We love Hackaday – the site has provided us with tons of cool projects that we’ve had a great time highlighting, from a coffee-maker-turned-3D-printer to a 3D printed pressure regulator for scuba divers. Our favorite thing about Hackaday, though, is the Hackaday Prize. Now in its fourth year, the Hackaday Prize invites makers and hackers to “Build Something that Matters” – and boy, have those makers and hackers responded.

Many design competitions have resulted in products that have changed lives for the better, and Hackaday Prize winners have gone on to make serious positive impacts on the world. SatNOGS, the winner of the first competition back in 2014, has its own foundation now, and 2015’s winner, Eyedrivomatic, is currently a successful open source project enabling people with ALS and other debilitating disorders to control their own mobility. Last year’s competition resulted in the Dtto search and rescue robot. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see what the 2017 Hackaday Prize yields.

The Dtto search and rescue robot

And the 2017 competition is starting now. Hackaday is once again challenging the community to build something that makes a positive difference in the world through a multi-tiered competition that consists of five challenges lasting six weeks each, with an overall Best Product round running concurrently with the other five. Entrants can participate in all five rounds or just one, or they can enter their idea into the Best Product category independently. The five challenge rounds are as follows:

  • Design your concept, March 20 to May 1. This round is pretty self-explanatory – contestants are asked to present a problem and a concept for a device that solves the problem.
  • IUT! IoT, May 1 to June 12. IUT stands for the “Internet of Useful Things,” or, as Hackaday puts it, “connected devices that don’t suck.” Design an IoT device that reduces energy usage, provides clean water, etc.
  • Wheels, wings, and walkers, June 12 to July 24. Participants are invited to build moving devices, from wheelchairs to drones – anything that “helps move humanity forward.”
  • Assistive technologies, July 24 to September 4. Again, this one is pretty self-explanatory – design something to make life easier for someone with a disability.
  • Anything goes, September 4 to October 16. Design whatever you like, as long as it somehow improves the world.

Hackaday is also offering the possibility for ideas to be bootstrapped with up to $200 in a community-driven promotion:

“We’ve got $4000 for seed money and we’re giving it all away before the first round ends on May 1st or $4000 runs out, whichever comes first. Promote your idea and we’ll send you an equal number of dollars as you get likes (up to $200). So if 10 people like your project, you get $10, simple. Start your entry.”

The Hackaday team are enthusiastic about this year’s challenge, and told us of their hopes for 2017.

“The Hackaday Prize calls for skilled creators and inventors to solve problems for social change. The Hackaday team gathers the top engineering experts in the industry to judge the entries and award over $250,000 in prizes to the best projects that help humanity and the world,” Shulie Tornel, Hackaday Community Leader, told 3DPrint.com. “The winning prize of the 2016 Hackaday Prize is Dtto, an explorer modular 3D printed robot for all-terrain search and rescue operations. This iteration was created by Alberto Perez from Spain. Another exceptional finalist entry is 3D Prints for Teachers of the Visually Impaired which is an open call for 3D printing enthusiasts to create shapes and tools for educators in need. Hackaday Prize entrants will push the boundaries of problem-solving to make a real difference in the world around us. We look forward to seeing the 3D printing community collaborate and create to build something that matters.”

That $250,000 will be broken down into multiple prizes. The grand prize winner will receive $50,000, and the Best Product winner will receive $30,000. Winners of second through fifth prizes will receive, respectively, $20,000, $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000, and 120 finalists will receive $1,000. The 16 judges lined up for this year’s contest will certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes time to evaluate all entries in this challenge. You can learn about the judges, rules and more at the 2017 Hackaday Prize page.

At this time, nearly 150 projects have already been uploaded to Hackaday. Makers and hackers, you have a busy spring and summer ahead of you – we can’t wait to see how you plan to change the world. Discuss in the Hackaday Prize forum at 3DPB.com.

3D Prints for Teachers of the Visually Impaired

 

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