In celebration of Raspberry Pi’s first birthday earlier this year, MAKE partnered with MCM Electronics to launch the Raspberry Pi Design Contest. Challenging makers to build projects that use the Pi as an intrinsic part of their builds, projects were slotted into one of the following four categories: Artistic, Education, Enclosure, or Utility. Multiple prize packs were up for grabs, one for each category, as well as a best-in-show Grand Prize package that included an entry-level, but capable 3D printer.
The contest judges included: Red Hat Open-Source Community manager, GeekMom contributing editor, and Raspberry Pi Hacks author Ruth Suehle; Bryan from Ohio-based electronics component distributor MCM Electronics; Matt Richardson and Shawn Wallace, co-authors of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi, a great primer for booting up your first Pi, and whose posts and projects you have also seen here at the MAKE blog.
With over one million Raspberry Pis sold in over 60 countries around the world, it is clear that makers of all skill sets have been eager for a lightweight single-board computer capable of driving all types of applications. The Raspberry Pi Design Contest reflected these ambitions, with the Pi being used to power home security systems, to collect weather data and manage gardening projects, to teach subjects such as mathematics or geography as well as assisting in learning the piano. The Pi has been modded into an Altoids tin even though it shouldn’t fit, and all-in-one Pi computers have emerged as a phenomenon all their own. Custom shields have been built for the Pi, and coupled with the Arduino the possibilities grow. On Google+, the Raspberry Pi community has over 38,000 members, and other communities are appearing all over the net in addition to meetups in person for Pi hackers and makers. All of this in just one year since the Pi’s release. Here’s to another year of impressive Pi projects.
And now for the winners of the Raspberry Pi Design Contest!
The Grand Prize Winner is urbanSTEW’s Intonarumori:
Intonarumori is a series of interactive sound boxes created by an art/tech collective, urbanSTEW. The project is based on a century-old futurist movement in which noise-generating machines were created. Inspired by this, urbanSTEW built six new noise machines, each equipped with a Raspberry Pi and various sensors/controls. The boxes are self contained and only need to be plugged in. Intonarumori was presented at a creativity festival where they were played by over 2,000 children/adults.
The Grand Prize Winner urbanSTEW will receive a Printrbot Jr. 3D printer, as well as an MCM Electronics prize pack, that includes a USB digital multimeter, a DC power supply, a digital soldering iron, a Gertboard expansion board, a Pi Face, a Pi View HDMI to VGA adapter, a Wi-Pi wireless adapter, and a Raspberry Pi iron-on skill badge.
The category winners shown below will each receive the MCM Electronics prize pack, valued at over $600. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to all the makers who participated in this world-first contest utilizing the Raspberry Pi single-board computer.
Artistic Category Winner: Lobbyist Meter
by Tom Lee
I took a vintage voltmeter that I found at Uncommon Objects in Austin and modified it to make its voltage range more Pi-friendly. A utility class to handle calibration made this into a first-class display device. With a little help from our designers at work, we used it to create a meter registering the number of new lobbyists that register each week.
Education Category Winner: Raspberry Pi-based State Poster
by Scott Bennett
Every year at my daughter’s school 2nd graders are assigned a state board poster project. She had done numerous craft projects before and had just learned to solder and started building kits a few months before. After some brainstorming, we thought it would be nice to bring electronics to the traditional state board project with the Raspberry Pi. For my daughter, who is interested in engineering, use of the Pi made it possible to combine so many more types of learning on the project.
Enclosure Category Winner: Walnut Raspberry Pi Enclosure
by Chris Crumpacker
Some times all you need is a bit of scrap wood for inspiration. I had some walnut left over from a previous project. I just love the look of walnut. I had seen other wood cases but they where always 6 pieces of wood glued or nailed together to make a box. I wanted it to be one hunk of wood and my intentions where to carve out a home for the Raspberry Pi.
Utility Category Winner: Raspberry Pi Powered Cat Feeder
by David Bryan
See all the Raspberry Pi Design Contest projects
Back in February I started teaching my Raspberry Pi 101 class at The Hack Factory. After the first class I think I had Pi on the brain, I was scheduled for a quick weekend trip out of town with my girlfriend, and she was due to leave her two cats behind. She said that she was going to leave a large bowl of cat food out, and with that I suggested that I build an automated cat feeder for them. This project is the finished project, working and in action!