We've been through a lot of sweat and blood here at Trossen Robotics, but nothing prepared us for a trial like this. Seriously, we wanted to give first prize to almost everyone who entered. We couldn't though, so instead we employed our objective grading system; rating each entry on a scale of 0-5 in the categories of Wow-Factor, Ingenuity, Creative Spunk & Documentation. Each TR employee graded the projects individually, then everything was totalled up and averaged. In the end, we had 3 prize winners, and 3 that were soo close to third place that we had to give them honorable mentions.
Without further ado, here they are:
First Prize: $100 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to...
Vaughn's Virtual Crib home automation/security system
Average score: 4.34/5
Comments: Lots of in-depth work with both hardware and software, combining everything seamlessly into a very immersive project. You turned your house into a robot, dude. We like that.
Second Prize: $50 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to...
Average score: 4.25/5
Comments: It's a flexible, feature-rich telepresence platform. Also, it has a nerf missile launcher. Fun stuff.
Third Prize: $25 Trossen Robotics gift certificate goes to...
JonHylands' Bioloid Gripper
Average score: 3.91/5
Comments: This one impressed us because it involved microcontroller programming, mechanical design and fabrication, integration with the Bioloid serial network, and it's something we would be likely to sell if it were a commercial product.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order)
bmouring's Lunar Rover Robot
streetpictures' Evil Babies
Brandon121233' Wall Avoiding Robot
Great work, guys. You three runners up will each receive a discount on your next order. We'll email you the coupon codes shortly.
To everyone else: Thanks for participating! September's contest is open for submissions, so go ahead and post more projects.
BIG NEWS HERE: For September's contest, we're doubling the prizes! That's right; first place will get $200, $100 will go to second place, and third will get $50. That's serious business, people!
Remember, folks: we really like detailed documentation, pictures, and videos. Put as much information in the thread as you can. We like to see content concentrated in the threads themselves, rather than linked to, because it makes it easier to get the "big picture" of what went into the project. Matt and Alex will undoubtedly chime in with their own pointers, so I'll leave it at that.