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The 2018 Hackaday Prize

Build Hope. Design the Future.
The power is in your hands, and the PRIZE is just in reach...

Monday, March 12, 2018 12:00 am PST - Saturday, November 3, 2018 06:00 pm PST Local time zone:
Start your entry
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Build Hope - 2018 Hackaday Prize Overview

Main Website :: Official Rules :: FAQ

The Hackaday Prize is the Academy Awards of Open Hardware, a grand competition where thousands of hardware hackers, makers and artists compete to build a better future.

Enter one (or more) of five themed rounds for a chance to win $$$ and go on to the finals where our Celebrity Judges will decide who will win the 2018 Hackaday Prize of $50,000. 

START YOUR ENTRY

The prize money is just the icing on the cake. What this is really about is taking the world in our hands and being the makers who make the future we need. Will you build hope?

Open Hardware Design Challenge (ends April 23rd) :: Submissions // Finalists

Your Challenge: Design the best plan possible for the boldest idea you can consider. No prototypes are necessary for this challenge, only pictures, charts and theory. Winners will have the opportunity to enter the finals, whether they fit within the following challenges or not.

Robotics Module Challenge (ends June 4th) :: Submissions // Finalists

Your Challenge: Build a module that can be used in robotics projects across the world, and show your module functioning in a robotics application

Power Harvesting Challenge (ends July 16th) :: Submissions // Finalists

Your Challenge: Build a module that harvests ambient power for various applications and show your module powering a project.

Human - Computer Interface Challenge (ends August 27th) :: Submissions // Finalists

Your Challenge: Build an innovative interface for humans to talk to machines or machines to talk to humans, and show your project in action either controlling something or passing information from somewhere.

Musical Instrument Challenge (ends October 8th) :: Submissions 

Your Challenge: Build a module, interface, or full instrument that evolves or goes far beyond modern music instrumentation.  Show your project in action by creating at least one song with it, however abstract. (Don’t worry, this is an engineering challenge, not a composition competition.)

The Hackaday Prize is in its 5th Year: Our History

In 2014 we launched The Hackaday Prize to our smart, talented, enthusiastic community of engineers, scientists, designers and creatives everywhere. Over 600 projects were created, and the winner, SatNOGS, now has a foundation where they are continuing the work they started here.

In 2015 we challenged the Hackaday community to use their superpowers again. The results told the story of nearly 900 Hackaday Prize entrants using their unique skills to make big changes in peoples' lives. 2015's Hackaday Prize winner, the Eyedrivomatic, directly impacted the lives of many with limited mobility.

In 2016, we had nearly 1,100 entries, and the Hackaday Prize winner was Dtto, a search and rescue robot, an open source project that will continue to be worked on at the Supplyframe Design Lab.

In 2017, the winner of the Hackaday Prize was Alex Williams, with an underwater explorer robot. Alex continued the work on his project at the Supplyframe Design Lab.

In 2018, we've launched the biggest challenge of all time -  the 5th annual Hackaday Prize! 

  • FAQ for the 2018 Hackaday Prize

    Lutetium03/13/2018 at 15:09 5 comments

    FAQ

    If you have more questions, please email us at prize@hackaday.com. We look forward to seeing your projects!

    How do I enter?

    There is a dropdown menu below your project image. Simply start a project and click the dropdown, from there you will see 2018 Hackaday Prize.

    Here is a convenient video tutorial on how to enter your project into the Hackaday Prize:  

    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 first challenge with just an idea and be eligible to be selected to move to the final round. This is what Challenge 1 is all about.

    Challenges 2 - 5 invite you to start building something and documenting. You need 4 project logs or instructions in Challenges 2 - 5 to move into the finals.

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

    Each of the 5 Challenges are 6-weeks long and run one after the other. The 5 challenges are:

    • Hardware Design Challenge: 3/12 - 4/23
    • Robotics Module Challenge: 4/23 - 6/4
    • Power Harvesting Challenge: 6/4 - 7/16
    • Human - Computer Interface Challenge: 7/16 - 8/27
    • Musical Instrument Challenge: 8/27 - 10/8

    When are the winners for each round announced?

    Winners will be announced about 1-2 weeks after the close of each round.

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

    Minors between 13 and 18 are eligible to enter the 2017 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.

    Here is a link to the form: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hgnazev2rdmzpt7/THP_Parental_Consent_Form.pdf

    Here is a convenient video tutorial on how to enter the Hackaday Prize as a minor: 


    I was a finalist in 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017 can I enter the same project again?

    If you won anything in a previous presentation of The Hackaday Prize that project is not eligible for entry in this Contest. You may enter with a substantially different project.

    Can I re-enter my project from 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017?

    You can enter a previous Prize entry, but you must create a new project page and the project must be significantly different from when previously entered and show meaningful development during the course of the Contest.

    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.

    Where do I submit my prize project entry video?

    On the Edit Project page add the link to your entry video in the Contest Entry Videos field and click save.

    What does "open" actually mean?

    Open refers to how much you have documented about your project and how much...

    Read more »

View contest log

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Discussions

Liam Lacey wrote 08/29/2018 at 07:26 point

Hi, a couple of questions:

1. Is it possible to enter multiple projects for the same challenge and for them to be judged separately?

2. If submitting an existing project which has never been entered into a HackadayPrize contest before (but already has a Hackaday.io project page), do you need to be actively working on the project during the contest and supply new logs/documentation, or will the existing work/logs/documentation be eligible to be judged?

Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 08/29/2018 at 22:21 point

Hi Liam!

1. Yes, please enter as many projects as you like. As long as each project has its own unique project page then it will be judged separately.
2. So long as your project has not yet been submitted to the Hackaday Prize in a previous year, your project is welcome to be entered, even if it has not been updated in some time.

It sounds like your projects are all good to go! I'm excited to see them in this Challenge!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Liam Lacey wrote 08/30/2018 at 08:29 point

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for the quick response - that's great news!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Josh Starnes wrote 07/03/2018 at 20:41 point

hello , I have questions about the human/ computer interface challenge. What are we looking for in this challenge? A new input method for machines?  Can we get an example of something or everything that would qualify?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 07/03/2018 at 22:28 point

Great question! Any way of revolutionizing the way humans talk with technology and technology talks with humans is fair game. This includes, and is not limited to, collecting body data, EEG, ECG, EKG, E?G, neural interfaces, eye tracking, VR, AR, prosthetics, IoT, and wearables. While it doesn't capture every single aspect of this challenge, generally think "How can I send and receive data without a keyboard, mouse, or touch screen"? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

E. Grames wrote 07/19/2018 at 18:56 point

Emm... What if we are essentially redesigning a keyboard or a mouse? Or making a gigantic peripheral control sytem with tons of shortcut buttons and the like? Is that within the theme of the contest or am I missing something here?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 07/24/2018 at 23:02 point

@E. Grames Redesigning mouses & keyboards are within theme!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Josh Starnes wrote 07/25/2018 at 21:18 point

OK So I propose to make a Augmented reality system that attaches to motorcycle helmets to show 360 video view, telemetry, navigation, traffic data , weather ect  and stuff like that. So that would qualify right?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 07/30/2018 at 18:08 point

Yes, the motorcycle AR helmet qualifies!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Shahid Jariwala wrote 05/29/2018 at 14:16 point

how to remove an entry ? can i keep the same project in challenges?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 05/30/2018 at 12:43 point

Hi @Shahid Jariwala ! You can keep your project in the challenges by adding it from the dropdown every time a new round starts. The next round starts June 4th. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ayushi Jha wrote 05/22/2018 at 20:30 point

What is required to make in power harvesting project? Someone, please elaborate this challenge.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 05/23/2018 at 20:51 point

Hi Ayushi! Power harvesting means collecting ambient energy from the world, and includes things like solar energy, wind energy, thermal energy, existing kinetic energy, etc. This challenge is for projects that capture, store, or use these sorts of renewable energy sources. I hope this helps!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ayushi Jha wrote 05/23/2018 at 21:36 point

Hi Stephen!  So producing and storing power using some sort of renewable resources will be eligible for this challenge? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 05/31/2018 at 01:39 point

Ayushi, yes those are absolutely eligible! Ideal even!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marc Schömann wrote 05/12/2018 at 12:35 point

How is the voting System working? Just by liking the project page? I got 30+ Votes since submission but on the leaderboard are just two displayed :( guess i already lost

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marc Schömann wrote 05/16/2018 at 15:36 point

Please help me with this, I really don't know what's going wrong and I'm starting to lose hope.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 05/16/2018 at 16:23 point

Marc the likes are counted from contest start to the first challenge ends, March 12 to April 23rd. The leaderboard will only display likes within those dates.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marc Schömann wrote 05/16/2018 at 17:45 point

Im also attending the robot module challange which is currently ongoing. And even in the open design challange i had way more likes than two. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 05/16/2018 at 18:00 point

The likes for dollars only runs during the first challenge. I could pull a full list, but on quick inspection it looks like most likes were either before March 12th start or after the April 23rd close time. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Marc Schömann wrote 05/16/2018 at 18:04 point

Okay i totally misunderstood how this is working. Read the rules again and i was totally wrong, sorry for the fuzz. At least i can focus on my project again and stop promoting, thanks for your help!

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 05/16/2018 at 19:07 point

No problem, it should have been more clear without having to deep dive into the rules.

  Are you sure? yes | no

SHAOS wrote 05/02/2018 at 15:18 point

This year rules even more strict:

Existing projects, or projects that were entered in previous presentations of The Hackaday Prize but did not advance to at least the Semifinal round, are eligible for submission as entries in this Contest with the following restrictions:
1. A new project page must be created.
2. The project must be significantly different from when previously entered and show meaningful development during the course of the Contest.

Does it mean that existing project from last year is not eligible by default even if it's never entered previous contests? Creating new project looks like artificial limitation...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 05/16/2018 at 19:13 point

Hi SHAOS, these rules are similar to years past. If you have already entered your project into a previous year of the Prize, you must create a new project page and enter that into the current year. It is a legal limitation, sorry about that!

  Are you sure? yes | no

SHAOS wrote 05/16/2018 at 19:56 point

Question is if it's NOT? (never entered in any previous year)
New rules are saying OR:
Existing projects, *OR* projects that were entered in previous presentations of The Hackaday Prize...
so "Existing projects" are kind of separate from project that were entered, but still eligible only with specified restrictions - right?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 05/16/2018 at 22:41 point

Hi SHAOS, if the project has already existed and it has NOT been entered into the Hackaday Prize before then you can enter it as is! Enter away!

  Are you sure? yes | no

SHAOS wrote 05/17/2018 at 04:35 point

Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

thekidtonystark wrote 04/25/2018 at 20:19 point

If you won money, does the check get split automatically or does it go to the leader only?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 04/25/2018 at 20:44 point

Hi- we will send it to the leader only. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

thekidtonystark wrote 04/23/2018 at 14:37 point

When is the expected date for checks to be sent?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 04/25/2018 at 20:47 point

Hi- we are still putting together the tallys and plan to have them ready by the week's end. We expect that payment will go out sometime towards the end of next week. Stay tuned for an email that will be asking for your preferred payment. 

Sorry for the late reply. Send questions to prize@hackaday.com for quicker response!

  Are you sure? yes | no

thekidtonystark wrote 04/26/2018 at 00:23 point

No problem! I get an answer anyways

  Are you sure? yes | no

Robert Mateja wrote 05/16/2018 at 20:27 point

Good day Madam, is Bank of HaD already open? My project laser cut job is ready and it would thrive with wealth amassed from likes ;)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Kris Winer wrote 04/20/2018 at 16:28 point

My project (Hackable CMWX1ZZABZ LoRa Devices) seems to be going backwards on the leader board. I had 12 likes last night while this morning I have 11. Even though the project page shows 21. What kind of new math is this?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 04/22/2018 at 15:10 point

HI Kris, likes are counted from the time that the Hackaday Prize began, not for the life of the project. Could this describe your issue?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Kris Winer wrote 04/22/2018 at 15:36 point

Could be. But on Friday I had 12 likes, yesterday I had 11, even after ~8 were added in the last two days. So I don't understand the "counting" at all.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 04/25/2018 at 20:48 point

Hi Kris, there has been a bug in the "likes" and it will be fixed shortly

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sergei V. Bogdanov wrote 03/26/2018 at 22:35 point

Hello. What about video - is it some rules? Have I to make some kind of subtitles "hackaday" or just place the video on tube?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Stephen Tranovich wrote 05/16/2018 at 23:33 point

Hi Sergei! Videos are only needed in the Finals. Full details for video requirements can be found here: https://hackaday.io/prize/details#finals

Videos are helpful in earlier challenges for helping judges understand your project. Just include the videos in the description of your project!

  Are you sure? yes | no

alpha le ciel wrote 03/15/2018 at 15:40 point

In design challenge , it don't deserve prototype anymore ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sophi Kravitz wrote 03/17/2018 at 19:14 point

For the first challenge you only need a system diagram and an image. Of course, having a prototype will set you ahead of those who don't 😀

  Are you sure? yes | no

bigmike.wnhs wrote 03/15/2018 at 13:46 point

so this is my first year and I was wondering do I only have to enter in one category to be eligible for a final round or do I enter every round and have to win all 5 rounds 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Benchoff wrote 03/15/2018 at 15:36 point

You have to enter and win one round to make it to the finals.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Vishnu M Aiea wrote 03/15/2018 at 07:09 point

Quote : "Challenge five 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."

Challenge five is the "Musical Instrument Challenge", right ? How does it satisfy "build anything you want" scenario ? Or did you mean challenge one ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ted Yapo wrote 03/15/2018 at 11:59 point

This looks like the description was left over from last year, where the final challenge was "anything goes"

  Are you sure? yes | no

Vishnu M Aiea wrote 03/15/2018 at 12:03 point

Ha ha.. Seems so. Some other parts are also conflicting.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Yann Guidon / YGDES wrote 03/17/2018 at 18:16 point

@Lutetium should solve that, right ?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Richard Hogben wrote 03/17/2018 at 19:49 point

Should be fixed now

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dave Nghiem wrote 03/13/2018 at 20:31 point

Alright, so I have a  question about re-entering an entry from previous years. I have a few projects that didn't make it into any kind of classing during those years contests. However, I have spent a lot of time updating log entries, design files, and most importantly, building up an audience following those projects. Do we have to create a whole new project page for that project if we want to enter the competition? I want to check in regarding that, especially after spending a lot of time building up a following on those project pages, I feel that if I didn't place in previous contests, I don't see why a whole new project page has to be made, especially if that project is ongoing and building an audience that's following it. To suddenly have to create a whole new project seems like a waste of effort.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Lutetium wrote 03/14/2018 at 18:59 point

Hi @Dave Nghiem - You can enter a previous Prize entry, but you must create a new project page and the project must be significantly different from when previously entered and show meaningful development during the course of the Contest. Thanks!

  Are you sure? yes | no

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