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Back in November, we launched a contest to build a robotic plant. We are finally ready to announce our winners!

The grand prize goes to Eric McKinley for his Robotic Fly Trap. This “plant” has a servo-actuated mechanical jaw that snaps shut when an unsuspecting bug lands on it. Eric’s contest page has lots of good information about how he built the project. He also has notes about some techniques that he tried using to detect bugs, including using the optical sensor from a mouse and a piezoelectric microbalance. Though he eventually settled on a distance sensor for this project, we could see these other techniques coming in handy on a future project. Great job, Eric!

Andrew Schamp came in a close second with his robotic plant, which is a solar plant that blooms when its solar panels get enough light. Eschewing a microcontroller for an analog circuit, his flower uses a straw for a stalk, with a small motor to raise it when the light becomes bright enough.

We’d also like to give mention to Tim Klein, who submitted a beautiful solar flower created out of salvaged material. His plant has solar panels to collect energy during the day, and glows at night.

Check out the Make It Last landing page to see all of the great stuff that Eric and Andrew won, from Microchip Technology, Energizer, and Maker Shed. And remember that there’s still time to enter the giveaway drawing for the third Make It Last Build, the Drawbot. To be eligible (for the same prizes awarded in this 2nd build) all you have to do it upload build images to the MAKE Flickr pool tagged “makeitlast.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in the build and the contest. We had a great time putting it together!

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