The Pitch Your Prototype Challenge Is Open Until Thursday Night

The Pitch Your Prototype Challenge Is Open Until Thursday Night


It’s not too late to enter your own design into the Pitch Your Prototype challenge, which will remain open to entries until 11:59pm, April 30th—that is, this coming Thursday.

Here’s a roundup of contestants who have already entered the challenge:

  • Makers Brian Eccles, Brendan McLeod, Timothy Murcko, TJ Watson and Mitchell Wills have designed PitchYourPrototype_125x125_v1an expandable mobile platform for disaster relief called the WALRUS Rover. “The WALRUS Rover bridges this gap by allowing complete open source expandability,” they wrote. “Additional sensors, manipulators, or other actuators can be mounted to the WALRUS Rover for the successful completion of different missions.”
  • Maker Mike Rigsby’s prototype plucks weeds directly out of the ground, like an agricultural Roomba. Rigsby is particularly interested in Amranthus palmeri, or pigweed, a pest that menaces cotton and soybean crops in the southern United States.
  • Avid martial artist and Maker Russell Munro had often wondered how hard he could punch. So he used a homemade metal frame, an optical rotary encoder and an Arduino Uno to build the PunchBot, a punching pad that records the force of the blows it receives.
  • Maker and roboticist Jose Julio’s daughter loves to play air hockey, so he rigged up a RepRap to play the game against a human opponent. An Arduino Mega and video detection system track the puck and  calculate its trajectory, while a strategy subsystem works with that data to move move the paddle in defensive or offensive maneuvers. “I wanted something easily transportable and comfortable to play, but at the same time, easy to replicate and open source,” Julio wrote.
  • Grillers and Makers Frank Vigilante and Brendan Glunz built a prototype device that attaches to the standard valve between a propane tank and a grill to measure the internal pressure, with the goal of calculating the remaining gas in the tank. Do the physics behind the concept check out? Unclear, judging by the comment section.
  • Makers and designers Angela Ng and Yan Deng built a prototype that bridges lighting, automation and interior design by responding to the time of day and motion in a room by providing gentle illumination or blossoming to provide shade.

The Pitch Your Prototype challenge is a collaboration between Make: and Cornell University with the goal of digging up promising prototypes from the Maker community. The individual or team that wins the challenge will be awarded $5,000 and have the opportunity to appear onstage at MakerCon New York. Visit this page to read the full rules, enter a design or vote for your favorite submission.

If you know a Maker with a promising prototype, let them know that they still have the opportunity to enter the contest.


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Jon Christian is the co-editor of the Maker Pro Newsletter, which covers the intersection between makers and business. He's also written for the Boston Globe, WIRED and The Atlantic.

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