The Hackaday Prize is a competition sponsored by the online community Hackaday, which is dedicated to taking back the term “hacking.” Hackaday says “Hackers bask in the glory of building it instead of buying it, repairing it rather than trashing it…Using your hardware, coding, scientific, design and mechanical abilities, you will make big changes in peoples’ lives.”

This is the third year of the Hackaday Prize. The contest began March 14 and goes until October, with five challenges.

To enter Challenge 1, all entrants need is a concept.  They describe a technology problem and their idea for solving it. Challenge 1 ends April 25.

Challenge 2, which runs from April 25 to May 30, is for building the idea. Challenges 3, 4, and 5 address specific challenges. Challenge 3 is called Citizen scientist, Challenge 4 is Automation, and Challenge 5 is Assistive technologies.

Twenty entries from each challenge will win $1000 each and advance to the final round, where all 100 projects compete for big prizes. The top prize is $150,000 and the five prizes step down to the lowest award, which is a respectable $5,000.  The first-place winners also get a residency at the Supplyframe Design lab in Pasadena, CA to develop their project.

All projects will be judged on the clarity of the idea, how well the project addresses the problem, the documentation provided, the design, the project logs (for challenges 2-5), and whether the project is “creative, original and pushing some boundaries.”

There’s a full list of fascinating entries on the contest website. There’s also a leader board, and the project called “Gamegirl: the retro console done right” is currently number 3. So far, entries include such varied projects as a platform for programming robots and a device to give colorblind people color vision. There’s also a cheap large-scale 3D printer, a new kind of battery, a home hydroponics system, a cocktail-mixing robot, a DIY laptop, a laser “cane” for visually impaired people, radar for bicycles, a bionic arm for kids, and much more.

The winners will be announced October 22.

This article was written by

Linda learned to play video games as a way to connect with her teenaged kids, and then she learned to love video games for their own sake. At Pixelkin she wrangles the business & management side of things, writes posts as often as she can, reaches out on the social media, and does the occasional panel or talk. She lives in Seattle, where she writes, studies, plays video games, spends time with her family, consumes vast quantities of science fiction, and looks after her small cockapoo. She loves to hear from people out there. You can read more about her at her website, Linda or her family foundation's website,