element14 Community launches science fiction-focused design challenge

element14, the world’s largest electronics design community with more than 300,000 members, today launches an ambitious new design challenge, “Sci Fi Your Pi.” Sponsored by Pi Trading, creator of the Raspberry Pi and an element14 partner, the global initiative challenges engineers and enthusiasts to use the Raspberry Pi 2 to design applications inspired by science fiction.

Design concepts can be submitted for the challenge through April 12th, 2015, when 20 finalists will be selected to receive a Raspberry Pi 2 with a complete suite of accessories to execute their projects. They will also be given a free license for CadSoft EAGLE, the market-leading PCB design software. 

The judges are looking for extraordinary and innovative applications that take their inspiration from the world of science fiction, including movies, novels or comic books. Examples include an intelligent motion tracker to hunt down aliens or ghosts, an auto-lockdown gated system to secure dinosaurs, or an automated quadcopter to scan desolate areas.

The ultimate winner of the “Sci Fi Your Pi” challenge, to be announced in September 2015, will win sci fi memorabilia worth $500, including an actual Boba Fett bounty hunter helmet used in film production. The winner will be chosen by a panel of expert judges including James Adams, director of hardware engineering at Pi Trading. A Community Choice winner will also be selected through a vote on the element14 Community and will receive an introductory robotics set.

This latest challenge is part of the new Engineering a Connected World initiative from the element14 Community. The program is designed to drive innovation by connecting engineers to powerful new ideas, the latest technologies and to each other, and to make the ordinary, extraordinary.    

“By using innovative technologies that are available through element14 in conjunction with the revolutionary Raspberry Pi 2, our Community will be able to create working prototypes you may have previously seen only in sci fi movies, films and comic books,” said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community, element14. “We’ve been inviting engineers to build the applications of the future for some time. Whether it was our smart home, wireless power or energy harvesting challenges, the participants in our design competitions have impressed with their creativity and resourcefulness, and we’re excited for that to continue with Sci Fi Your Pi.”

James Adams, director of hardware engineering at Pi Trading, said, “The new Raspberry Pi 2 has captured the imagination of engineers and tech enthusiasts alike. This exciting new challenge opens up a host of opportunities for creativity and innovation, as well as for having fun! I’m really looking forward to seeing what element14’s members come up with.”

Selected finalists will blog about their ideas, designs and progress throughout the challenge on the element14 Community starting in May 2015. For more information on the “Sci Fi Your Pi” design challenge and to register to take part, visit element14.com/sci-fi-your-pi

The full list of accessories that will be provided to the selected challengers by element14 is:

  • Raspberry Pi B+
  • Raspberry Pi A+
  • PiFace Control & Display
  • PiFace Digital
  • ChipKit Pi
  • Pi Camera
  • Bitscope Micro
  • Freescale MEMS Sensors for Pi
  • Wi Pi
  • GertBot
  • Microstack GPS
  • Microstack Accelerometer
  • Microstack Base Board
  • Shim Real Time Click
  • Wolfson/Cirrus Logic Audio Card

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