The Incredible Judges Of The Hackaday Prize

The last challenge of The Hackaday Prize has ended. Over the past few months, we’ve gotten a sneak peek at over a thousand amazing projects, from Open Hardware to Human Computer Interfaces. This is a contest, though, and to decide the winner, we’re tapping some of the greats in the hardware world to judge these astonishing projects.

Below are just a preview of the judges in this year’s Hackaday Prize. In the next few weeks, we’ll be sending the judging sheets out to them, tallying the results, and in just under a month we’ll be announcing the winners of the Hackaday Prize at the Hackaday Superconference in Pasadena. This is not an event to be missed — not only are we going to hear some fantastic technical talks from the hardware greats, but we’re also going to see who will walk away with the Grand Prize of $50,000.

Sherry Huss

Sherry Huss is the former vice president of Maker Media, and oversees the publishing of Make Magazine and Maker Faires across the globe. Sherry is a major advocate of ‘all things maker’ in the global community, and her vision and passion for the maker movement was instrumental in growing the Make: brand within the maker ecosystem. Under her guidance, the largest Maker Faires, the Bay Area and World Maker Faire in New York, have grown from just a few thousand people in 2006 to events with over 200,000 attendees each year. Sherry is a giant in the Maker world, and an unending advocate of maker, DIY, and everyone who makes, whether that’s through wood, code, metal, solder, or fabric.

Anool Mahidharia

Anool is an electrical engineer, and works in Test & Measurement at Lumetronics. He’s part of WyoLum, an international group of hardware nerds who are consistently pumping out projects that push the limits of how blinky, glowey, and interesting a thing can be. They’re behind some projects you may have caught at random hacker meetups, and the creators of an absurd RGB LED cube that’s also a die. Anool is, by every account, an extremely capable hardware engineer, a longtime writer for Hackaday, and is constantly travelling the world presenting the latest developments in electronics to the public.

Danielle Applestone

Before founding Other Machine Co., now Bantam Tools, makers of tiny desktop milling machines that make fantastic circuit boards, Danielle Applestone worked with DARPA to develop high-precision machines that were effectively made out of kitchen cutting boards. HDPE, it turns out, is extraordinarily mechanically stable, cuts and machines easily, and can make very rigid components. Danielle spun this research out into the Othermill, an actual successful hardware startup. Danielle talked about this experience at the Hackaday Superconference, and we’re thrilled to have her on board judging other makers in their efforts to create the next big hardware thing.

Kwabena Agyeman

Kwab is one of the leading experts in computer vision and machine learning applications, and specializes in FPGA and Chip design. His greatest contribution to Open Hardware is the OpenMV, a platform for Computer Vision, ‘at the edge’, or basically a very high performance microcontroller and camera module on a single board, that’s running computer vision algorithms. This project began as a Hackaday Prize project that was then bootstrapped into a successful business. Formerly of Planet Labs where he spent his time pulling off Apollo 13-level hacks on space assets, Kwab is among the most successful designers in the world of Open Hardware.

These are just a few of the amazingly accomplished judges we have lined up to determine the winner of this year’s Hackaday Prize. The winner will be announced on November 3rd at the Hackaday Superconference. There are still tickets available, but if you can’t make it, don’t worry. We’re going to be live streaming everything, including the prize ceremony, where one team will walk away with the grand prize of $50,000. It’s not an event to miss.

The Final 10 Entries Of The 2016 Hackaday Prize

It has been quite a ride this year, watching entries pour in during the five challenges of the 2016 Hackaday Prize. Our yearly engineering initiative is designed to focus the skill, experience, and creativity of the world’s tinkerers, hackers, designers, and fabricators to build something that matters: things that change lives. The final ten entries, from more than 1,000, exemplify this mission.

For a brief overview of these entries, check out the videos below where we spend about ninty seconds recapping each one, along with some thoughts from the Hackaday Prize judges. These recap videos will be shown during the Hackaday Prize awards ceremony, held this Saturday during the SuperConference. I would love to invite you to attend but we’re completely sold out. You should, however, jump into the conference chat channel to talk about what’s going on, follow along with the badge crypto challenge, and hear where each entry finishes in real time as the top prizes are awarded.

2016 Hackaday Prize Finalists:

Congratulations to all ten of these finalists, who outdid themselves. Each of the 100 projects that moved past the preliminary rounds has already won $1,000, but these finalists will also be taking home one of five $5,000 prizes, two $10,000 prizes, $25,000 for the runner-up, or $150,000 plus a residency at the Supplyframe Design Lab for the winner of the Hackaday Prize. Which project is that going to be? Find out this Saturday.

Continue reading “The Final 10 Entries Of The 2016 Hackaday Prize”

2015 THP: Judges And Sponsors

And now it’s time to recognize a big part what makes the Hackaday Prize possible: our Judges and our Sponsors. First up are the Judges. We are fortunate again this year to be joined by top experts from around the world. We are going to briefly touch on each in this post, but you really should hit the Judge’s page for bios and links on everyone.

New Judges in 2015

We have seven judges new to the panel this year:

We love seeing a project pic used as an avatar and [Akiba] of freaklabs didn’t disappoint; we covered that project in 2013. [Pete Dokter], known well for According to Pete, joins us from Sparkfun. [Lenore Edman] and [Windell Oskay] are the force behind Evil Mad Scientist Labs. [Heather Knight] of Marilyn Monrobot is finishing her PhD in Robots at Carnegie Mellon. [Ben Krasnow] should need no introduction; formerly of Valve, currently of Google[x], and always of Applied Science. [Micah Scott] is artist/engineer/hacker and her Blu-Ray drive RE work is among our most favorite of 2014 hacks.

Returning Judges

Five of our friends from the 2014 Hackaday Prize are returning this year:

We have a hard time calling the founder of Adafruit anything other than [Ladyada] but you may know her as [Limor Fried]. The hardware design site The Ganssle Group is spearheaded by [Jack Ganssle]. You know [Dave Jones] from his electronics design and reverse engineering videos on EEVblog and also from the Amp Hour podcast. [Ian Lesnet] is a Hackaday alum, creator of Dangerous Prototypes, and expert regarding manufacturing in China. And finally, [Elecia White] is an extraordinary embedded engineer, founder of Logical Elegance, and the Embedded podcast.

Welcome back, and so happy to have the new Judges this year!

2015 Hackaday Prize Sponsors


The 2015 Hackaday Prize is presented by Supplyframe (parent company of Hackaday). This year we have added five giants of the hardware world as sponsors. We don’t recall having seen so many major players come together for a single initiative. We’re excited that they share our vision of supporting design initiatives. Please thank them by following their pages: Atmel, Freescale Semiconductor, Microchip, Mouser Electronics, and Texas Instruments. Thank you sponsors!