Announcing the Winners of the PSoC Pioneer Challenge

Announcing the Winners of the PSoC Pioneer Challenge


unnamedThe winners of the PSoC Pioneer Challenge have been selected by judges from Cypress Semiconductor, Arrow Electronics, and Make:. This unique, first-of-its-kind competition challenged makers to design Internet of Things (IoT) projects using the new Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit from Cypress.

Before the winners are announced, I want to toot our own horn a bit. When we set out to launch this campaign, we were really excited, but it was unclear where it might go. A new development board, coupled with a new-to-us software IDE ultimately means a new community of makers — specifically, makers who build for the IoT and would see the potential of PSoC for their designs and solutions. Makers who would take advantage of features like CapSense and the more than 100 programmable components available on the PSoC silicon. And of course, as the title implies, makers who would challenge themselves to pioneer an application of this otherwise new-to-market dev kit.

So we first went hands-on with the board before announcing the contest. Upon launching the campaign, we gave away a total of 75 of these new kits, shipped to applicants from around the world. Then we explored CapSense with a quick, 30-minute “project” tutorial, before proceeding to demonstrate the quick one-click solution for debugging your design (whether you used CapSense or not). During the contest, Cypress launched their BLE version of 100 Projects in 100 Days (which they demonstrated in late 2013 with non-BLE PSoC projects). Over 50 projects remain to be released in that series, showing off the software and hardware control capabilities of the board. Lastly — and I’m really proud of this — our coverage of the PSoC 4 BLE kit inspired Make: books author Don Wilcher to initiate a series of online lectures, which are archived online at Design News and still accessible with a simple login.

So even if you just showed up to the PSoC 4 BLE party, you can still dive in and learn. There’s more out there to digest than ever before. And you can always join and chime in over at our PSoCMaker Google+ Community — members are more than happy to assist you with learning PSoC, troubleshooting your design, and having fun with the IoT.

Now without further ado, the winners of the PSoC Pioneer Challenge are:

Runner-Up Winner

Chipper Alarm: Get Out of Bed and Seize the Day by  the Wake Up Chipper team.
Chipper Alarm: Get Out of Bed and Seize the Day by the Wake Up Chipper team.

You set multiple alarms on your phone. You place your clock on the other side of the room, hoping not to fall back asleep after turning it off. You lie in bed, hitting snooze over and over again, unable to tackle the day. Waking up is hard.

So Chipper keeps ringing until you get out of bed, and rings again if you lie back down. For their project, the winners will receive one $100 gift certificate to Maker Shed, one $100 gift certificate to Arrow Electronics, and one $250 gift certificate to Cypress Semiconductor.

See more of this project here.

Grand Prize Winner

Electric bicycle data collection and logging service for battery health by Chuck Swiger.
Electric bicycle data collection and logging service for battery health by Chuck Swiger.

A home-made electric bike ( #3965) project made from new, obsolete laptop lithium ion batteries, has a commercial dashboard called the Cycle Analyst, that displays the battery state of charge – amphours or watthours used since last charge, essentially how much ‘gas’ is left in the tank – as well as voltage, amps being used at the moment, bike speed and cumulative distance traveled on a charge.

For his winning design, Swiger will receive $2,500 for travel and expenses to our upcoming and very special 10th anniversary Maker Faire Bay Area next month. Congrats to Swiger, and if you’ll be at the event be on the lookout for his IoT design in the Cypress and Arrow booth in Expo Hall — or possibly riding around.

See more of this project here.

All of the projects, frankly, were above and beyond our expectations of design and execution. They each demonstrated — conceptually or physically — the very unique capabilities and possibilities of BLE and PSoC technology. We hope these projects and this challenge will inspire more makers to consider what is possible with the at-times forthcoming, at-times already very much upon us, Internet of Things, built with Programmable System-on-Chip technology.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!

View more articles by Nick Normal


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).