The Hackaday Prize is our global engineering initiative, now in its sixth year. For 2019, the focus is on product development: with great engineering and a working prototype, can you also go the distance to embrace the user’s needs and ensure the project can be produced in quantity? Throughout the Spring and Summer we’ve been watching as hundreds step into the spotlight to share their projects with the world. Now we’re in the final stretch as these twenty entries all try to claim the grand prize of $125,000. Let’s take a look!
All twenty finalists are listed below (in no particular order). But just for fun we wanted to share some of the cool things we’ve seen among these finalists.
You might think of billiards when we say “trick shot”, but in this case we’re talking about cameras. PiXPi is one smart camera controller. While it’s common to see camera trigger projects that let you snap a picture with a remote, capture fast-moving objects based on a sound trigger or by breaking an IR-beam, or even freeze-frame a lightning strike, this controller seeks to be all things for all photographers. It has separate ports to trigger your camera and two flash units, inputs for multiple sensors, and it can even connect to your smartphone. The project page is vast, and just when you think you’ve seen everything it has to offer, there’s another project log showing off yet another peripheral design. Here’s one that captures the iconic lightbulb-breaking.
Speaking of interesting ways to add smarts, this prosthetic arm can see what it’s about to grasp. By embedding a camera in the palm, it uses computer vision to identify objects and select a relevant gripping pattern. There are numerous other features and the design is divided into different modules, making it reconfigurable for multiple needs.
Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of 3D rendering features in EDA tools, and this project shows the power of those tools. In working through at least eight different design iterations for breadboard-friendly bench power supplies, the OPEN Power project made numerous high-end renders to see exactly what the boards would look like before pulling the trigger on PCBs and components.
What you see here is the real, not rendered, version-1A providing Lithium battery-backed power for 3V, 5V, and adjustable rails, with USB charging that can be hotplugged. But make sure you check out version 3C, which has early prototypes but is still in renderings at this point, because the team has worked all the way up to full-featured PSU with color display and both logic analyzer and oscilloscope features.
All twenty competitors need your help. They have from now until October 1st to polish up their entries, putting their best product-development foot forward before our slate of engineering celebrity judges make the final decision. Get in there and see what each project is about, leaving your helpful comments in the process. Hackaday Prize is a marathon, but right now is the time for a sprint finish.