One idea could change the world


2016 Hackaday Prize Winners


Dtto is a modular self-reconfigurable robot designed for all-terrain search and rescue operations. Dtto's modules adopt specialized shapes simply by changing position and connections.

In the press

Build something that matters

The Hackaday Prize is a competition synonymous with creating for social change. Using your hardware, coding, scientific, design and mechanical abilities, you will make big changes in peoples' lives.

It's time to leverage your talent and find 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. Or go beyond that and create something that has never been seen before.


Design your concept

March 14th - April 25th

More details +

Anything goes

April 25th - May 30th

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Citizen scientist

May 30th - July 11th

More details +


July 11th - August 22nd

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Assistive technologies

August 22th - October 3rd

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$300,000 in cash prizes

The basics

All problem solving starts with an idea or design concept to lead the way and provide direction for your design decisions. In 2015 we called upon you to come up with Hackaday Prize ideas in words, and many new ideas were generated.

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 series (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.

  • In order to win in the final round, you must build something!
  • You can enter the same project in all of the rounds.
  • You may not enter your exact 2014 or 2015 project again. Projects with an old THP label will be disqualified.
  • Significantly alter your 2014 or 2015 entry and start a new Project Profile to enter in the 2016 Hackaday Prize.
Complete details

Important rules


  1. SPONSOR. The Contest is sponsored by Supply Frame, Inc. (“Sponsor”), 51 West Dayton Street, Suite 100, Pasadena, CA 91105.

  2. ELIGIBILITY. Subject to the additional restrictions below, The Hackaday Prize (the “Contest”) is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, Canada (excluding Quebec), the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan, India, South Africa, and wherever else the Contest is not prohibited or restricted by law. The Contest is not open to residents of Quebec, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar (formerly Burma), North Korea, Sudan, Syria, or any jurisdiction where the Contest would be restricted or prohibited by law. Participants must be at least 18 years of age (or the local age of majority where they live, if higher) at the time of registration, except that minors age 13 or older may participate by obtaining the consent of a parent or legal guardian as described below, as long as such participation is not prohibited or restricted by law where the minor lives.

    Projects that were selected as Semifinalists in previous presentations of The Hackaday Prize are not eligible for entry in this Contest, however, the contestants who developed those projects may enter with a substantially different project, provided they are otherwise eligible under these Official Rules.

    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.

    Internet access, a YouTube, Vimeo, or Youku account and personal and project profile pages on are required to participate. Employees and contractors of Sponsor and the family members of, and any persons domiciled with, any such employees and contractors, are not eligible to win. The term “family members” includes spouses, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, grandchildren and in-laws, regardless of where they live.

  3. TERM. The Contest will open at 7:01 a.m. P.D.T. on March 14, 2016 and initial submissions will be accepted until 1:50 p.m. P.D.T. on August 29, 2016. Participants will advance as described below until the Contest ends with the announcement of the prize winners on or around October 22, 2016.

Full contest rules

Common questions

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.

All questions

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