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    The element14 Community supports innovators and engineers in creating inventions that can make a real impact on the way people live their lives.


    Design Challenges are competitions where selected Members are given a kit of products that they use to create innovative solutions for some of society's biggest problems.

    Below is our catalogue of all our Design Challenges. See latest Design Challenges

    Click on the below links to see more about any challenge:



    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


    ChallengesSponsors / CollaboratorsFeatured ProductsGrand Prize Winning Projects

    Low Power IoT

    Challengers use the Arduino Nano 33 IoT to build a project that will aid others during global disasters or with their day-to-day struggles.


    Additional Recommended Parts:


    Design for a Cause 2021

    Challengers use the Arduino Nano 33 IoT to build a project that will aid others during global disasters or with their day-to-day struggles.

    Arduinojavagoza's VenTTracker monitors gas density and controls windows to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read More

    1 Meter of Pi

    Challengers use the Raspberry Pi 4 2GB to grow the food needed on a trip to Mars within 1m3!

    Raspberry Pifeiticeir0's Space Vegetables successful interior hydroponic garden that integrated timelapse, Twitter, and the Raspberry Pi Camera in its setup. Read More

    Sustain the World

    Challengers will work to make their lives easier, safer, and greener using the Infineon XMC4700 Relax Lite Kit.

    InfineonAshok R's Smart Farm 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! Read More

    Connected Cloud

    Challengers are invited to build a project with the PSoC 6, and connect it to Amazon Web Services.

    Cypress & AWSbalearicdynamics'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. Read More

    Think ON

    Challengers are invited to monitor their world and design a solution for their day-to-day problems using the RSL10-SENSE-GEVK.

    On SemiconductorMahmood ul 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. Read More


    Challengers are invited to create a master piece with the Raspberry Pi, from art installation to home decoration.

    Raspberry Pi FoundationFor balearicdynamics's Art-A-Tronic Exhibition, he created 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. Read More

    Sixth Sense

    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.

    ST Microelectronics & TE ConnectivityDouglas Wong's Graffiti Bot is a fully autonomous robot that produces a liquid canvas drawing.  It involves mechanical, electronics, software, and hydraulic design. Read More

    Design for a Cause

    Challengers are invited to design a piece of assistive technology for individuals living with physical or mental impairments using the Arduino MKR1000 Dev Board.

    ArduinoMilos 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. Read More

    Bluetooth Unleashed

    Over the next 11 weeks our new challengers will create and build a  prototype that uniquely showcases the unlimited possibilities of  Bluetooth with the use of one of the 10 selected Heroes.

    element14Shabaz Yousaf'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. Read More

    Pi Chef

    The Pi Chef Design Challenge uses the Raspberry Pi as the main ingredient to improve and expand your creativity in the kitchen.

    Raspberry Pi Foundation
    James O'Gorman'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. Read More

    IoT on Wheels

    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.

    STMicroelectronicsDixon Selvan's Traffic Predictor and Auto Pilot device can attach to your vehicle and scan the traffic around your vehicle using a sonar system. Read More

    Upcycle it with Intel® Edison

    element14 invites all 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 Intel® Edison Kit for Arduino.

    Intel®Carmelito Andrade'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. Read More

    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.

    Texas InstrumentsDouglas Wong'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. Read More

    Pi IoT Smarter Spaces with Raspberry Pi 3

    Build your own personal Internet of Things (IoT) command center to control any living space - connecting your favourite gear and smart technologies.

    Duratool, EnOcean, Raspberry Pi FoundationFrederick Vandenbosch'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. Read More

    Make Life Accessible Design Challenge

    A motor control inspired solutions that will bring benefits to people who are disabled or considered vulnerable - enabling them to live well with their conditions as a result of Challengers solutions - staying independent, confident, active, safe and socially involved for longer.

    NXPDouglas Wong's Moving Mirrors was designed to aid make safe icy walkways and driveways by redirecting sunlight. Read More

    Music Tech Design Challenge

    Our members invented electronics that would enable and extend the ability to manipulate audio – whether a musical instrument, voice, recordings or daily sounds we may hear around us.

    Autodesk Fusion 360 - CadSoft EAGLE, BeagleBoard.orgLiam Lacey's Vintage Toy Synthesiser The core idea behind this project was to turn a vintage wooden toy piano into a standalone digital hardware synthesiser, keeping the existing key mechanism and enclosure. Read More

    Vertical Farming Design Challenge

    Vertical Farming is a fast developing industry to meet our ability 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.

    Silicon Labs, Würth ElectronikJosé 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. Read More

    Sci Fi Your Pi Design Challenge

    The element14 members were challenged to create applications that inspired them from science fiction; the inspiration could arise from a movie, television programme, novel, comic book or even a radio show.

    Raspberry Pi FoundationEnrico Miglino AKA balearicdynamics won for his Star- Trek™ inspired build: Meditech! Read More

    Enchanted Objects Design Challenge

    Members of the element14 Community 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.

    Atmel, Infineon

    Experience the unexpected journey to build an Enchanted Objects Enchanted Cottage with Hans & Matilda by Andy Clark, the winner of the enchanted objects design challenge. All our challengers made the Ordinary become Extraordinary.  Winner, Andy Clark designed enchanted object 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. Read More

    Sudden Impact Wearables Design Challenge

    This challenge asked Challengers to use the power of community and technology to make sports safer for young athletes.

    Analog Devices, TektronixCosmin Iorga designed a Wearable Sudden Impact and Health Monitor 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. Read More

    In The Air Design Challenge

    This design competition was kicked off with the objective of creating a solution using Internet of Things technology to sense the environment we live in and how IoT can help us build a cleaner and less polluted world.

    CISCO, eclipse, Keysight Technologies, Sierra Wireless, Texas Instruments, Würth Electronik
    • No mandatory featured products required - Challenger's own choice

    The Grand Prize went to Christever del Rosario of New Zealand for his Carbon Footprint Monitoring System - a basic yet functional prototype that would monitor the Winners own daily carbon footprint. Read More

    Meet all the Winners

    Hats Off Design Challenge

    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.


    Barbara Eldredge developed a Jaunty Fascinator that 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. Read More

    Forget Me Not Design Challenge

    A Kit including a Raspberry Pi Model B+, an EnOcean Pi Transceiver and a PiFace Digital board was delivered to 20 Challengers from across the globe. The challenge? To deliver an IoT solution that would allow peace of mind while taking a vacation holiday.

    CadSoft EAGLE, Eclipse IoT, EnOcean, openHAB, Raspberry Pi Foundation, Tektronix

    Frederick Vandenbosch built his system around a Raspberry Pi Model B+ using its GPIO pins and USB ports to connect a variety of sensors. In addition, he used the RPiSoC for tasks such as driving servos to control the automatic dispensing of cat food, the EnOcean Pi to monitor remote conditions such as whether a door is left open or closed, and an Arduino Uno to transmit the status of remote RFID devices. Read More

    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 from Texas Instruments one heroic contestant rose to challenge and was victorious.

    Texas Instruments

    Janis Alnis designed the Tomato Greenhouse after envisioning a solar powered garden lamp with IoT connectivity, employing a PIR motion detector that will only switch on the LEDs when someone is nearby. Such lights are very practical at the house entrance door when trying to find keys. 12 superbright white LEDs draw 400 mA from 2xAA 2500 mAh rechargeable batteries. Read More

    Inductive Sensing Design Challenge

    The competition aims to challenge 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.

    CadSoft EAGLE, Texas Instruments

    Sammy Peiren designed an USB microphone that uses the LDC1000 to detect sound waves of higher densities with greater sensitivity and dynamic range. Read More

    Beyond The Phone Wireless Power II Design Challenge

    We believe that it has been definitively proven that Wireless Power isn't just 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 can make our world more fun as well as safer.

    CadSoft EAGLE, Texas Instruments, Würth ElectronikEduardo Iscar Rüland (aka ForcisConnect) designed a hermetically sealed, wireless powered transponder for those working at sea. Read More

    Rocking Raspberry Pi Design Challenge

    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.

    Raspberry Pi FoundationShrenik Shikhare not only made one Karaoke machine, he made two - the first used the PiFace Control and Display. Read More

    BeagleBone Black Radio Challenge

    Challenged with building a fully operational Digital Radio, we followed members on their quest to complete their chart topping projects.

    Texas Instruments

    Frederick Vandenbosch produced a first class radio, he created one that many of us wish we could have in our homes. Furthermore, as this photo indicates, it's also the height of urban chic. Read More

    Pi NoIR and Catch Santa Challenge

    Assembling a "Catch Santa Project", i.e. a low-light camera which will capture the activities of December 24th's most famous nocturnal visitor.

    Raspberry Pi Foundation

    The grand prize winner was Top Member Frederick Vandenbosch.

    Seven members also received the kit for free. Read More

    Smarter Life Design Challenge

    "Smarter Life" projects were invited to enhance home, office and / or car using the PSoC® 4 Pioneer Kit.

    CypressDouglas Wong designed The Henrietta project that 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. Read More

    Get Closer Wearables Challenge

    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!


    Leslie Birch developed The FLORAbrella Finale, an umbrella 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.

    Linda Kaspers developed the FLORAColorCam, her ColorCam to help teach children colors. It also helped children learn the colors of various objects. When the user took a picture of any one of Linda's felt pictures, which depict a red strawberry or a yellow sun, for example, they were given three color choices on the back of the camera. One of the choices was the matching color, and a series of green lights appeared if the correct color is selected.

    Read More

    Energy Harvesting RoadTest Design Challenge

    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.

    Linear Technology, Silicon Labs, Würth Electronik, element14

    Wojciech Gelmuda developed a practical Carbon Monoxide Detector prototype that could be powered by Energy Harvesting. Read More

    Victor Sluiter's Egg Timer - Cooking an egg over a lower fire is wasting less energy.  With the Egg Timer, you don't have to keep a constant temperature. Read More

    Imagine a World Without Cords - Cut the Cord! Design Challenge

    Contactless Charging Solutions were designed as part of our Wireless Power RoadTest competition in line with Wireless Power Consortium specifications.

    Texas Instruments, Würth ElectronikWith today's portable devices demanding an increasing amount of power, and higher-power batteries requiring more advanced control systems, our winner Chad Johnson built a Wireless Power Evaluation Kit for both Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone and represented innovation at its best. Read More

    Ultimate RoadTest Design Challenge

    The challenge was to design and build a working prototype application using existing development tools, software, and design tools (including CadSoft EAGLE) that would create a real-world solution for the Home Automation market. The end application had to include functional elements utilizing wireless, sensing, motor control, and lighting.

    CadSoft EAGLE, Texas InstrumentsMonte Chan designed project "Code Name." The theory of operation was very simple. Remote commands come through as UDP datagrams to the CC3000 via Wi-Fi and then MSP430FR5739 parses these datagrams and processes accordingly. Read More