Hackaday Prize 2016
Written by Sue Gee   
Sunday, 20 March 2016

The theme for the 2016 Hackaday Prize is "Build Something That Matters". The contest, which has a total prize pool of $300,000, is broken into five separate challenges, the first of which is already underway, but there's still plenty of time to get involved.



Each phase of the contest lasts 5 weeks and the timetable is as follows:

  • Design Your Concept March 14th –  April 25th

    How you think about your project and go about planning to solve the question you want to solve. 
    Minimum entry requirements: Idea + image + documentation

  • Anything Goes April 25th – May 30th
    Build whatever you want. 
    Minimum entry requirements for this and subsequent 3 contests:
    Idea + image + documentation + 4 build logs

  • Citizen Scientist May 30th – July 11th
    This challenge is about expanding the frontiers of knowledge. Create something new, study something undiscovered, or replicate and verify scientific studies. For example, build a graphene supercapacitor, study the effects of a behavior, build an open source instrumentation device.

  • Automation July 11th – August 22nd
    Automate your life. Program a robot to obey your every command. Build a device that makes breakfast or buys laundry detergent when you’re running low. Automatically track stuff, automate any process, build a Me-robot to do your every whim.

  • Assistive Technologies August 22nd – October 3rd
    Build a project that helps others move better, see better, or live better. Whether that means exoskeletons, a better wheelchair, a braille display, or educational software, we want to see it.


You can enter in any or all of these categories, using the same project for all of them if it fits the bill and you can even base your entry on a project submitted for the previous Hackaday Prizes as long as it didn't reach the Semifinal round and you create a new project page and make significant changes to it. For this reason many of the projects already entered in the Idea Slam round, look like well developed projects. 




The judging criteria for the preliminary rounds are:

  • Is there a well thought out idea that is clear as to what the intention is?
  • Does the project address the challenge?
  • Is the project well documented and with 
  • Is there a system design, CAD model or napkin sketch?
  • Is the project creative, original and pushing some boundaries?

Twenty projects will be chosen from each of the 5 rounds to advance to the finals and awarded $1000 per project. For the finals a project needs a video that shows a working prototype and at least 10 project log updates. The project profile also needs a components list that is complete with a bill of materials for one unit, build instructions and complete schematics plus high resolution photos of the project inside and out.

A panel of expert judges will select the winning entries and award five top prizes of $150k, $25k, $10k, $10k and $5k. In addition the 1st place project will win a residency in the Supplyframe Design lab to develop their project further - Suppyframe being the company that acquired Hack A Day in 2013 and have been responsible for Hackaday.io and this contest. 

Last year the Hackaday community surpassed 100,000 members and so there's likely to be plenty of interest in this contest. To encourage members to submit projects to the first round there's $4000 in seed money to be given away for projects that attract likes, up to a limit of $200 per project. Over $1000 has already been distributed - leaving almost $3000.  

The contest is open world wide with the usual exceptions to those aged 18 or over and, with parental consent, to those aged 13 or over. The first step is to sign up to Hackaday.io - after which you'll be able to submit your own projects and like those of others.


More Information


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 March 2016 )