Hackaday’s Irish Excursion is on 7 April

Try something a bit out of the ordinary with us on 7 April. Spend a Saturday with Hackaday in Dublin without really knowing what to expect. This is the Unconference format, and we’ve fallen in love with the spontaneity and consistently fascinating talks that come out of it.

We’ve booked a fantastic hall in the Temple Bar district of Dublin, lined up snacks throughout the day and dinner for all who attend, plus there’s an after bar and we’ll buy the first round. All of this is yours if you grab one of the rapidly disappearing free tickets.

What we ask of you is to come prepared to give a 7 minute talk on something you’re really excited about right now. This is low-pressure; the point of an Unconference is to learn about what people are working on right now (not to see a 40 minute talk that was polished over several months). There will not be enough time for absolutely everyone to speak but we’ll get through as many as we can and make sure there’s an interesting mash-up of topics throughout the day.

To break the ice, we have a few “ringers” who we’ve asked to lead off each talk session. Beth ‘pidge’ Flanagan is an embedded and Linux expert who is well-known for her work on OpenEmbedded and Yocto and will talk about “how the sausage is made” specifically surrounding some advance metering infrastructure. Rachel “Konichiwakitty” will be speaking. Rachel was at our London Unconference back in September and we’re excited to hear about the stem cell research she’s been doing as part of her Ph.D. work. James Twomey will be on hand to go into some of the craft of stage magic, and also talk about what we can learn from the battery-free magic of crystal set radios like the “foxhole” radios built during WWII.

DesignSpark LogoThere are already enough people to pack the place and we only have about 20 tickets left, so hurry up and grab yours.

This event is made possible, free of charge to the attendees, with generous support from DesignSpark, the innovation arm of RS Components. DesignSpark is the exclusive sponsor of the Hackaday Dublin Unconference.

Water Level Sensors, Alexa in a Fish, and Modular Synths During World Create Day

On Saturday we saw a flood of interesting hacks come to life as more than 100 community organized meetups were held for World Create Day. Thank you to all of the organizers who made these events possible, and for everyone who decided to get together and hack.

Students Learning Hardware Design in Islamabad, Pakistan

The students at LearnOBots took on a slew of great projects during World Create Day like a smart medicine dispenser, electronics that control mains appliances, parking sensors, and a waste bin that encourages you to feed it. The group did a wonderful job of showing off their event by publishing several updates with pictures, stories, and video presentations from all the students. Nice work!

Continue reading “Water Level Sensors, Alexa in a Fish, and Modular Synths During World Create Day”

A Taste of Who’s Speaking at Hackaday Belgrade

We’re busy confirming speakers at the Hackaday Belgrade conference, taking place in Belgrade Serbia on 26 May. Now’s the time to grab a ticket and be part of something special. Here’s a teaser.

Asier Marzo // Build Principles of an Acoustic Levitator
Applications of acoustic levitation in mid-air chemistry, spectroscopy, and tissue engineering.

Vanessa Julia Carpenter // Designing for Meaningfulness in Smart Products
Creating new smart products which focus on value over function, self development, critical reflection, and behaviour change to enable meaningful experiences.

Marcel van Kervinck // Building a TTL Microcomputer without a Microprocessor
Building a small 8-bit homebrew computer out of a few dozen 1970s TTL chips, an oscillator, some RAM, and an EPROM.

Hackaday Belgrade is the hardware community you love gathered together for one exquisite weekend. Get to town Friday for a meetup at the pub, then spend a marathon Saturday enjoying the best talks, badge hacking, workshop, and live music. What we’ve just listed are of course all just the events… the real value of Hackaday Belgrade is the culture and the people that make up this community. Don’t miss it!

More Excitement to Come

Join the Hackaday Belgrade project page to get in on the live chat where we drop early info as it comes along. Also keep your eye on Hackaday, we’ll announce more speakers as we receive final confirmation. Right now we’re reviewing workshop proposals and expect to send out acceptances later this week.

Of course there’s a lot more to get really excited about. For instance, Voja Antonic and Jaromi Sukuba are hard at work on the hardware badge for the conference. It’s alive, and that’s an awful lot of switches!

Brush up on your BASIC language skills and dig that PICkit out of your tool bag. We can’t wait to see the hacks that come together with this one. If you have suggestions for features we should roll into the stock firmware, leave a comment on the badge project page!

We’re Hiring: Come Join Us!

The Hackaday writing crew goes to great lengths to cover all that is interesting to engineers and engineering enthusiasts. We find ourselves stretched a bit thin and it’s time to ask for help. Want to lend a hand while making some extra dough to plow back into your projects? These are work-from-home (or wherever you like) positions and we’re looking for awesome, motivated people to help guide Hackaday forward!

Contributors are hired as private contractors and paid for each article. You should have the technical expertise to understand the projects you write about, and a passion for the wide range of topics we feature. If you’re interested, please email our jobs line, and include:

  • Details about your background (education, employment, etc.) that make you a valuable addition to the team
  • Links to your blog/project posts/etc. which have been published on the Internet
  • One example post written in the voice of Hackaday. Include a banner image, at least 150 words, the link to the project, and any in-links to related and relevant Hackaday features

What are you waiting for? Ladies and Gentlemen, start your applications!

Get Together and Hack this Saturday at World Create Day!

Spend some time with the Hackaday Community in your area this weekend. There are more than 100 community organized meetups happening this Saturday for Hackaday World Create Day. Check the big map for one near you and click the “Join this event” button in the upper right of their events page to let them know you’re coming.

Sticker packs we’ve been sending out to local event organizers.

It’s always a blast to get together with friends new and old to work on a project you’ve been itching to build. Grab something from your work bench and have fun geeking out about it in the company of others. This is a great opportunity to get started on your 2018 Hackaday Prize entry. Brainstorm ideas for a project, get advice on your early build plans, and consider forming a team. Submit what you come up with this Saturday as your entry and improve upon it over the coming weeks.

Can you still sign up to host World Create Day? Of course! Fill out this form and we’ll get you set up right away.

If you simply can’t make it to a live event, you can still take part. Set aside time to hack and show off the stuff you’re working on through social media. We have a Tweetwall set up (great to put up on the projector during group meetups) which shares Tweets with the hashtag #WorldCreateDay.

Don’t Forget to Tell the Story of Your World Create Day

We’re on the lookout for cool stories and interesting hacks from your meetup so that we can feature them here on Hackaday. Last year we featured a number of meetups, like automated gardening in Cyprus and etching Robot PCBs in Osaka. There was also a roundup with baby guitar amps, power racing series, and Wacky Waving costume assembly. It’s truly a worldwide thing, here’s a roundup that spanned India, Austrailia, and the USA.

Take pictures, write about what goes one, and tag everything #WorldCreateDay so we have the info to report on your meetup!

Stephen Hawking’s Legacy Includes Making His Work Widely Approachable

We are saddened by the passing of physicist Stephen Hawking. One of the great minds of our time, Hawking’s work to apply quantum theory to black holes launched his career and led to his best known theoretical discovery that black holes emit radiation, aptly known as Hawking radiation.

Thinking back on Stephen Hawking’s contributions to humanity, it strikes us that one of his most important is his embrace of pop culture. While his scientific discoveries and writings are what will stand the test of time, in our own age it is remarkable that Stephen Hawking is a household name around the world.

Hawking’s first book, A Brief History of Time, has sold more than 10 million copies and for many readers was their introduction into the way physicists view space and time. It was written for general consumption and not reserved for those who were already bathed in the jargon of theoretical physics. It sent the message that contemplating science is something that is fun to do in your spare time. This work continued with his more recent mini-series Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking created for the Discovery Channel.

A fan of the series, Hawking appeared in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993 and made subsequent, often repeat, appearances on The SimpsonsFuturama, and The Big Bang Theory. This was great fun for all science geeks who knew of his work, but it has a far more profound effect of normalizing interaction with a world-class scientist. Appearing on these shows told the story that the pursuit of knowledge is cool.

Having scientists in the public light is crucial to research and advancement. It lets the general public know what kind of frontiers are being pursued, and why that matters. This trickles both up and down, inspiring the next generation of scientists by introducing deep topics at an early age, and ensuring funding and opportunities for this upcoming wave of researchers has widespread support.

Stephen Hawking showed us some incredibly complicated secrets of the cosmos both through his discovery, and through his ambassadorship of scientific knowledge. He will be greatly missed but leaves behind an admirable legacy which we can all strive to live up to.

[Main image by Martin Pope via The Telegraph]

2018 Hackaday Prize: Build Hope. Design the Future.

Today the 2018 Hackaday Prize begins with a roar. This is our global engineering initiative with huge prizes for those hackers, designers, and engineers who want to use their skill and energy to build something that matters. This year, we challenge you to Build Hope. Show the world the amazing ways technology enriches humanity, and that its benefits can be shared by all.

There is over $200,000 in cash prizes headed to the most interesting hardware builds of the year. With plenty of room for great ideas, the top 100 entries will each receive a $1,000 cash prize and continue the build to final judging. The top five entries will be awarded a $50,000 Grand Prize, and $20,000, $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for 2nd through 5th places. We even have some additional seed funding set aside to help early entries to get started.

What is Building Hope?

It feels like there is a steady drumbeat of doom and gloom surrounding technology these days. We hear this foretold in many ways, things like robots rising up to enslave humanity, artificial intelligence and big data being used to manipulate people, and quantum computing on the horizon that will invalidate cryptographic security. Our challenge? Get in there and show the incredible good that technology can do in the world.

Design something that shows the benefits of using knowledge and creativity to solve a problem. Be the shining light that proves our future is full of hope because smart people care about what happens in the world and to the people who live here. It is our responsibility as those who understand powerful technologies to show the best ways they can be used to build up humanity. This is your chance.

Build Hope. Design the Future.

Five Challenges to Choose From

We have five challenge categories to choose from in the 2018 Hackaday Prize. The top twenty entries from each category will receive $1,000 and continue work in order to compete for the top prizes.

2018 Hackaday Prize Challenges

Open Hardware Design Challenge:

This is the challenge you should enter right now. Choose a challenge facing the world today and design the best plan possible for the boldest solution you can envision.

Over the years we’ve seen thousands of Hackaday Prize entries that take on farming, transportation, pollution, safety, scientific research, education, and assistive technologies like custom prosthetics, innovative wheelchairs, and braille interfaces for smartphones. There’s plenty in the world that needs solving and you have the talent to do it!

Robotics Module Challenge:

Build a module that makes it easier to put together advanced robots. Show your designs for the parts that others can build on.

Power Harvesting Challenge:

Build a module that harvests ambient power. Show how we can reduce or remove batteries from more devices.

Human Computer Interface Challenge:

Build an innovative interface for humans to talk to machines or machines to talk to humans. Break down more barriers to make devices more intuitive and natural to use.

Musical Instrument Challenge:

Be creative with this round and build a module, interface, or full instrument that evolves or goes far beyond modern music instrumentation.

Seed Funding For Early Entries

Itching to build something? Get a boost on your material budget by securing a bit of seed funding. Enter your design in the first challenge and pack it with as much information as possible. Each “like” that you get from the Hackaday.io community translates to $1 in seed funding. We have $4000 set aside with a max of $200 per entry. You can follow progress by checking the leaderboard on the Hackaday Prize page.

2018 Hackaday Prize Celebrity Judges

Incredible Judges

The Hackaday Prize has something really special in the judges that volunteer their time and talent to review the 100 finalists. They are accomplished engineers working, researching, and forging ahead to new frontiers in technology. Learn more about the judges on the Hackaday Prize page.

Get Started at World Create Day

This coming Saturday is Hackaday World Create Day, and the perfect time to get started with your Hackaday Prize entry. Stop by a meetup in your area (or host your own) and put your heads together and pick the design challenge you want to work on. We love seeing collaborative entries and this is a great chance to build your engineering dream team.

Five Years of Amazing Engineering

Thousands of entries have been submitted to the Hackaday Prize over the years. Founded in 2014 by Supplyframe CEO Steve Flagg, the Hackaday Prize is now in its fifth year. The challenges change each year, but the goal remains the same: to Build Something That Matters. We are consistently amazed both by the quality of the solutions, and the uncovering of new and interesting problems targeted by the entries.

Studying earth’s oceans is increasingly important be it due to climate change or pollution. Alex Williams was awarded the 2017 Hackaday Prize for his Open Source Underwater Glider, a suite of sensors built into a cleverly low-power underwater autonomous vehicle. In 2016, Alberto Molina took the top spot for DTTO, a modular robotics system made up of multiple single-hinge segments that can reorient themselves. A team working toward an eye-controlled electric wheelchair placed first in 2015 for Eyedriveomatic — a solution that improved life for two of the team members with Motor Neuron Disease, (also called ALS). And the recipients of the first Hackaday Prize were recognized for their team’s development of a network of satellite ground stations (SatNOGS) which anyone can build, add to the network, and share time on to communicate with satellites as they make their orbit. This is an important tool to make low-cost research for things like Cubesats possible, and the network has been growing ever since.

If you feel the need for more inspiration, take a few minutes to look over the Hackaday Prize hall of fame of all of the top finishers through the years.

These are impressive ideas that began with the basic question of how can we do better? A simple idea can change the world but only if you share that idea and work to make it grow. Enter yours in the Hackaday Prize now!