It Happened at Supercon: Six Days of Fun in a Three Day Con

A weekend for people who love hardware, by people who love hardware. It’s a simple recipe and it makes a delicious event that we call the Hackaday Superconference. If you made it to Pasadena last weekend, I’m sure going back to work on Monday was difficult after three days of far too little sleep and way too much fun. (It was for me.) If you didn’t make it to the con, set a reminder for July 1st to start watching for next year’s early bird tickets. Don’t believe me? Okay, let’s step through the hype of a weekend we’ll all remember.

Check out the recap video above and then join me after the break for a photo-heavy expose of the weekend’s highlights.

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Maker Faire NY: Where Robots Come Out to Play

There was an unbelievable amount of stuff on display at the 2018 World Maker Faire in New York. Seriously, an unreal amount of fantastically cool creations from all corners of the hacker and maker world: from purely artistic creations to the sort of cutting edge hardware that won’t even be on the rest of the world’s radar for a year or so, and everything in between. If you’ve got a creative bone in your body, this is the place for you.

But if there was one type of creation that stood out amongst all others, a general “theme” of Maker Faire if you will, it was robotics. Little robots, big robots, flying robots, battling robots, even musical robots. Robots to delight children of all ages, and robots to stalk the darkest corners of their nightmares. There were robots for all occasions. Probably not overly surprising for an event that has a big red robot as its mascot, but still.

There were far too many robots to cover them all, but the following is a collection of a few of the more interesting robotic creations we saw on display at the event. If you’re the creator of one of the robots we didn’t get a chance to get up close and personal with in our whirlwind tour through the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, we only ask that you please don’t send it here to exact your revenge. We’re very sorry. (Just kidding, if you have a robot to show off drop a link in the comments!)

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All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 4)

From a cockroach filled with LEDs, to an impressively dense 576 RGB LED display, and even a hunk of carpet, our final installment of the unofficial hardware badges at DEF CON 26 are beyond impressive. I tried to see every badge and speak to every badge maker this year. So far we’ve covered a ton of badges in volume 1, volume 2, and volume 3 of this series, and now it’s time to finish up!

If I didn’t get a chance to cover your badge in these articles, we still want to hear about it. What everyone wants is to dig into the details of these gorgeous examples of unique hardware. So post a project page for you badge on Hackaday.io, and make sure you get on the Conference Badges list that has been growing by leaps and bounds.

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All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 3)

I tried my best to see every badge and speak with every badge maker at DEF CON 26. One thing’s for sure, seeing them all was absolutely impossible this year, but I came close. Check out the great badges shown off in volume 1 and in volume 2 of this series. The game is afoot, and if you are headed to a hacker conference there’s never been a better time to build your own hardware badge — whether you build 5 or 500!

All right, let’s look at the badges!

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All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 2)

There were so many amazing unofficial badges at DEF CON this year that I can’t possibly cover them all in one shot. I tried to see every badge and speak with every badge maker — like a hardware safari. Join me after the jump for about fourteen more badges that I saw at DEF CON 26!

If you missed the first batch, check those badges out too — there’s even a Badgelife Documentary that you need to add to your watch list. Okay, let’s dig in.

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All the Badges of DEF CON 26 (vol 1)

Two or three years back you would see a handful of really interesting unofficial badges at DEF CON. Now, there’s a deluge of clever, beautiful, and well executed badges. Last weekend I tried to see every badge and meet every badge maker. Normally, I would publish one megapost to show off everything I had seen, but this year I’m splitting it into volumes. Join me after the break for the first upload of the incredible badges of DC26!

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We’re Making it Rain Achievements This Year

We just dished out the first round of achievements to a bunch of hardware projects and there’s a lot more to come.

You may have missed it in all the fanfare last week, so today we take a closer look. Achievements are the newest edition to the Hackaday Prize and we’re really excited about them! With so much creativity in the projects we see entered, these achievements recognize a range of different aspects from serious to lighthearted, and even the downright absurd. There can be only 20 finalists in each challenge of the Prize, but there can be dozens of projects that unlock each achievement.

Today we’re taking a look at three of the achievements: Voltron, Pickle Rick, and the League of Extraordinary Cyborgs. You can also pursue the current list of achievements for an idea of what they’re all about.

Voltron Achievement

The five projects that have unlocked the Voltron Achievement aren’t about defending the universe (but if that’s what you’re doing, cool!). What we’re looking for is many things coming together to be greater than the whole. Two great examples are the Hexabitz project which is an edge-soldered modular PCB system, and a project that envisions swarm robotics for construction, inspection, and maintenance.

Pickle Rick Achievement

Does this need explaining? If your brain skips a cycle and your lips utter a halting “What?!” then you’ve unlocked the Pickle Rick Achievement. These are the out-of-the-ordinary hacks borne of the because-I-can mentality and we love them. The first two projects in this group are a neon 7-segment display (complete with bulky toggle switches and mechanical relays) and a robot snake that transforms into a robot car. What?!

League of Extraordinary Cyborgs Achievement

It’s dangerous to go alone. OK, maybe it’s not, but you can get a lot more done as a close-knit team! We’re looking for team entries, which is how you unlock the League of Extraordinary Cyborgs Achievement.

Unlocks and the Achievements We Forgot

These achievements are easy to unlock. Your project needs to be a Hackaday Prize entry, and meet the achievement criteria. They don’t come with a cash prize (and don’t affect your chances of winning one). Achievements are a tip of the hat to the hackers who are passionate about the hardware they’re building.

We’ll be digging through entries, awarding these as we go, but of course we would love your help. When you see projects perfect for an achievement, leave a comment on that page with your support. You can also send a Hackaday.io message to Stephen Tranovich, Technical Community Leader at Hackaday.io and the person most on the lookout for awarding achievements, requesting an achievement unlock.

The currently displayed list doesn’t include all of the achievements. Some of them are secret (we’ll tell you when we start awarding those). We will be adding more along the way. If an idea for an interesting achievement pops into your mind, let us know in the comments below and we might add it!