Beginning right now, the 2021 Hackaday Prize challenges you to Reimagine Supportive Tech. Quite frankly, this is all about shortcuts to success. Can we make it easier for people to learn about science and technology? Can we break down some barriers that keep people from taking up DIY as a hobby (or way of life)? What can we do to build on the experience and skill of one another?
For instance, to get into building your own electronics, you need a huge dedicated electronics lab, right? Of course that’s nonsense, but we only know that because we’ve already been elbow-deep into soldering stations and vacuum tweezers. To the outsider, this looks like an unclimbable mountain. What if I told you that you could build electrics at any desk, and make it easy to store everything away in between hacking sessions? That sounds like a job for [M.Hehr’s] portable workbench & mini lab project. Here’s a blueprint that can take a beginner from zero to solder smoke while having fun along the way.
What about breaking down complex topics into something us newbies can swallow? Radio signals are all around us, but again the barriers to getting into SDR are many and varied. A great bit of supportive tech would be a project that shows simple hardware and shares a virtual machine with the open source software toolchain already set to go. A beginner could pick something like this up and be listening for transponders from airplanes passing by in a matter of hours.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve spent countless joyful hours learning how to do some difficult and fascinating stuff. Share the wealth! Take an existing hardware concept and make it modular and easy to use. Refine an existing design to make it more approachable for users with any range of mobility challenges. Or pull together a beginner-friendly project to move STEM education forward.
Ten finalists from this round will win $500 and be shuttled onto the final round judging in October for a chance at the $25,000 Hackaday Prize and four other top prizes. Start your project page on Hackaday.io and use the dropdown in the left sidebar to enter it into the 2021 Hackaday Prize.