Design Challenges are competitions where selected Members are given product kits to create innovative solutions for some of society's biggest problems. Click on the links below to learn more about each Design Challenge.
Upcycle IoT | Little Free STEM Library | Summer of Green Tech | SciPi | Save the Bees | At the Core | Summer of Sensors | Twist, Turn, and Move Robotics | Pi-Fest | N-gaged Remote Monitoring | Just Encase | Summer of FPGA | Low Power IoT | Design for a Cause 2021 | 1 Meter of Pi | Sustain the World | Connected Cloud | Think ON | PiCasso | Sixth Sense | Design for a Cause | Bluetooth Unleashed | Pi Chef | IoT on Wheels | Upcycle it | Safe & Sound | Pi IoT | Make Life Accessible | Music Tech | Vertical Farming | Sci Fi Your Pi | Enchanted Objects | Sudden Impact | In The Air | Hats Off | Forget Me Not | Internet of Backyard | Inductive Sensing | Beyond The Phone | Rocking Raspberry Pi | BeagleBone Black Radio | Pi NoIR and Catch Santa | Smarter Life | Get Closer | Energy Harvesting | Cut the Cord! | Ultimate RoadTest
Summer of Green Tech
To celebrate Earth Day (22nd April 2023), we invite challengers to design a project to help preserve our planet for future generations. Plant the Seeed on Green Technology this Summer!
Winner: Alistair's Cool Wave project avoid carbon emissions created by traditional air conditioners, while still keeping you cool.
Winner: soldering.on's Pollinator Pollster is an automated remote monitoring system that detects pollinating insects via audio classification
Winner: ralphjy's Bee Healthy uses sound for tracking and maintaining a healthy bee-hive.
Winner: Digimorf's ATCDC SEGA SG-1000 Emulator shows great use of the ModusToolbox, from Device Configurator to DMA and Linker File edits. It also demonstrated the power of multi-cores.
Summer of Sensors Challenge Collaborated with Maxim Integrated, Renesas, STMicroelectronics, Vishay
Challengers must use the various kits: In the Air Tonight Theme: ZMOD4510-EVK, TAG You’re it Theme: STEVAL-SMARTTAG1,Exploration Station Theme: SensorXplorer, and Healing Touch Theme: MikroE Bio Sensors with Arduino Uno to build a sensor specific project corresponding to its theme.
Winner: rahulkhanna's Smart Container Tracking enabled GPS Fleet Tracking, Online Thing Speak IoT web dashboard, NMEA Messaging, GPS RTK Receiver and GUI.
Misaz's VEML3328 Colour Sensors is an IoT connected air quality sensor that explored low power modes, MQTT, and JSON while using the WiFi Dongle.
osjef's IntelliLight - Adaptive Smart Bulb Controller monitors ambient light to help save eye strain and power.
milosrasic98's Elderly Health Monitoring System measures one's health through a finger reading. It logs the data and uploads to a smart device.
Twist, Turn, and Move Robotics Collaborated with TE Connectivity
Challengers must use the TE Connectors, an Arduino Uno, and Robotics Shields to build and design a mobile robot or arm that performs a specific task.
Winner: amgalbu's Rullit is a wonderful PV cell panel cleaning robot with a fun and economic method of locomotion.
Pi-Fest Collaborated with Raspberry Pi
Challengers must use the Raspberry Pi Pico and your chosen accessories in a musical or audio project. You could be center stage on our Pi-Fest livestream and on the Tour Poster.
Winner: dougw's It Came From The Synth is an electronics audio system based on the Raspberry Pi Pico that plays a medley of mystery tunes.
N-gaged Remote Monitoring Sponsored by Omega
Challengers must use Omega’s Wireless Layer N EcoSystem to create an IoT solution featuring remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, environmental management, and more.
Winner: scottiebabe's Maple Tree Telemetry successfully monitored maple trees and its environmental changes for sap collection purposes.
Winner: milorasic98's Orb-Weaver Rover displays the best use of encasing in a project build while capturing data in a fun and fully functioning rover.
Winner: pandoramc's Hack CPUMOD S7 is an excellent example of how to rebuild a working CPU inside an FPGA.
Winner: ralphjy's Low Power Secure Entry included microwave motion detection, object classification, facial recognition and access that is also low power optimized!
Winner: javagoza's VenTTracker monitors gas density and controls windows to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Winner: feiticeir0's Space Vegetables successful interior hydroponic garden that integrated timelapse, Twitter, and the Pi Camera in its setup.
Winner: asokfair's Smart Farming Hoe is a tool with the power to control BLE Mesh network, solar power, lighting control, and a water pump to always keep your plants in check!
Winner: balearicdynamics's Home Super Smart is an in-home modificaiton device including noise sensors, kitchen environmental control, and more. It uses MQTT and AWS for the main infrastructure with remote ESP8266 nodes and UI for the PSoC6.
Winner: mahmood.hassan's Grow Organic with Smart Garden is an inexpensive automated home garden that will allow you to grow crops 365 days a year, including hydroponic tuned lighting, moisture sensors, etc.
Winner: balearicdynamics' Art-A-Tronic Exhibition an augmented mannequin with Pi computer vision, binaural hearing, a MQTT connection to the "BORG Communication Nexus", and more. It was featured in a Gent exhibit in Belgium.
Sixth Sense Sponsored by ST Microelectronics & TE Connectivity
Challengers are tasked with upgrading a device, such as a remote control car, drone, robot, tunnel exploration bot, etc and then giving it a sixth sense with ST Microelectronics and TE Connectivity products.
Winner: dougw's Graffiti Bot is a fully autonomous robot that produces a liquid canvas drawing. It involves mechanical, electronics, software, and hydraulic design.
Design for a Cause Collaborated with Arduino
Challengers are invited to design a piece of assistive technology for individuals living with physical or mental impairments using the Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board.
Winner: Milos Rasic's Fingerprint Skeleton Key helps users with sight issues or low dexterity open locked doors. It uses fingerprint and RFID sensors to make the correct key selection.
Winner: shabaz's Smart Doorbell is one of the most overpowered and well engineered doorbells in the history of mankind, Using Texas Instruments, custom PCBs and Bluetooth Low Energy.
Winner: aspork42's Smart Range Hood is a custom built 40" range hood with extractor fan, video, heat sensors, air quality sensor and app using NodeRed, MQTT and Open Hab. It also has a special husband summoning button.
IoT on Wheels Sponsored by ST Microelectronics
Challengers are invited to design a device that makes a vehicle safer, smarter or more efficient, whether it has one, two, three, or four wheels using the STM32 Nucleo Board and challenge kit.
Winner: dixonselvan's Traffic Predictor and Auto Pilot device can attach to your vehicle and scan the traffic around your vehicle using a sonar system.
Upcycle it Sponsored by Intel
Engineers, DIY hobbyists and tinkerers to upcycle an obsolete item, computer, piece of electronic equipment or appliance and make a cool new electronics project built around the Upcycle It Challenge kit.
Winner: Carmelito's Upcycled Clock is a smart clock with special built-in sensors. It contains a variety of LED lights and can visually and verbally communicate the weather, traffic, air quality and temperature, as well as read Twitter and Gmail messages.
Safe & Sound
element14 invites all electronic engineers, performance apparel designers and makers to conceive and build a 'safe and sound' wearable device that facilitates personal or health safety with the challenge kit.
Winner: dougw's Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System researches a wearable monitoring solution for invisible potential hazards in the environment, encapsulated in 3D-printed cases. The IHEFMS monitors and displays air quality, carbon monoxide, alcohol and radiation levels.
Pi IoT Smarter Spaces with Raspberry Pi 3 Collaborated with Raspberry Pi Foundation
Build your own personal Internet of Things (IoT) command center with the Pi 3 to control any living space - connecting your favourite gear and smart technologies.
Winner: favn's Pi IoT Alarm Clock provides full monitoring from two units and controls all IoT devices via a network in the most inhabited rooms at home – the living and bedroom – demonstrating how any homeowner could maintain control of chosen spaces at all times.
Make Life Accessible Design Challenge Sponsored by NXP
Build motor control inspired solutions using the NXP FRDM-KV31 & FRDM-MC-LVPMSM to benefit those who are disabled or vulnerable - enabling them to live independently, confidently, and better.
Winner: dougw's Clear Walk - Moving Mirrors was designed to aid make safe icy walkways and driveways by redirecting sunlight.
Music Tech Design Challenge Collaborated with Autodesk Fusion 360 + BeagleBoard.org
Our members invented electronic projects based on the Music Tech Kit to manipulate or create audio – whether it is a musical instrument, voice, recordings, or from sounds we may hear around us.
Winner: liamtmlacey's Vintage Toy Synthesiser that turned a vintage wooden toy piano into a standalone digital hardware synthesiser, keeping the existing key mechanism and enclosure.
Vertical Farming Design Challenge Sponsored by Silicon Labs + Würth Electronik
Members use the vertical farming kit to grow fresh food in urban areas - closer to the populations that will consume them. This means shifting from traditional outdoor gardens to indoor systems for food production.
Winner: Jose Marques' Modular Farm Project used solar energy as a renewable power source and stored the surplus generated on an efficient lithium-ion battery power bank to build a sustainable system targeting a net-zero energy situation.
Sci Fi Your Pi Design Challenge Collaboration with Raspberry Pi Foundation
Members were challenged to create applications that inspired them from science fiction using the Sci-Fi Your Pi kit; the inspiration could arise from a movie, television programme, novel, comic book or even a radio show.
Winner: balearicdynamics' Meditech is a Star Trek inspired build.
Enchanted Objects Design Challenge Sponsored by Atmel + Infineon
Members were challenged to revitalize old objects, appliances and furniture and turn them into “enchanted” ones, rendered so by the addition of the latest Internet of Things technology. They used the Enchanted Object kit in their projects.
Winner: Workshopshed's Enchanted Cottage is designed right out of the storybooks. Deep in the forest is a small cottage owned by a timeless couple, Hans and Matilda who are doomed never to meet - for when it is wet he goes outside, but when it is dry she must leave the house.
Sudden Impact Wearables Design Challenge Sponsored by Analog Devices + Tektronix
Challengers to use the power of the Community and technology to make sports safer for young athletes with the Sudden Impact kit.
Winner: Cosmin Iorga's Wearable Sudden Impact and Health Monitor is designed to try and detect athletes' health conditions that require medical attention when immediate symptoms may not always give advance warning to an inevitable health issue.
In The Air Design Challenge Sponsored by CISCO, eclipse, Keysight Technologies, Sierra Wireless, + Würth Electronik
The challenge objective is to create a solution using IoT technology to sense the environment we live in and how to build a cleaner and less polluted world.
Winner: xever's Carbon Footprint Monitoring System is a basic yet functional prototype that would monitor the Winners own daily carbon footprint.
Hats Off Design Challenge Sponsored by adafruit
Ten Competitors from around the world were challenged with upgrading an everyday hat. Each competitor was given an adafruit GEMMA Sensor Pack to bring their ideas into reality. Music festival mullet, Easter Bonnet, Jaunty Fascinator and even an Iron Man Helmet are all here.
Winner: brenyc13's Jaunty Fascinator changes color (cool-to-warm) and intensity (dim-to-bright) based on the wearer's amount of movement. Four NeoPixels are concealed within elegantly sewn folds of translucent polyethylene plastic, creating a diffusion effect for the light. The plastic folds also hide a base supporting the Gemma battery pack, and the added Flora Accelerometer used to detect the wearer's movement.
Forget Me Not Design Challenge Collaboration with Raspberry Pi Foundation
Deliver an IoT solution that would allow peace of mind while taking a holiday vacation. The kit included a Raspberry Pi Foundation Model B+, an EnOcean Pi Transceiver and a PiFace Digital board.
Winner: fvan's Forget Me Not Project used GPIO pins and USB ports to connect a variety of sensors, including driving servos to dispense cat food, monitor whether a door is left open, and transmit the status of remote RFID devices.
Internet of Backyard Design Challenge
Ten brave challengers embarked on an epic quest to build the greatest internet connected invention. Armed with the SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi CC3200 LaunchPad one heroic contestant rose to challenge and was victorious.
Winner: janisalnis' Tomato Greenhouse is a house entrance solar powered garden lamp with IoT connectivity, employing a PIR motion detector that will only switch on the LEDs when someone is nearby.
Inductive Sensing Design Challenge Collaboration with EAGLE
The competition challenges design engineers to create and discover new uses for inductive sensing, a contactless, magnet-free sensing technology. Sensors convert readings into digital information that can be stored and shared online, and this technology has significant implications for the Internet of Things.
Winner: heliatck's inductive sensing project was designed where an USB microphone with LDC1000 detects sound waves of higher densities with greater sensitivity and dynamic range.
Beyond The Phone Wireless Power II Design Challenge Sponsored by EAGLE + Würth Electronik
We believe that wireless power isn't just reserved for phones. Throughout the course of this challenge, we witnessed it used in everything from an illuminated beer tap to a sensor for detecting melanoma. There's no doubt that wireless power kit can make our world more fun as well as safer.
Winner: ForcisConnect's wireless powered transponder for those working at sea. The theory is remote commands come through as UDP datagrams to the CC3000 via Wi-Fi and then MSP430FR5739 parses these datagrams and processes accordingly.
Rocking Raspberry Pi Design Challenge Collaboration with Raspberry Pi Foundation
Challengers were encouraged to develop a state-of-the-art karaoke experience with Raspberry Pi and its accessories. The objective being to bring Bollywood and Bangalore closer together through the marriage of song and technology.
Winner: ss_shrenik's double karaoke machines, where the first karaoke machine used the PiFace Control and Display.
Winner: fvan's first class radio is urban chic and we all hope to have one just like it at home.
Pi NoIR and Catch Santa Challenge Collaboration with Raspberry Pi Foundation
Assembling a "Catch Santa Project", i.e. a low-light camera which will capture the activities of December 24th's most famous nocturnal visitor with the Pi Noir.
Winner: fvan's Santa Catcher with Pi Noir
Winner: dougw's The Henrietta implemented a widely used household system (thermostat) leveraging some of the world's greatest technologies like cell phones, PCs, Bluetooth, android and GPS - all of which help make the system more powerful, more exciting and relevant to today's wireless generation.
Get Closer Wearables Challenge Sponsored by adafruit
Eight challengers built wearable electronics projects to enhance their daily lives using the FLORA platform. Possible applications: telepresence color-changing lamps, GPS-guided scavenger hunts, motion-activated bouquets for Mom, and so much more. They created technology that helps people get that much closer!
Winner: zengirl2's The FLORAbrella, is equipped with LED neopixel strips that change color. It had three modes: color match, which used a color sensor to match colors; a rainbow display; and simulated rainfall.
Honorable Mention: linkaspers' FLORAColorCam teaches children colors through object association. When the user takes a photo of the felt pictures, which depict a red strawberry or a yellow sun, they were given three color choices on the back of the camera. A series of green lights appeared if the correct color is selected.
Energy Harvesting RoadTest Design Challenge Sponsored by Linear Technology, Silicon Labs, Würth Electronik + element14
Selected competitors were provided with Energy Harvesting Solution to Go Kits, and used them to make a new product, which could either use Energy Harvesting to replace a device that uses battery or mains power, or alternatively, create an entirely new gadget of their own design.
Winner: gelmi developed a practical Carbon Monoxide Detector prototype that could be powered by Energy Harvesting.
2nd Winner: vsluiter's Egg Timer cook eggs over a lower fire is wasting less energy. With the Egg Timer, you don't have to keep a constant temperature.
Imagine a World Without Cords - Cut the Cord! Design Challenge Sponsored by Würth Electronik
Create contactless charging solutions as part of the competition in line with wireless power consortium specifications. The Wireless Power Design Kit and EAGLE Pro License were used.
Winner: johnsocm built a Wireless Power Evaluation Kit for both Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone and represented innovation at its best.
Ultimate RoadTest Design Challenge Sponsored by EAGLE
Build a working prototype app using existing development tools, software, and design tools (including EAGLE & the CC3000 SimpleLink) to create a real-world solution for home automation. The end application had to include functional elements with wireless, sensing, motor control, and lighting.
Winner: COMPACT's Code Name project has remote commands come through as UDP datagrams to the CC3000 via Wi-Fi. Then the MSP430FR5739 parses these datagrams and processes accordingly.