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”

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!

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!

World Create Day is the Hackaday Event in Your Neighborhood

Hackaday World Create Day is on March 17th and it’s happening near you. Get together with hackers in your area and create something. Sign up now to host a World Create Day gathering! These are really easy to organize, but we can only do it with your help.

The Hackaday community from around the world will meetup and spend time building together on Saturday, March 17th. Pick one of those projects you’ve been meaning to dive into and get together with some old and new friends to hack on your projects together.

You should make this day your own. As with any hands-on hacking events it’s a good idea to block out a bit of time at the end for lightning talks to show off the builds everyone has been working on. Make the memories live on past a single day by taking pictures and posting the story of your World Create Day meetup. We enjoyed getting a great look at many of last year’s meetups this way and want to expand the builds we feature on the front page this year.

Meetup Organizers Wanted

Fill out this form to let us know you want to host a meetup.

Every year we have World Create Day meetups all over the world which are set up by local organizers. Many of those will happen again this year, but we also need you to organize an event in your area. We’ll help you get things set up and put your event up on the big map so others in your area will plan to join in. Do it now, if we get your shipping info early we’ll send you stickers and other swag to hand out at your gathering.

Build Something that Matters

The core of World Create Day is to stop making excuses and just build something. Great builds start with a plan. The Hackaday Prize will begin soon, and since you’re already getting together with other people, form a team and dream up your entry.

This is your take on building something that matters to the world. Come up with a plan that solves a problem facing humanity and publish your work on Hackaday.io. You may be surprised by the support you get for your idea, but you’ll never know until you put an idea out there. Join in Hackaday’s World Create Day on March 17th and let’s show the world the kind of hope that blossoms when we decide to build something that matters.

An Interview with Alex Williams, Grand Prize Winner

Alex Williams pulled off an incredible engineering project. He developed an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) which uses a buoyancy engine rather than propellers as its propulsion mechanism and made the entire project Open Source and Open Hardware.

The design aims to make extended duration missions a possibility by using very little power to move the vessel. What’s as remarkable as the project itself is that Alex made a goal for himself to document the project to the level that it is fully reproducible. His success in both of these areas is what makes the Open Source Underwater Glider the perfect Grand Prize winner for the 2017 Hackaday Prize.

We got to sit down with Alex the morning after he won to talk about the project and the path he took to get here.

Continue reading “An Interview with Alex Williams, Grand Prize Winner”

Open Source Underwater Glider Wins 2017 Hackaday Prize

The Open Source Underwater Glider has just been named the Grand Prize winner of the 2017 Hackaday Prize. As the top winner of the Hackaday Prize, the Open Source Underwater Glider will receive $50,000 USD completes the awarding of more than $250,000 in cash prizes during the last eight months of the Hackaday Prize.

More than one thousand entries answered the call to Build Something That Matters during the 2017 Hackaday Prize. Hardware creators around the globe competed in five challenges during the entry rounds: Build Your Concept, Internet of Useful Things, Wings-Wheels-an-Walkers, Assistive Technologies, and Anything Goes. Below you will find the top five finisher, and the winner of the Best Product award of $30,000.

Open Source Underwater Glider

Grand Prize Winner ($50,000 USD): The Open Source Underwater Glider is an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) capable of long-term underwater exploration of submarine environments. Where most AUVs are limited in both power and range, the Open Source Underwater Glider does not use active propulsion such as thrusters or propellers. This submersible glides, extending the range and capabilities of whatever task it is performing.

The Open Source Underwater Glider is built from off-the-shelf hardware, allowing anyone to build their own copy of this very capable underwater drone. Extended missions of up to a week are possible, after which the Glider would return home autonomously.

Connected Health: Open source IoT patient monitor

Second Place ($20,000): The Connected Health project aims to bring vital sign monitoring to the masses with a simple, inexpensive unit built around commodity hardware. This monitoring system is connected to the Internet, which enables remote patient monitoring.

Assistance System for Vein Detection

Third Place ($15,000): This Assistance System for Vein Detection uses off-the-shelf components and near-IR imaging to detect veins under the skin. This system uses a Raspberry Pi and camera module or a modified webcam and yet is just as reliable as professional solutions that cost dozens of times more than this team’s prototype.

Adaptive Guitar

Fourth Place ($10,000): The Adaptive Guitar is an electromechanical system designed to allow disabled musicians to play the guitar with one hand (and a foot). This system strums the strings of a guitar while the musician frets each string.

Tipo : Braille Smartphone Keypad

Fifth Place ($5,000): Tipo is effectively a Braille USB keyboard designed for smartphones. The advent of touchscreen-only phones has unfortunately left the visually impaired without a modern phone. Tipo allows for physical interaction with modern smartphones.

Best Product Winner: Tipo : Braille Smartphone Keypad

The winner of the Best Product is Tipo : Braille Smartphone Keypad. Tipo is the solution to the problem of the increasingly buttonless nature of modern smartphones. A phone that is only a touchscreen cannot be used by the visually impaired, and Tipo adds a Braille keypad to the back of any phone. It is effectively a USB keypad, designed for Braille input, that attaches to the back of any phone.

The Best Product competition ran concurrently with the five challenge rounds and asked entrants to go beyond prototype to envision the user’s needs, manufacturing, and all that goes into getting to market. By winning the Best Product competition, the creators of Tipo will refine their design, improve their mechanical build, start looking at injecton molding, and turn their 3D printed prototype into a real product that has the ability to change lives.

Congratulations to all who entered the Hackaday Prize. Taking time to apply your skill and experience to making the world better is a noble pursuit. It doesn’t end with the awarding of a prize. We have the ability to change lives by supporting one another, improving on great ideas, and sharing the calling to Build Something that Matters.

These Are The Top Projects In The 2017 Hackaday Prize

For the last eight months, Hackaday has been running the greatest hardware competition on Earth. The Hackaday Prize is a challenge to Build Something That Matters, make an impact, and create the hardware that will transform the world. These projects range from reliable utensils for the disabled, a way to clean drinking water for rural villages, refreshable Braille displays, and even a few high voltage Tesla coil hats. The Hackaday Prize is the preeminent hardware hackathon with a goal of making the world a better place, and this weekend we’re going to see the fruits of everyone’s labor.

Watch It Live

We will announce the winners of the Hackaday Prize live on stage at the Hackaday Superconference this weekend. Even if you can’t make it to the conference, you can join in by watching the livestream (broadcast on YouTube and Facebook) and by joining the Supercon chat room.

What the Judges Have to Say

Over the last few weeks, our fantastic team of judges have been combing over the finalists in the Hackaday Prize. We’ve put together this video roundup with judges discussing the top ten finishers:

These ten projects are the best the Hackaday Prize has to offer, and one of these projects will walk away with the Grand Prize of $50,000 USD. The second, third, fourth, and fifth place winners will take away $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. The top ten projects in the Hackaday Prize are, in no particular order:


5 Top Finishers for Best Product

The Hackaday Prize isn’t just about finding the best projects. We’re also looking for the best products. For that, the Hackaday Prize includes a Best Product award. This promises to awaken the hardware entrepreneurs to build a manufacturable thing that will shake up an industry. Here’s an overview of the five top finishers in the Best Product Category:

From a field of the twenty best product finalists entered into the Hackaday Prize our fantastic panel of judges have winnowed these down to five incredible finalists. They are, in no particular order:

The winner of the Best Product competition will walk away with $30,000 USD and an opportunity to interview for a residency at the Supplyframe Design Lab. Here, the hackers behind the Best Product will have a materials budget, mentoring, and access to some world-class tools that will enable them to turn their prototype into a real product.

These are the best projects and products the 2017 Hackaday Prize has to offer, and we couldn’t ask for more. Watch live as the Hackaday Prize is awarded tomorrow at 6:30pm Pacific. It’s going to be a blast, and a few lucky projects will take away a pile of prize money and the respect of their peers. It really doesn’t get better than that.