The names were selected, the votes were cast, and now the results are in! Thanks to all the nominees, everyone who voted, and really everyone who contributed in 2017. You all make this community what it is! And now, the moment you've been waiting for, it's time to announce the winners.
MEMBER OF THE YEAR - DOUGLAS WONG (see the vote tally here: 2017 Member of the Year )
A bit like Meryl Streep at the Oscars, it seems like Douglas Wong always deserves to be in the running for any award we give out! But 2017 was an especially notable year for him on the community, with so many accomplishments it's almost hard to keep track (but we did keep track anyway, of course). He won our Safe and Sound Design Challenge with the exact kind of project we envisioned when we came up with the challenge: a set of wearable sensors that can alert you to environmental hazards you might not be able to perceive. He followed that up by placing second in the subsequent IoT on Wheels Design Challenge, using the STMicroelectronics Nucleo platform to make his motorbike safer. And, as always, he was a presence in the RoadTest program, contributing fantastic reviews of a Rohde & Schwarz oscilloscope, an Amphenol air quality dev kit, and more. Douglas is truly the definition of a Top Member, and a deserving Member of the Year for 2017!
PROJECT OF THE YEAR - INVISIBLE HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS MONITORING SYSTEM BY DOUGLAS WONG (see the vote tally here: 2017 Community Project of the Year )
A great Design Challenge submission isn't just a compelling idea; it's a device that both grabs your attention with its ingenuity and brings the payoff of actually seeing it in action. And Douglas Wong's project for Safe and Sound certainly delivered, with remarkably polished devices housed in 3D-printed cases that are wearable for the user. The system alerts them to environmental dangers that they might not see, smell, or sense. He also provided thorough documentation as he blogged throughout the competition. The best Design Challenge projects combine ambition and real-world performance, and Douglas's Invisible Hazardous Environmental Factors Monitoring System exceeded even our expectations.
NEW PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - TEXAS INSTRUMENTS DLP PICO DISPLAY PROJECTOR EVM (see the vote tally here: 2017 New Product of the Year )
As you might expect from a community of electronics engineers, one thing that gets our members most excited is a new product launch. There were lots of shiny new toys on the market in 2017 (for the professionals that we are), but ultimately our community chose this Texas Instruments offering as their favorite. This evaluation module brings a wide array of possibilities for designers to build ultra-portable, ultra-mobile displays. It interfaces with the popular BeagleBone Black to make it easy for you to get started, and it's equipped with a production-ready optical engine and processor interface supporting 8/16/24-bit RGB parallel video interface. Our members will be RoadTesting this new gadget, and we're excited to see what they think about it.
ROADTESTERS OF THE YEAR - DONALD LANE, LUCIE TOZER, INDERPREET SINGH, SHABAZ YOUSAF, AND DOUGLAS WONG (see the vote tally here: VOTE Now! on the 2017 element14 RoadTesters of the Year )
Of all of our programs on the community, RoadTest is unique in that it provides an opportunity for hands-on experience with a variety of new software, test equipment, and development tools. The result is a program that is truly a community in and of itself; its participants not only write in-depth, practical reviews for new products, others comment on those reviews and provide their own insights and suggestions. So it seemed only fair to recognize that collaborative element, and program manager Randy Scasny segmented this award into a few categories. Randy - ruler of the RoadTests, first of his name, webinar king - discusses those categories and winners here.
PROJECT14 SUBMISSION OF THE YEAR - CYCLOPS-1000 BY SHABAZ YOUSAF (see the vote tally here: Project14 | 2017 Year in Review: Which Project Inspired You the Most? )
This was our closest poll by far, with the top submissions separated by less than a single vote! It seems like Project14 offered something for everyone in its inaugural year, which makes sense given the variety of themes the community selected for these monthly competitions. The projects created ranged from practical to whimsical, with many somewhere in between, including actual Rube Goldberg machines. Shabaz's Cyclops-1000 - a low-cost, easy-to-build device meant to measure rotational speed - was the winning entry in DIY Test Equipment and the top vote getter in our Year in Review poll. And, given that this program is still in its (literal) infancy, we're excited to see what comes out of its Terribly (Awesome) Twos.
BEN HECK EPISODES OF THE YEAR - THREE CORE BUILDS: MINI PINBALL, SUPER GLUE GUN, HEX GAME (see the vote tally here: The Ben Heck Show | 2017 Year in Review: What Was Your Highlight? )
For this season of The Ben Heck Show, the team decided to include a focus on three core builds, looking at past projects they wanted to develop further and soliciting community advice for what to choose. The super glue gun was meant to be what they considered the ideal version of this essential tool; a mini pinball machine came from a previous build that the team wanted to improve and the community chose in a poll; and a hex game that can help you learn to solder and get acquainted with binary or hexadecimal arithmetic. Despite a wealth of other great episodes in 2017, this triumvirate turned out to be the fan favorite, signalling GAME OVER for the Portable N64 and Nintendo Playstation Prototype.
Congratulations to all of our winners, and thanks again to everyone who cast their votes. We've definitely gone over our allotted speech time here, the band is playing us off, the ushers are leading us back to our seats. To our esteemed (human) winners, be on the lookout for something arriving in your IRL inbox soon.