Rewind: 8 Maker projects changing the world

The Hackaday Prize Grand Prize and Best Product winners are both powered by Atmel!

As proof that one small idea can make a big difference in this world, the trio of Patrick Joyce, Steve Evans and David Hopkinson were named this year’s Hackaday Prize Grand Prize winners. The nine-month design contest, which challenged Makers to build something that matters, drew more than 900 entries from folks spanning across the globe with differing backgrounds and skills. After narrowing down the submission pool to 10 finalists, the competition culminated with an award ceremony on November 14th at Hackaday’s Super Conference in San Francisco.


The winning innovation, dubbed Eyedrivomatic, is an eye-controlled wheelchair system that allows those suffering from ALS and those who no longer have use of hands to regain their mobility. Whereas most wheelchair units are rented and therefore unable to be permanently modified, this inexpensive and easily adaptable piece of hardware boasts the ability to improve life for those who require more options for controlling their mode of transportation. According to its creators, since it was a group effort, they have decided to take the $196,883 prize rather than a trip into space.

Other winners included:

Additionally, Reinier van der Lee was the recipient of the Hackaday Prize’s Best Product award and walked away with $100,000. His project, Vinduino, is a low-cost, simple-to-build and rugged tool for optimizing agricultural irrigation, helping to save wine growers at least 25% in water consumption. The sensor-driven platform monitors soil moisture at different depths to determine when to irrigate, and more importantly, how much H2O is necessary.


Congrats to all of the winners — especially the five of the six mentioned above that are powered by Atmel! What’s more, we had the pleasure of going 1:1 with these finalists prior to Hackaday’s SuperCon. You can click on each of the respective projects below.

Eyedrivomatic’s Patrick Joyce


OpenBionics’ Minas Liarokapis


Solar Utility Vehicle’s Chris Low


Gas Sensor for Emergency Workers’ Eric William


Vinduino’s Reinier van der Lee


LUKA EV’s Maurice Ward


FarmBot’s Rory Aronson


uRADMonitor’s Radu Motisan


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