The 2016 Hackaday Prize

The 2016 Hackaday Prize

Monday, March 14, 2016 07:00 am PDT Local time zone:
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Build Something That Matters - Competition Summary

In 2014 we launched the Hackaday Prize to an enthusiastic community of engineers, scientists, designers and creatives everywhere. Fast forward to 2016 and The Hackaday Prize has become a competition synonymous with creating for social change in only 2 short years.

In 2015 we challenged our community to use their superpowers to make something ambitious. The results were fantastic. Using your hardware, coding, scientific, design and mechanical abilities, you came up with solutions that made big changes in people's lives.

In 2016 we're challenging you again. We're asking for solutions to address technology issues facing humanity today. With a new technical design challenge every 5 weeks, you are expanding the frontiers of knowledge and engineering. Design an impactful project that suits you, or collaborate with someone else to do it. With our global collaboration platform, your project can be moving forward at all hours of the day. Create things like a better radiation monitoring system, a better calorimeter, open source instrumentation, digital logging scales and exercise trackers.

We’re starting off with an Idea Slam, where you can submit a Design Concept. Then we give you 4 more Hackaday Prize challenges to run with. These 5 challenges run in serial (one after the other) and each challenge lasts just 5 weeks. Big things start with just an idea, and if you want them to, concept drawings can bring in collaborators.

20 projects will be chosen from each of the 5 rounds, and awarded $1000 per project.

At the end of all 5 rounds, 100 projects in total will advance to the finals, where 5 will win $150k, $25k, $10k, $10k and $5k. In addition the 1st place project will win a residency in the Supplyframe Design lab to develop their project further.

Assistive Technology entries


Hackaday Prize Challenge 1 - Design Your Concept

Adobe Portable Document Format - 8.05 MB - 04/01/2016 at 16:02



Hackaday Prize Challenge 2 - Anything Goes

Adobe Portable Document Format - 7.54 MB - 04/01/2016 at 16:01



Hackaday Prize Challenge 3 - Citizen Scientist

Adobe Portable Document Format - 7.75 MB - 04/01/2016 at 15:59



Hackaday Prize Challenge 4 - Automation

Adobe Portable Document Format - 8.02 MB - 04/01/2016 at 15:58



Hackaday Prize Challenge 5 - Assistive Technologies

Adobe Portable Document Format - 7.49 MB - 04/01/2016 at 15:57


View all 13 files

  • The Hackaday Prize 2016 Frequently Asked Questions

    Liz Krane04/28/2016 at 17:38 0 comments

    >>> See the full official rules here:

    What is considered an entry?

    Put simply, you need an idea, and image, and documentation. To start you simply talk about a technology problem facing people today and your idea of what a solution might be. Yes, you can enter the contest with just an idea and be eligible selected to move to the final round. This is what Challenge 1 is all about.

    Challenge two is for those who don't like to be tied down. Build anything you want to solve the problem you have chosen. Bask in your own creativity.

    Those who prefer more constraints will excel in Challenges 3, 4, and 5 which tackle specific themes.

    What are the 5 Challenges? When do they start/end?

    Each of the 5 Challenges are a 5-week first round from which 20 entries will advance to the final round.

    How many Challenges do I need to participate in?

    You must participate in at least one challenge to be eligible for the final round. We encourage you to participate in more but it is not required.

    Is it possible to win more than one challenge?

    Yes. The same Project Profile may be entered in any or all of the challenge rounds using the "Submit Project To..." menu found on your project page. Projects should adhere to the theme of the challenge so you may also consider entering several projects in different rounds.

    How do I see which projects have already been entered?

    Check out this full list of official entries.

    How much of my Project Profile will I be judged upon?

    All parts of your project will be judged. We recommend you start with a brief summary to provide an overall understanding of your project. From there, explain each part in detail, adding images and diagrams as needed. A video is only required for the final round, but if you want to make one to help walk through your project that is a great idea.

    What does "open" actually mean?

    Open refers to how much you have documented about your project and how much you will make available to the public when you push your project out into the world. Optimally, we would like to see open source drivers, hardware, and development tools; the final project would also be licensed as open source (using the wide range of licenses that are possible). This is a judging preference, so providing design files in a format that uses open source tools (and therefore allows others to easily use or modify them), will help you with the best chance of edging out your competition.

    What are the judges using as criteria for who moves on to the final round?

    You must complete the minimum entry requirements for the Challenge. Your entry will be judged on the following criteria:

    • Is there a well thought out idea that is clear as to what the intention is?
    • Does the project address the challenge?
    • Is the project well documented?
    • Is there a system design, CAD model or napkin sketch?
    • Are there four project logs? (not applicable for Challenge 1)
    • Is the project creative, original and pushing some boundaries?

    Can I enter if I'm under 18 years old?

    Minors between 13 and 18 are eligible to enter the 2016 Hackaday Prize.

    When you enter as a team of collaborators, there is a link “younger than 18” next to the check box (see image below). When you click that link, it brings you to a parental consent form link (dropbox), which you should have a parent fill out and then upload using the “choose file” button below.

    How is the community vote challenge for Round 1 calculated?

    Projects entered into Challenge Round 1 will receive $1 for each “like” on their Project Profile, up to a limit of $200 for each project. You can see the full leaderboard of projects with the most "likes" here:

    If you have more questions, please email us at We...

    Read more »

View contest log

Enjoy this contest?



Capt. Flatus O'Flaherty ☠ wrote 04/26/2017 at 18:44 point

Where do I go to see the winners of each round and the finalists? Thank you.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Shulie Tornel wrote 04/27/2017 at 16:40 point

Hi @TegwynTwmffat We typically announce the winners of each round in a blog post on (eg: and also make a list of the winning projects (eg:

  Are you sure? yes | no

Shulie Tornel wrote 04/27/2017 at 16:45 point

@TegwynTwmffat I will add a link to the finalists of each round to the description of this contest page.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Capt. Flatus O'Flaherty ☠ wrote 04/27/2017 at 18:18 point

Thanks .... It would be really great to be able to see the winners of each round a bit more easily :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Christos M wrote 08/30/2016 at 21:09 point

Could projects that have already earned the 1000$ be tagged as so  , as it would be easier for readers to pinpoint  them ?  

  Are you sure? yes | no

danjovic wrote 07/11/2016 at 20:33 point

Ok, but 8MB for a single page PDF (f4.pdf)? Is there any hidden cookie?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 07/11/2016 at 20:46 point

Probably because they are full size posters.

  Are you sure? yes | no

danjovic wrote 07/11/2016 at 21:07 point

Haven't noticed that. The only bitmap images there (HACKADAY.IO, the supplyframe logo and the QR Code) could have been vectorized though.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 03/18/2016 at 20:06 point

No. You can enter an old project that has not been entered before. ^^ see above :)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 03/18/2016 at 17:31 point

yes, please create a new project, preferably one which advances your original project further and has a new name. This also includes the PiZero entries.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex wrote 03/18/2016 at 18:21 point


So also for projects, which did never entered any contest before, I have to create a whole new project. Is that right?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 03/18/2016 at 20:06 point

No. You can enter an old project that has not been entered before.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex wrote 03/18/2016 at 20:10 point


  Are you sure? yes | no

PointyOintment wrote 03/18/2016 at 19:54 point

Just curious, why a new name?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 03/18/2016 at 20:04 point

It makes it easier for legal. This way, there is no discussion about is it a new project.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel Frausto wrote 03/20/2016 at 06:57 point

I mistakenly entered a project , Cant seem to be able to remove it.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex wrote 03/17/2016 at 22:34 point

I do have one question about the rules (I hope this is the right place to ask). In section 2. is the following point:

 "Existing projects [...] are eligible for submission as entries in this Contest with
the following restrictions:
1. A new project page must be created [...]"

Do I understand it right that only projects created after March 14th can enter? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Daniel Frausto wrote 03/18/2016 at 07:48 point

Have you received any info on this? I am also trying to find out if this is the case.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex wrote 03/18/2016 at 11:57 point

Not yet

  Are you sure? yes | no

deʃhipu wrote 03/18/2016 at 13:20 point

I have exactly the same question. Should I remove the old project profile and create a new one?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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