to win it, you should prepare for finalist documentation as early as possible. Finalists must have at least 10 build instructions or project logs. Finalists must create a 2-5 minute video about your project, upload it to Youtube, Vimeo, or Youku and tag it “2017HackadayPrize” and add the link to your project page under the “Contest Entry Videos” section. “

  1. In my opinion all of these projects deserve a win. These makers put time and effort in them. And with 20 winners out of 300 entry’s there will be some soar grapes. Great projects as starhawk pointed out, HeartyPatch are well done but also are already finished polished projects with a company behind them.
    You got to give them credit but for me the guy working in a basement or garage deserves a pat on the back and the Hackaday Prize helps to do that.

    1. You also have to realize some hackers with ‘companies’ *are* still in their basement/garage and have a large, negative income associated with their hacking. A large negative income *for a company* is a tax write-off for said companies owner, which helps to further the hacking for a while. Permanently negative incomes don’t fare well for audits though.

      So don’t automatically assume something branded as a company is different here. Perhaps they just know how the system works and want to do more with less while they can. If a product happens in the mean time, great.

  2. There are some very nice projects in this list. I am just a bit sad that 7 of them don’t even have the minimum requirement to enter the final (10 instructions/logs and a 2 to 5min video). This mean, those people didn’t even read the instructions and the mails we had! Now it’s too late to modify them…

    I worked very hard on my “Magic Frame, turn anything into a touch area”. I hacked some scanners, done some algorithmie, 3D printed 80 hours… on a subject never done before in DIY! I spend 2 weeks only for the video! 16k views, 100 followers and 70 likes in 4 weeks!

    The sad part, the project was featured on hackaday, and visible on the main page of the website for 3.5 weeks…. but it’s not on this list. Why?
    I’ve probably done something wrong somewhere, if anybody has an idea of what this is, it could be nice to don’t do this mistake again later :s

    I perfectly understand that many projects deserve to be here, the underwater glider is amazing! The Heartypatch is very usefull… But i am feeling sad right now looking at people who don’t read the instructions!

      1. Possibly because it’s very similar to how touch screens were actually done prior to the 1990s so it’s kinda reinventing the wheel. Ciarcia’s Circuit Cellar published a homebrew one you could add to your home computer in late 70s or early 80s.

        1. Thanks for the comment!
          But this method is still usefull today and it didn’t exist in DIY… It exist in commercial products, many industrial company use it for large screens. YOu can also add the fact that it’s recycling CIS sensors, which is nice…
          I don’t like to be critical, but a “new take on the bicycle” isn’t reinventing the wheel as well? in less practical….

      2. Oh, wow, something that deserves a response.

        Right, so *yes*, you met all the requirements, however you only entered one competition in the prize. We had five. Wheels, wings and walkers, Internet of Useful things, Design your concept, assistive technologies, and (the one you entered) Anything Goes. There’s also Best Product, but that’s neither here nor there and has slightly different entry requirements. Either way, you didn’t enter your project into the Best Product competition.

        Anything goes is the ‘catch-all’ for the Hackaday Prize. There are cool projects that don’t fit into the other categories, and they deserve to win, too. We put the Anything Goes challenge last so any project that doesn’t win in previous rounds has another chance. A consequence of this is that the Anything Goes portion is the most competitive challenge in the hackaday prize, simply from the number of entries.

        Simply put, there were more projects in the one challenge you decided to enter your project in. You might have had a chance if you entered in other challenges in the Hackaday Prize. I’m sure you could come up with some sort of justification for entering this project in the Assistive Tech challenge, or the Internet of Useful Things challenge. You didn’t do that, and decided to put all your chips into the Anything Goes challenge, which again is the most competitive portion of the Hackaday Prize.

        I’m going to go off on a tangent here and say the Hackaday Prize is a game. That is to say, the people who know the rules and try to exploit them (by entering a project into multiple challenges, which is allowed, btw) are more likely to win. This is fair, it’s allowed by the rules, but you did not choose to play the game well. This is not our fault. It’s yours. You didn’t read and understand the rules. I find this somewhat ironic due to your incessant rule lawyering in other comments in this thread.

        Concerning other projects that you say are ineligible, you don’t know what projects we’re passing on to the finals judges. You don’t know what projects we disqualified on the basis of not having met the requirements for being judged in the finals.

        Here’s what I’m seeing from your comments: Someone who doesn’t read the rules, complains when he’s not a winner because he didn’t read the rules, and is now complaining that some projects didn’t meet the requirements for being in the finals, even though you don’t know if they’re actually in the finals. This is bellyaching of the highest order.

        And yeah, your project is cool, but I had a touch screen CRT monitor that did it in the 90s.

        1. I played the game and entered into every round I could but it still didn’t help me. I guess my projects aren’t cool enough. *lol*

          My biggest complaint: entries which won in several rounds. I’m sure they must be great, but seriously? Spread the love! It’s very discouraging for other creators to see the same entries pop up round after round.

          My second biggest complaint, which doesn’t concern me personally since I didn’t get into the finals, but which I find unfair for other people who did is this: the whole “needs 10 project logs” thing is completely arbitrary. Some people who did great work will miss out. There are people who share a TON in just a few logs. Others may say nothing of value in 20 logs. The number of logs is completely meaningless when it comes to the value of what’s shared.

          My biggest regret: not getting into the “Best product” final. I’m actually developing products and the money would have been very helpful. XD

          1. Your projects are so cool!
            You really are an electronic board designer!
            I am sorry they didn’t made it, seing the number of like/followers they deserved to be in the best product challenge! (and IOT as well, what would we do without battery)
            I agree and desagree with you on the log, you could make an entire complex project with 1 log. But as a contest rule, I think it’s important to show that you follow the instructions…

          2. Maybe… but it seems to me the contest should be designed to reward people who contribute the best content to the site. Isn’t that the whole point of A person who contributes great content and hasn’t read the rules should do well in the contest. If not, the contest is not designed right IMHO and the “rules” are arbitrary.

      3. Perardel, this is actually quite a cool project. It doesn’t matter if you “re-inventing” the wheel, as long as you do it better in some way.

        With a bit of polish and modularity, I can see this having some really cool applications. Say make it expandable with smaller modules in a kit that you can use it on any sized device.

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