The Upverter Challenge has ended and the winners have been chosen. But first, let us give you a little bit of background the challenge itself. The goal of the challenge was to expand the toolbox of hardware for developing new home appliance concepts even more, with a specific focus on circuit board design. Designs could range from a simple interface board to add a sensor to an existing microcontroller platform all the way to a robot butler to replace all home appliances. However, after reviewing the entries, the following circuit board designs were chosen as the winners:
Patrick Cox, creator of the “Appliance Controller Pi Hat”, is from Batavia, IL but currently lives in Louisville, KY. He received his education at the University of Dayton and originally became interested in circuit boards when he was in high school, running the sound systems for bands; he thought it would be cool to design the sounds boards that he was using.
As far as the reason for his design, the Appliance Controller Pi Hat, he recognized that the Raspberry Pi doesn’t have any analog inputs and felt that it needed some good relay drives to control loads.
Bobby Lindsey, the creator of the “Maize Interface”, is from Butler County, KY and currently lives in Louisville, KY. He attended a joint program with Western Kentucky University and University of Kentucky, which resulted in him receiving a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. This board is actually the first board that he has designed, although he is currently working on another project that will require him to build a circuit board.
He chose this specific design because he felt that often, when building prototypes, many devices end up being connected and result in a process that is more cumbersome; so he decided to build a board that would provide that data with a minimal number of connections back to the host. The Maize Interface combines temperature, pressure, humidity, and light level in a 1.1″ x 1.65″ board using an I2C interface.
Victor Carreño, the creator of the WiFi Outlet, hails from Monclova, Mexico but currently resides in Boston, MA. He studied at Tecnologico de Monterrey, in Mexico and got into designing circuit boards while he was in college and carried that passion into his current job.
He came up with the “WiFi Outlet” because he loves to connect iOS apps with hardware and said that he “always needs to control (turn on/off) a lot of things via wireless”. His general hope was that his design could help people remotely control things such as christmas lights, outdoor fixtures, etc.
The winners of the Upverter Challenge will each receive a one year “Standard Membership Plan” to Upverter (A $499/ month value)