element14, the world’s largest electronic design community, has launched a new Design Challenge for designers and engineers called ‘Upcycle it’. Sponsored by Intel, element14 will challenge 15 community members to Upcycle an unwanted or waste product to give it a new or enhanced lease of life.
Upcycling is a concept that began in the 1990s and is also known as “Creative Reuse”. This is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. Upcycling is a great way to reuse materials and reduce our environmental footprint on the planet and has become a phenomenon in recent years with the number of products on Etsy or Pinterest tagged with the word ‘upcycled’ increasing from 7,900 in January 2010 to hundreds of thousands today.
Now it is the turn of engineers to make their mark. The application areas for this challenge are endless and members can build using unlimited components to complete an original electronics-based project, allowing true freedom for the challengers and others wishing to make their mark.
element14 invites all engineers, DIY hobbyists and tinkerers to upcycle an obsolete item, computer or appliance and make a useful IoT device. Engineers looking for inspiration can watch Ben Heck’s take on the challenge when he upcycled an 80s “ghetto blaster” using an Intel Edison kit for Arduino .
Dianne Kibbey, global head of Content and Community, element14 said: “We are hoping that the ‘Upcycle it’ challenge will really get our members excited. We all face the duel challenge of trying to reduce our footprint on the planet, whilst living within our means. Being environmentally friendly is sometimes seen as something that costs more – this challenge aims to show that this isn’t the case. We are asking our members to take something useless and make it useful. We are looking forward to seeing a diverse range of entries that can inspire us all.”
element14 will accept applications for the ‘Upcycle it’ challenge from now until 3rd March 2017. Fifteen official challengers will be announced on 14th March 2017 who will receive a complimentary Kit containing the Intel Edison Kit for Arduino, Arduino Protoshield R3, a Grove Starter Kit for Arduino, AC/DC power supply and USB cable. Each of the 15 challengers will provide weekly updates on their progress through blog posts, photos and videos via the element14 Community.
Finalists will have until 4th June, 2017 to submit their projects. Entries will be judged on originality, innovation and technical merit by a panel of judges including experts from Intel and element14. The winners will be announced by the end of June 2017.