Design Contest with MikroE

image

We’ve teamed up with MikroeElektronika to issue a challenge to all hardware designers out there.

Before September 18th, design and submit an innovative mikroBUS™ add-on board. If your project rises above the competition, your board will be manufactured and marketed – it will join the Most Excellent Order of MikroElektronika click™ boards. And you, the champion, will be showered with $6500+ worth of prizes from Upverter and MikroElektronika.

image

New To Click Boards ?

click™ boards are add-on boards with a standardized mikroBUS™ pinout that make hardware prototyping as elegant as it gets. Each board carries a single sensor, transceiver, display, encoder, connection port or any other sort of chip or module. There are currently more than 130 of them.

image

From the idea to the final touch, here are things you should consider:

1. Idea: Will your board be useful to end-users? What’s it for? What’s the short term and long term market availability and price of the BOM? Is there a novelty factor to your design and the technology it’s based on?

2. Design: Is the main chip or module used to its full potential? How functional is the layout? (for example, if the click board has a pushbutton on it — is it placed on the optimal position? Did you do your best with routing the board? Did you follow the guidelines of the particular chip or module’s producer?
(the complexity of the design comes to play here)

3. Final Touch: Did you come up with a cool name? Silkscreen illustrations?
Shape of the PCB?

Getting Started…

First, register a starter Trial account on Upverter (takes less than a minute). Then, to make sure your design conforms with mikroBUS™ specifications, fork one of following templates (NOTE: don’t call your board a “click”, that’s reserved for the winner):

There are three sizes you can work with: Small, Medium & Large.  To better understand all the possibilities and constraints of mikroBUS™ download the official spec document: HERE.

Submit your design HERE.

image

First Place:

1. 5x winning click™ board and a special commemorative plaque for bragging rights, and the winning design gets manufactured and marketed.
2.  A one year Upverter Standard account (valued at $499/month)
3. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
4. “Easy” board of choice
5. clicker 2 board of choice
6. Arduino UNO click shield, Pi 2 click™ shield, mikroBUS™ cape
7. An hour of hardware design consulting with Upverter engineers via phone/Skype

Second Place:

1. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
2. “Easy” board for architecture of choice
3. A Design review from Upverter engineers
4. An hour of hardware design consulting over phone/skype

Third Place: 

1. mikroC, mikroBasic or mikroPascal compiler license of choice
2. clicker 2 board for architecture of choice
3. An hour of hardware design
4. consulting with Upverter engineers via phone/Skype

image

Submitting Your Design
Remember — only one mikroBUS™ add-on board from this competition
will become a click™ board. To increase your chances, you can submit
as many designs as you like. Terms and conditions apply.

Send all submission through the official contest portal –> HERE

Good Luck To All!

FirstBuild Circuit Design Challenge

image

Upverter is partnering with FirstBuild to launch a circuit board design challenge for the home appliances of the future.  Challenge participants design circuits on the Upverter platform, and winners receive a cash prize as well as a year’s professional subscription to Upverter.

FirstBuild and GE Appliances previously released the green bean maker module which provides a USB interface and Node.js SDK to several major GE appliances.  This challenge offers hardware engineers the opportunity to extend, iterate or replace the functionality of the green bean module, and offer their own vision of the future of home appliance technology.

image

FirstBuild is a partnership between General Electric and Local Motors to create a new model for the appliance industry.  Be sure to check out FirstBuild’s Upverter projects for inspiration!

Upverter sponsors Nodebots Day

Upverter Node Bots Day


“We’re going to get together, collaborate and hack.”

Jason (@_jden) told us about the Nodebots Day earlier this week and we thought it was a great idea to help newcomers to hardware. So we’ve teamed up with the team at Nodebots to “hook you up with some great stuff for you introduction to the world of hardware”.


How does it work?

Create an Upverter account, design an Arduino compatible board and if you submit your project within the first 20 we will build it and deliver it to you at the Nodebots Day on July 27th.

Make sure you submit your designs by Thursday 18th.

Want more info? Check this out or ask us using #hwintro on Twitter.

Good luck!

The Instagram of Toast & Our Best Hackathon Yet!

Hack1


Hack3


Hack2


Hack5


Hack7


Hack8


Hack9


Hack10


Hack4


Hack11


Img_2130


Img_2131


Img_2132


Img_2133


Img_2134


Img_2136


Img_2135


Img_2137


Img_2138


Img_2139


Img_2140


Img_2142


Img_2143


Img_2144


Img_2145


Img_2146


Img_20130223_152533


Img_3449


Img_3468


Img_3484


Img_3485


Img_3490


Img_3469


Img_3486


Img_3446


Img_3466

We just wrapped up our best hackathon yet. Across the board we blew past our goals. I think it goes without saying that hardware is back. Hackers & inventors are everywhere and they are working very hard to make your world a better place.


Background

First off, I need to thank Y Combinator and all of our peers in YC alumni companies that helped make this event happen. Without them this hackathon just wouldn’t have been possible.

A few months ago I was having a coffee with Paul Graham in Palo Alto. I was bragging about the latest release of Upverter and how it was now possible for us to host hardware hackathons, having hackers design hardware in hours instead of weeks (a huge requirement for a hackathon). I told him how awesome our other hackathons had been. Paul stopped me and said:

Wait, wait, wait… You can finally do all that? Do you want to do a hardware hackathon at YC?

ABSOLUTELY!

We agreed that it’s still very early in the hardware renaissance, and that small communities need a focal point. We agreed that we should all be trying to help and if we could help in any way, it would be in getting everyone together in the same space and providing that focal point.

It turns out a hackathon is the perfect way to do that.


Recap

Over the last 2 months we’ve been working to make this hackathon happen. It all came to a head on Friday when three members of the Upverter flew team down to Mountain View, rendezvoused  with about 20 other mentors, worked out out the flow of the event, got almost no sleep, showed up at YC at 7:30 (the morning one… ugh), and kicked off the biggest event we have ever thrown.


7:30am

We spent the first 30 minutes frantically setting up power and network for ~200 people. 300+ outlets, 40 power strips, 15 extension cables, and 3 wireless networks…


8:00am

About 50 team leaders start showing up. We go on a deep dive through the tools, the event, the workflow, judging, food, how to get help, and how to design hardware.


9:00am

Leaders start soliciting team members and chasing down ideas. Ideation hits full stride. Teams start forming up.


9:45am

COFFEE FINALLY SHOWS UP


10:00am

The event kicks off. We all go through the entire event flow and logistics talk. We do a round of Q&A, and we wrap up with a 10 minute countdown to finish ideation & team building.


10:30am

GO! With all but 2 hackers grouped into teams and all ideas tabled, the hack starts.


12:00pm

Lunch is served! (BBQ… Which is delicious!) Other than a lack of utensils everyone gets fed without a hitch.


6:00pm

1 hour left!


7:00pm

PENCILS DOWN! After 8.5 hours of solid hacking we break for dinner


7:01pm

DINNER IS SERVED! (Chinese.. Also delicious, and a bit spicy!)


7:30pm

Presentations begin. 60 seconds per team, tell us the problem/idea, what you wanted to do, what you actually did, and show us some design files or prototypes.


8:30pm

Presentations end. Judges confer. Hackers mingle.


8:45pm

Awards! Prizes!


10:00pm

GO HOME ALREADY!


11:30pm

Cleanup finished! High fives all around! Upverter locks up and heads out for an exhausted pint


Stats!

Some numbers to paint a picture of who this event touched:

  • 10K+   Pre-event reach
  • 300     Applications
  • 200     Invitations (limited by space)
  • 132+   Attendees
  • 32       Submitted hacks
  • 30       Presentations
  • 23       Mentors
  • 11       Awards


1st Prize: Tactilus

The Tactilus is a haptic feedback glove for interacting with 3D environments. A series of cables applies pressure to the wearer’s fingers to resist their motion in response to pushing against a virtual object. When can I get my hands on one?


Runner Up: Baby Rocker

Why rock your baby to sleep yourself when you can have a robot do it for you? Prototyped with an electric can opener, the baby rocker rocks your baby gently to sleep with the push of a button in a mobile app.


Most Marketable Award: DIYNot

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=3e5909903314361c,actionId=

The DIYNot is a plug that goes in-line with any of your AC appliances (that draw 2 amps or less) and gives you the power to switch it on or off via a microcontroller (not included). The simple schematic give it an excellent part to prize ratio.


Vision Award: Circuit Checker

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=957fd48c8a5278f5,actionId=

Circuit Checker is a tool for verifying the construction of your electronic devices. It analyzes files in the Upverter Open JSON Format and calculates the expected impedance at several nodes in the layout. The designer then uses the device to measure impedance at the calculated points and verify the construction of the device.


Presentation Award: Picture Toaster

The Instagram of Toast. Send it an image, and this magical toaster will burn it into the surface of the greatest thing ever invented – sliced bread. Jam and butter not included.


Utility Award: Window Blind Controller

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=8cb1a2c1c77c9f42,actionId=

We’ve all been there – the streetlights shine into your room at night and prevent you from sleeping, but if you close them, you’ll miss the sunrise and sleep in ‘till noon. Not with the Window Blind Controller! This handy device clips to your blinds and opens them automatically as morning approaches.


Assistive Technology Award: Walkmen

The Walkmen  is an ultrasound virtual walking stick with haptic feedback for guiding blind and otherwise disabled people while they walk.


Wearable Technology Award: Body API

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=8d826a29e9c88c5e,actionId=

For the quantified self enthusiast who needs more than a step counter, the Body API is a comprehensive metric-gathering device that gives you the data you need to min/max real life.


Student Award: SeeTheLight

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=4270f89827dea245,actionId=

The $1500 price tag on Google Glass got you down? For students on a budget, these glasses made of laser-cut MDF help you find north by lighting up one of the embedded LEDs that most directly faces Santa’s Workshop. There’s no built-in video camera, but those are kinda creepy anyway.


Corportate Shill Award: Electric Imp / Twitter M&M

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=f61ab60071922544,actionId=

A candy dispenser upgraded with a sleek and sexy Electric Imp. It dispenses M&M’s in response to tweets, making it an invaluable addition to introductory psychology classes everywhere. Did we mention it was made by the team from Electric Imp?


Best Lockitron Knockoff Award: Spark

http://upverter.com/eda/embed/#designId=0a66bd01e954e877,actionId=

It’s like Lockitron for your lights! This ATMega-powered light switch adds Wi-fi to your home switches, giving you the power to prank your friends, confuse your neighbours, throw wicked lightswitch raves, and even do useful things like making sure you didn’t forget to turn your lights off.


Upverter Honorable Mention: Prism

These guys built themselves a Google Glass knockoff in 9 hours, complete with embedded display and gesture-based interactions, and didn’t even get an official award. We can’t stop talking about how cool their project is, though, so we’re giving them an Upverter Honorable Mention. Great work guys!


Participating Companies

Thanks again to everyone that helped out!