The 2015 Hackaday Prize calls hackers to save the world


Atmel is a proud sponsor of this year’s contest that looks to ‘make’ a difference in our world.


Want to go to space or grab $196,883? How does $100,000 and a 6-month residency sound? These and hundreds of other prizes await those who ideate and build something that matters, or as we like to put it, literally ‘make’ a difference.

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Last year, our friends at Supplyframe launched the first-ever Hackaday Prize,​ a competition designed to drive innovation in connected hardware around the Internet of Things. After proving to be a roaring success, the contest received entries from 55 countries, awarded over $350,000 in prizes, and saw the creation of hundreds of truly excellent open hardware projects — many of which were Atmel powered, may we add.

When all was said and done, the winning submission was a global open-source network of ground stations from a team of 10 Makers led by Pierros Papadeas. The SatNOGS project hoped to enable communication with the thousands of satellites already in orbit. Not long after, third-place victor Michael Colton took his standalone pocket-sized software defined radio to Kickstarter. There, the PSDR garnered over $66,000. And, most recently, second-place recipient Colin O’Flynn has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his hardware security testing platform, ChipWhisperer-Litethat allows developers to explore side-band and glitch vulnerabilities. The question is, which inspiring concepts will follow in their footsteps?

A new year, a new opportunity. This time, the Supplyframe team is issuing a call to hackers, engineers, Makers, and hardware startups from all over the world to focus their creative efforts on solving serious issues that face humanity. The global water crisis, pollution, climate change, food shortages, fossil fuel dependency, and many other big problems are awaiting new solutions. It’s time to unleash the community’s innovative energy and collective expertise to move mankind forward. (“One small step for Makers, one giant leap for mankind.”)

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As if you didn’t know, The Hackaday Prize boasts the richest and most compelling prize pool ever available to hardware hackers. In fact, the grand prize winner this year will once again have the unparalleled opportunity to receive a ticket into space (or $196,883 in cash, a mathematically interesting Monster Group number), and other astounding prizes will be up for grabs with a total value of over $500,000.

“The world has some big problems that still need solving,” explained Steve Flagg, Supplyframe Founder and CEO. “This year’s Hackaday Prize is all about inspiring people to tap into their hacker spirit and to build something that could make a real difference for humanity.”

Joining the team this year are Akiba (Freaklabs, @Freaklabs), Pete Dokter (Sparkfun, @petedokter), Heather Knight (Marilyn MonRobot, @HeatherKnight), Ben Krasnow (GoogleX & host of Applied Science on YouTube, @benkrasnow), Lenore Edman & Windell Oskay (Evil Mad Scientist Labs, @EMSL), and Micah Scott (Scanlime, @Scanlime) alongside returning judges Limor “Ladyada” Fried (Adafruit, @adafruit), Jack Ganssle (Ganssle Group, & The Embedded Muse), Dave Jones (EEVBlog, @eevblog), Ian Lesnet (Dangerous Prototypes, @dangerousproto), and Elecia White (Logical Elegance, @logicalelegance). Safe to say, we cannot be more excited to be a leading sponsor of this quest for the best!

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So, who can participate in this chance of a lifetime? Individuals or teams from the United States, UK and India, among many other countries are eligible to enter. Universities, colleges, hackerspaces, and startups are strongly encouraged to take part, as are young hackers. However, please note, applicants must be 13 year of age or over to qualify.

“The world’s problems can’t wait. Share your ideas to help everyone get started.” Ready to make? Preliminary submissions are now being accepted via H​ackaday.io​ through August 17, 2015. 100 semifinalists will be selected on August 31, with finalists revealed October 5, and winners announced shortly thereafter on November 9.

Was this blog post not thorough enough? You can always learn more here.

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