Category Archives: 2018 Hackaday Prize

Robotic Muscles from Fishing Line and Nichrome

Did you know that under the right conditions, nylon can be used as a type of artificial muscle? We certainly didn’t until we came across [Brandon T. Wood]’s Material Linear-Actuator for Robotics entry for the 2018 Hackaday Prize.

When [Brandon] first learned about Nylon Linear Material Actuators (NLMAs), he became determined to find a repeatable and practical method of making and experimenting with them. This is how it works: hyper-wound coils of nylon, when heated, will contract along their length while expanding in width. Upon cooling, they return to their original shape.

[Brandon] has been busy mainly with the kind …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, artificial muscle, muscle wire, nichrome, NLMA, Nylon Linear Material Actuator, nylon muscle, robotics, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

Open Hardware Takes Charge in Papua New Guinea

You probably don’t think much about charging your phone. Just find an outlet, plug it in, and wait a while. Can’t find a cable or wall wart? A rainbow of cheap, candy-colored options awaits you down at the brightly-lit corner drugstore.

This scenario couldn’t be further from reality in third world countries like Papua New Guinea, where people living in remote jungles have cell phone coverage, but have to charge their phones by hooking them up directly to cheap solar panels and old car batteries.

[Marius Taciuc] wants to change all of that. At the suggestion of his friend [Brian], …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, buck converter, Cellphone Hacks, clean power, papua new guinea, solar charger, solar hacks, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

Putting More Tech Into More Hands: The Robin Hoods of Hackaday Prize

Many different projects started with the same thought: “That’s really expensive… I wonder if I could build my own for less.” Success is rewarded with satisfaction on top of the money saved, but true hacker heroes share their work so that others can build their own as well. We are happy to recognize such generosity with the Hackaday Prize [Robinhood] achievement.

Achievements are a new addition to our Hackaday Prize, running in parallel with our existing judging and rewards process. Achievements are a way for us to shower recognition and fame upon creators who demonstrate what we appreciate from our …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, 3d printer, air pressure, AMS, cnc, CNC router, CNC woodworking, conveyor belt, conveyor belt printer, Hackaday Columns, infinite build volume printer, maslow, photospectrometer, plywood, pressure sensitive, pressure sensor, reflectance, reflectance sensor, reprap, scara, solar lantern, spectrometer, The Hackaday Prize, wooden CNC router, woodworking | Leave a comment

Ultra-Low Power, Energy Harvesting Battery Charger

This half-inch square ultra-low power energy harvesting LiPo cell charger by [Kris Winer] uses a low voltage solar panel to top up a small lithium-polymer cell, which together can be used as the sole power source for projects. It’s handy enough that [Kris] uses them for his own projects and offers them for sale to fellow hackers. It’s also his entry into the Power Harvesting Challenge of the Hackaday Prize.

The board is essentially a breakout board for the Texas Instrument BQ25504, configured to charge and maintain a single lithium-polymer cell. The BQ25504 is an integrated part that takes care …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, battery charger, BQ25504, charger, energy harvesting, lipo, low power, SensorTile, solar, solar hacks, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

This Smart Pill Uses A Stomach Acid Battery

[Curt White] is working on a smart pill whose copper-zinc battery will use his own stomach acid as the electrolyte. It’s not that unusual of an idea, MIT tested a similar approach in a pig. It’s also better than using lithium ion batteries, something we covered in this PSA.

His starting point is a small, hacked activity tracker with its Nordic nRF51822 ARM Cortex-M0 and Bluetooth LE SoC. Most everything else is removed. The battery electrodes are sewn onto a plastic mesh cut to the activity tracker’s dimensions. Three coin type super capacitors and a boost converter sit between the …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, battery, bluetooth LE, Medical hacks, pill, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

DIY Socket for Prosthetics Contains Power Supply, Charger

Innovation in prosthetics is open to anyone looking to enhance the quality of life, but there’s an aspect of it that is sometimes under-served. The DIY Prosthetic Socket entry to the Hackaday Prize is all about the foundation of a useful prosthesis: a custom, form-fitting, and effective socket with a useful interface for attaching other hardware. While [atharvshringaregt] is also involved with a project for a high-tech robotic hand with meaningful feedback, socket fitting and design is important enough to be its own project.

The goal is not just to explore creating these essential parts in a way that’s accessible …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, 3d printing, diy, how-to, Medical hacks, Prosthesis, prosthetic, prosthetics, The Hackaday Prize, thermoplastic | Leave a comment

A Flashlight Powered by Your Hot Little Hands

We are smack-dab in the middle of our Energy Harvesting Challenge, and [wasimashu] might have this one in the palm of his hand. Imagine a compact flashlight that doesn’t need batteries or bulbs. You’d buy a 10-pack and stash them everywhere, right? If there’s nothing that will leak or break or expire in your lifetime, why not have a bunch of them around?

Infinity uses nothing but body heat to power a single white LED. It only needs a five-degree temperature difference between the air and your hand to work, so it should be good in pretty much any environment. …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, boost converter, energy harvesting, human batteries, peltier, peltier unit, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

Roboshield Helps Your Robot Walk and Talk

The joy of building robots comes from being able to imbue them with as much or as little personality and functionality as you wish during the design and build process. While creative flair and originality is always a good thing, there’s a lot of basic needs many robots have in common with each other, so where possible it’s good to avoid reinventing the wheel so more time can be spent on more advanced features. Roboshield aims to help make the basics easy so you can let your robot freak flag fly!

At its core, it’s an Arduino shield that packs …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, arduino, robot, shield, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment

Video Quick-Bit: The Things That Move Robots

Magenta Strongheart returns for a look at some of the coolest robotic entries from this year’s Hackaday Prize. Each of these answered the challenge for modular designs that will help supercharge new robot projects.

We think that cheap and abundant motor designs are poised to revolutionize robotics and several of the entries thought along those same lines. [Masahiro Mizuno] came up with a great 3D printed servo design based around a 6mm DC motor. Also in this ballpark, a team of two — Giovanni Leal and Jonathan Diaz — used 3D printing to turn some tiny metallic servos into linear …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, Hackaday Columns, Hackaday Prize Update, Robotics Module, robots hacks, The Hackaday Prize, video quick-bit | Leave a comment

Raspberry Pi Zero Stepper Driver, First of Many Modules

The Raspberry Pi in general (and the Zero W model in particular) are wonderful pieces of hardware, but they’re not entirely plug-and-play when it comes to embedded applications. The user is on the hook for things like providing a regulated power source, an OS, and being mindful of proper shutdown and ESD precautions. Still, the capabilities make it worth considering and [Alpha le ciel] has a project to make implementation easier with the Raspberry Pi Zero W Stepper Motor Module, which is itself part of a larger project plan to make the Pi Zero W into a robust building block …read more

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Posted in 2018 Hackaday Prize, module, motor driver, Raspberry Pi, Raspberry Pi W, robotics, robots hacks, The Hackaday Prize | Leave a comment