Design Challenges Come From Wonder
That is, we spend a lot of time wondering about the substantial challenges of modern life. . .
- If we have energy harvesting, why am I always replacing the batteries in the remote?
- If wearable technology is so great, what can it do to bring people closer?
- If I had the best technology in the world at my fingertips, what kind of home automation system would I design?
- If we gave 15 element14 Community Members all the Pi Accessories that came out last year and told them to make something cool, what could they come up with?
And sometimes, our wonderings are less cheeky like. . .
- If wearable technology is so ubiquitous that people can count their steps per day, how can we use this type of technology to prevent injury and potentially save lives by embedding it into team sports wear?
These wonderings are the fodder of Design Challenges.
Next We Add Some Cutting Edge Technology
Manufacturers like Texas Instruments, Cypress, and Adafruit (to name drop a few) are always stopping by the secret laboratories of the element14 Community with their latest gear. We get to see all the enhanced features and new components before the solder has cooled. And when a new product – or a new combination of several existing components – aligns to a modern-day dilemma, a Design Challenge is borne.
We combine parts from our catalog of over 2 million electronics components into specially crafted “Design Challenge Kits.”
The Most Important Component of a Design Challenge is You
Of course, the most important part of The Challenge is our Members: the engineers, designers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and creative people who are selected to become the Challengers.
How Does It Work?
Community Members who want to participate, “Apply.” A good application includes a detailed outline about the envisioned project, how it would work (taking advantage of the Kit), and how it will be constructed.
After the Application Deadline, the Judges select those applicants who will move on to become The Challengers.
Then we ship the Kit out to all the Challengers. When they receive the parts, they start their project – and share their progress every step of the way with the other Members of the element14 Community. Each Challenger has his/her own blog where posts run the gamut from showing off to asking for help. Each individual story is told in words, photos, schematics, videos, code snips and artifacts of whatever else happens as their invention comes to fruition.
All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Design Challenges. At the close of the submissions period, the Challengers “package up” their project into a Final Submission that illustrates what they were able to accomplish.
Then it’s over?
Not quite. After the Design Challenge closes the Judges get together and review the Challengers’ projects and determine who wins.
You can win stuff too?
That’s right! Each Design Challenge has great prizes - we’ve awarded trips to international engineering events and Maker Faires, cash, spending sprees, robots, 3d printers, test equipment and much, much more!
How much does it cost?
Design Challenge participation is free of cost and open to all Members of The element14 Community
How are Design Challenges Judged?
The panel of Judges for each Design Challenge is unique and is usually comprised of representatives from the different companies who have components or products in the Design Challenge Kit.
Specific terms and conditions for each Design Challenge are listed on that site.