So Long Hackaday Prize, Hello New Contests
2023 marks the end of the Hackaday Prize contest, which has been running for the past 10 years. That is not to say Hackaday won’t find new ways to celebrate makers and their projects, however any new contests will be smaller and more targeted. The value of the prizes awarded may also change, but the quality of the projects is unlikely to, since the awards were never what drove the contestants to share their various project details.
The Hackaday Prize certainly went out with a bang, the project that won the Grand Prize will be a game changer for anyone with vision impairments. There have been Braille displays and keyboards for quite a while, but they also come with a huge price tag and even used and refurbished models cost thousands of dollars. The winning project by Vijay is the successful cumulation of years spent designing an Electromechanical Refreshable Braille Module. With the use of a 3D printer to create six individually controlled pins and a block to hold them along with a bit of electrical work you can use this project to create a low cost Braille interface which can be built out to any size desirable.
Samuel Alexander’s project won the ProtoLabs grant, his AI Recycle Bin is able to sort your recycling based on the noise made when you toss your items into the bin. It might not be for everyone, but for large public spaces it could certainly be useful.
The runners up include the JUMPERLESS project, allowing you to set up and test your projects on a breadboard without needing any wires, all connections are done programmatically. The AUTODUCT project will allow apartment buildings to control their HVAC systems with far more efficiently at a very low upfront cost. You can also check out the OHMNI-STICK which will allow those with limited motor abilities to interface with a computer and last but not least is a way to inexpensively print out Braille documents called BRAILLERAP.