Hackaday Prize 2022: Meet The Winners Of This Year’s Competition

This year, the 2022 Hackaday Prize challenged hackers and makers in the open source community to develop projects which evoked the concepts of Sustainability, Resiliency, and Circularity — ideas which perhaps have never been more important. As humanity works to become better stewards to the only planet they can call home, everything we build (or rebuild) should reflect our desire to preserve our world for future generations.

Today, we’re excited to announce the projects that our panel of expert judges believe best exemplified this year’s theme and took home their share of the $50,000 USD in prize money.

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Supercon Is On! Join Us!

Supercon is in high gear, after a full day of badge hacking that went well into the midnight hour. Now it’s time for the talks!

If you’re not here in person, you can still get in on the talks by following the 2022 Hackaday Supercon Livestream, which will be covering all the LACM stage action. We have a great lineup of speakers starting off with a keynote by Joe [Kingpin] Grand at 10:00 AM PDT and ending with the 2022 Hackaday Prize Awards at 7:00 PM — come see who won live!

Of course, talks are only one component of Supercon. The secret sauce has always been the people at the con. If you’re not joining us, we still need you to take part. There is a conference chat on Hackaday.io and on the Hackaday Discord server and all are welcome. Pop in and visit with people at the con, and others around the globe who wish they could have made it in person.

Make sure you’re on the live stream Saturday evening to watch as the Grand Prize is presented on stage during the Hackaday Prize Ceremony. Pop into the chat and ask for updates on badge hacking, the SMD Soldering Challenge, and all of the other shenanigans that make Supercon super.

Hackaday Prize 2022: Ultratower Is A Powerful Gardening Vertical

The more people we have on this planet, the more food we need. Naturally, this extends to water, another precious resource that generally plays a part in farming and food production. And honestly, we’d probably all eat a little better if it were really easy to grow healthy things like spinach. Well, that excuse doesn’t work anymore, thanks to [J Gleyzes]’ Ultratower. It’s a simple-to-use hydroponic tower that uses recycled mist to water plants, ultimately saving water in the process.

The ‘ultra’ part is a function of the way mist is created. In this case, it’s done with three piezoelectric disks mounted under a tank in the top of the PVC tube. Stick up to twelve plants in the little cubbies, and their roots will grow down the inside, where they’ll receive a fine shower of water at your command. Water that runs off the roots collects in a small tank at the bottom, where a pump starts the process over again.

At first, [J Gleyzes] had trouble with the piezo disks — using 1.7MHz disks created too much heat, warming the water up to nearly 40°C (104°F). Since cooking the spinach prematurely would be bad, they experimented with other values, finally landing on 108KHz. Be sure to check out the video after the break.

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2022 Supercon: Schedule Released, And [Odd Jayy]

It’s finally time! We’ve put together the 2022 Supercon Schedule, and you can check out all the talks, workshops, and events in one place – right now.

Badge hacking heating up (photo by @hackerwarehouse)

It all starts off with breakfast on Friday morning to power you up for a full day of badge hacking, workshops, and general mixing and mingling before the Friday night party. Fridays are significantly less formal, but swing by Supplyframe HQ any time to get registered, get your badge, and get a mellow head start on Supercon.

Saturday morning, the talks begin! After a brief introduction and welcome, keynote speaker Joe Grand takes the stage to kick things off. And from then on, it’s two tracks of talks on two stages until your brain explodes. Or at least until the Hackaday Prize Awards ceremony at 7:00 PM, followed by the awards after-party.

Pull yourself out of bed Sunday morning for another full day of stellar talks. And squeeze in some more last minute badge-hacking time somehow, because we close up Sunday evening with the always entertaining badge hacking contest and awards.

Jorvon [Odd Jayy] Moss to Speak

Plus, we’ve got one last bit of great news: Jorvon [Odd Jayy] Moss is giving a talk on his adventures in making companion robots, and his latest forays into adding more intelligence into his animatronic and artistic creations.

So if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, do it. ‘Nuff said. See you at Supercon!

And if you’re not able to make it live, all of the talks on the LACM Stage will be streamed live on our YouTube channel, and you can join in the discussion over at the Hackaday Discord server or on Hackaday.io’s Supercon Chat channel. And all the talks that we can’t stream, we’re recording for later release, so you can always catch up later.

Hackaday Prize 2022: Recycled Plastic Skateboard Decks Demonstrate Small-Scale Injection Molding

Injection molding is usually focused on high-volume production, but that doesn’t always need to be the case. The Recycled Plastic Skateboard Deck project centers on the use of injection molding for a relatively low-volume production line using open-source tooling.

RPSD is part of the Precious Plastics ecosystem and uses the existing and open-source shredder and extruder to turn locally-sourced plastic waste into melted plastic. The core of the tooling is in the aluminum CNC-machined top, bottom, and edge mold sections bolted to a thick steel support structure that give the skateboard deck its shape. The edge section defines the deck’s perimeter, and 64 cartridge heaters are inserted into it to bring the mold up to temperature. The mold is mounted on a scissor lift mechanism to allow it to be aligned with the extruder, and temperature control electronics are housed in a laser-cut metal enclosure, which is bolted to the base of the mold structure.

To be clear, this is not a cheap way to make a couple of skateboard decks, but rather a way for small shops to do injection molded decks in-house. At ~$7500 for the components of this relatively large mold, excluding the extruder, you’d still have to sell quite a few decks to make it economically viable.

Although small-scale injection molding has become a lot more accessible, the cost of machined metal molds will remain high for the foreseeable future. However, if you only need small, flexible parts, you could probably do it for under $50 using 3D printed molds and silicone.

Continue reading “Hackaday Prize 2022: Recycled Plastic Skateboard Decks Demonstrate Small-Scale Injection Molding”

Hackaday Prize 2022: A Cheap And Effective Mouth Joystick Mouse

Some people have issues using regular computer mice, and need alternative input devices that suit their needs. [Olman Orozco] designed an affordable mouth-joystick intended to work as a mouse to suit that very use case.

A simple frame allows the controller to be held near the mouth for use.

The build is based on a simple USB gamepad. A mouse emulator program is used to turn the thumbstick movements into mouse movements, and button presses into mouse clicks.

The trick is that the thumbstick is turned into a mouth-activated joystick, making the device perfect for those with limited-to-no movement in their arms. This is achieved with a pen body used to extend the joystick so it can be readily actuated with the mouth. A custom puff-switch is also integrated into the mouth-joystick, built out of a balloon, bottle caps, and a micro switch. This enables the user to click on things without the need for another button.

Overall, it’s a great hack that turns cheap, everyday components into a useful piece of accessibility hardware. As a bonus, it can be built using only simple tools. [Olman] notes there’s no need for a 3D printer or other advanced parts or tools to build the device.

Game controllers are often important devices when it comes to accessibility hacking, as we’ve seen before. Continue reading “Hackaday Prize 2022: A Cheap And Effective Mouth Joystick Mouse”

2022 Hackaday Prize: Congratulations, Wildcard Winners!

The Wildcard Round is the wildest round, and the 2022 Hackaday Prize had a slew of great entries. We’ve winnowed the wildcards down to a large handful, and we’re happy to announce the finalists. Every winner receives a $500 award, and is automatically entered for the final round of the Hackaday Prize. The grand prize winners will be announced during Supercon on Nov. 5th, and we’ll be streaming so you can root for your favorites whether you’re with us in Pasadena or not.

So without further ado, the finalists. Continue reading “2022 Hackaday Prize: Congratulations, Wildcard Winners!”