The 2016 Hackaday Prize is geared towards finding solutions to technological problems affecting humanity. With a community of hackers whose skills ranging from researching project ideas to writing code to building hardware , it is an amazing mix of people all working to make things better than they were before. Of over 1000 entries, several are available on Tindie. Let’s take a look!
RPi WiFi Power Pants:
The idea behind this entry is simple and the solution is really elegant. The Raspberry Pi Zero only has one USB port for data transfer so if you want to add WiFi you would normally use a USB WiFi adapter with a USB hub of some sort. The downside to this is that it’s messy and adds a lot of bulk to the tiny Raspi Zero. This ESP8266 Wifi Board add-on sits neatly on top of the Pi and lets you keep the USB port for other uses.
Check out the RPi Wifi hackaday.io page for the full build details
Memtype : Open Source Password Keeper
With minimum password requirements getting more and more complicated, it is basically impossible to remember them all assuming you use a different password for every account. There are loads of software password keepers available for use with a computer but if you don’t trust them, there is always Memtype, a USB password storage device. This tiny board uses an attiny85 as it’s brains and it is impressive how much functionality they have squeezed onto such a tiny chip. Passwords stored on the device are encrypted and can only be accessed when a 4 digit pin is entered. Another nice feature of this device is that it presents itself as an HID device to your computer meaning there is no need to download any drivers.
For more details about the Memtype project, check out its page on Hackaday.io.
WINXI – Arduino Zero Pro M0 stick:
The Arduino Zero board comes with an Atmel SAMD21 MCU which is a 32 bit Arm Cortex M0+ chip. The WINXI board uses the same chip but in a smaller form factor PCB which can be plugged directly into a USB port.For those looking to get started with ARM development it is a nice board to ease into the process because you can use the plentiful Arduino Libraries already available and then give some bare-metal ARM programming a try if you’ve got a masochistic streak.
WINXI hackaday.io page.
Configum FPGA Module:
Configum is an FPGA development board squeezed into a 1 square inch PCB. On the board you have a Spartan FPGA which has 14,579 logic cells, 64Mb DDR, a micro-SD card holder, 24MHz oscillator, 8-bit configurable ADC/DAC/IO port, JTAG functionality, four debug LEDs, a small reset button, and the ability to supply external board circuitry with 3.3V power. The boards creator, Knivd sums up this board perfectly in the Tindie product description : “There is a number of FPGA platforms on the market now. Configum is like all of them, just smaller, thinner, lighter, better.”
Configum Hackaday.io page
CleanHawk 250 Quadcopter Power Distribution Board:
This quad-copter power distribution board aims to keep the wiring of the Emax 250 quadcopter as clean as possible. This is achieved by using this PCB as the quadcopter base plate instead of the usual carbon fiber base plate. The board is designed to distribute power for things like the motors, camera, flight computer, and LEDs.
Cleanhawk 250 Power Distrubution Board Hackaday.io page.
Vertically Mounted Arduino Board:
What you see is really what you get with this one. It’s an Arduino, but all of the pins are broken out to a single row of header pins. This means you can plug it into a single row on a breadboard, saving space. It’s a novel idea with a nicely designed PCB.
Vertical Arduino Tindie Page.
Vertial Arduino Hackaday.io Page.
Interactive light effect tower:
This LED tower is not only interesting to look at, it also reacts to music and nearby motion. The motion detection works using three IR sensors fitted to the tower, one points upwards and the other two are mounted on the sides. Waving your hand over different parts of the device changes things like colour or intensity.
LED Tower Hackaday.io page
This is another Arduino based dev board containing an Atmel SAM Arm Chip. The board comes with a USB-serial adapter and a serial bootloader. It is quite similar to the WINXI board featured above. Both are good boards and provide a good introduction to ARM programming.
MiniSam Hackaday.io page.
The LiFePO4wered/Pi is a battery backup add-on module for the Raspberryy Pi. If you want to run your Pi on a not so reliable power source like Solar Panels, the battery backup will let properly shutdown the Pi when the voltage drops too low, preventing the dreaded OS corruption. Also good if you just want to work off battery power for a few hours or have the Pi wake up, do some task then go back to sleep to last a long time on battery.
LiFePO4wered/Pi Hackaday.io page
Last Chance to Enter
The Hackaday Prize closes for entries on Monday, October 3rd. Make this weekend your personal hackathon and build a prototype of an assistive technology. Twenty entries will be chosen to receive $1000 each, and move on to the final round for a chance at $150,000 and a residency at the Supplyframe Design Lab in Pasadena.
See more awesome Tindie projects on Hackaday.io.
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