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    Join us in collaboration with Arduino to Design For A Cause.

    Ready? Then Apply Here

    The Challenge


    50 Challengers

    5 Blogs each

    1 Cause close to their hearts


    In 2019 we ran the ‘Design for a Cause' Challenge with Arduino, creating assistive technologies for people living with physical or mental impairments.  Community members help their local causes by building projects ranging from the Smart Cane for the visually impaired to a fully functional Smart Trike for a loved one.


    The element14 Community is pleased to introduce the next Design For a Cause 2021 Challenge, where thanks to Arduino 50 sponsored Challengers will receive the Arduino Nano 33 IoT for free.


    Once again, Arduino is challenging Community members to design the most creative, and altruistic solution for times of duress and global disasters.  You can build a project to combat global droughts, flooding, world hunger, micro plastics, issues with long term COVID-19 Symptoms, or aid others with their day-to-day struggles.


    For a chance to win one of the prizes below, you must blog your build process and the final outcome of your projects within the Design for a Cause 2021 Challenge space using the Arduino Nano 33 IoT.


    What Can I Build?

    You can build anything you want, as long as it helps a "Cause" close to your heart, uses the Arduino Nano 33 IoT, and make your code and designs Public after you are done.


    Example applications could include:

    • Micro Plastic Monitoring Buoy
    • Open Source Security System
    • Cheap Replacement System
    • Cheap Mobile Refrigerator for Vaccine distribution
    • Pest control system
    • Aids for those with Long COVID-19 symptoms
    • Safer cooking options for people with sight impairments
    • Mobility Aids
    • Open Source Electric Wheelchair Conversion kit



    The Kit The Specs

    Arduino Nano 33 IoT


    design challenge kit

    Buy NowBuy Now

    The board's main processor is a low power Arm® Cortex®-M0 32-bit SAMD21.

    The WiFi and Bluetooth® connectivity is performed with a module from u-blox, the NINA-W10, a low power chipset operating in the 2.4GHz range.

    On top of those, secure communication is ensured through the Microchip® ECC608 crypto chip.

    Besides that, you can find a 6 axis IMU, what makes this board perfect for simple vibration alarm systems, pedometers, relative positioning of robots, etc


    IoT support for:

    • Arduino's own IoT Cloud: Arduino's IoT Cloud is a simple and fast way to ensure secure communication for all of your connected Things. Check it out here
    • Blynk: a simple project from our community connecting to Blynk to operate your board from a phone with little code
    • IFTTT: see an in-depth case of building a smart plug connected to IFTTT
    • AWS IoT Core: we made this example on how to connect to Amazon Web Services
    • Azure: visit this github repository explaining how to connect a temperature sensor to Azure's Cloud
    • Firebase: you want to connect to Google's Firebase, this Arduino library will show you how


    Be Rewarded on the Community

    For entering and taking part in the Design Challenge competition, you'll be rewarded the following badges:


    Apply to join the Design Challenge and receive a badge and points for applying! Make sure you've thought your application through, made it original and your own work. If you are building upon someone else's work, make sure you cite your sources. Direct copies of work will not be accepted.
    Post your first blog! We expect updates on how your Design Challenge project is going, so don't hold back, tell us your thoughts, difficulties, and how you're progressing. Remember you're assessed based upon your updates, and don't be afraid - other challengers and members are there to help you with any problems you have, and it helps the staff to keep an eye on you!
    10 blogs! Wow, has it really been that long? We hope you'll keep us updated about your project at least once a week, for 10 weeks. We'll not be impressed if you only put a one-liner in there, that's what messages are for. Blogs are to make sure you're giving us all of the juicy detail, trials and tribulations of what's going on, and it keeps everyone honest!
    Even if you're not a challenger in the Design Challenge, we appreciate every member who joins in and gives a helping hand to applicants and members. If your messages are found to be helpful, we want to acknowledge that and reward you!


    Need help? Comment and read the resources below:

    Technical Resources:


    Technical Specs


    Schematics PDF


    Eagle Files (ZIP)


    Micro Controller Datasheet


    The Dates


    Project Phases


    Applications Open18th December 2020
    Applications Close

    15th Feb 2021

    Challengers Announced

    4th March 2021

    Kit Shipping Period4th - 18th March 2021
    Build Period

    18th March - 27th May 2021

    Projects Due

    27th May 2021

    Winners Announced

    4th June 2021

    Prizes Shipped~ June 2021


    * Revised dates on 4th March 2021


    The Prizes


    PrizePrize Category

    grand prize

    Grand Prize

    • Creality CR10-S 3D Printer
    • iPad Air 64GB Wifi
    • $500 Donated To A Charity of your Choice
    runnerup prize

    Runner Up

    • iPad Air 64GB Wifi
    • $250 Donated To A Charity of your Choice
    finisher prize

    Finisher Prize



    Pocket Digital Multimeter, Resistance Measure, 4000 Count, Average, Auto Range, 3.75 Digit

    *Or local equivalent


    The Judges


    Technical Judge Team
    element14 Community Judges
    element14 Community Team


    The Terms


    Selected official applicants will be chosen to receive the "Kit" listed above. These successful applicants will be our sponsored challengers, and they must use the Arduio Nano IoT 33 within their project, and Publish their final Code and Designs on the element14 Community for others to use. Those not chosen as sponsored challengers may also join the competition, but they must base their projects around the kit listed above and adhere to all terms and conditions of the challenge.

    They need to post their progress and final project as at least 5 blog posts before the closing date when projects are due. Posts which are media rich with photos, videos, and code samples will be viewed more favorably in the judging process.

    Please read the full terms and conditions of the challenge, attached below.


    Ready to join the challenge? Then Apply Here


    If you are not successful in becoming a sponsored challenger but still want to enter, all you need to do is use the Kit as described above in your project and adhere to the same Terms and Conditions for a chance to be our winner! Non sponsored challengers are eligible for the Finisher and Winner Prizes as well.