The Hackaday Prize is all about empowering you with the tools you need to create the next great hardware device. To that end, we’ve set up seed funding for your projects, we’ve given you a project hosting site, and most importantly, Hackaday gives you the opportunity to connect with tens of thousands of like-minded hardware hackers across the globe.
Not all hackers are out tinkering in their garage after work. Some are pulling the night shift in their dorm rooms, balancing classes, homework, hacking, and life. Student hackers, we salute you with the Ender’s Achievement!
The Modular Universal Jamming Gripper by [cole b.] and a group of students at the Arizona Makers Collective is something every robot needs. It’s a device that allows a robot to pick up just about anything. The old way of doing this is by fancy robotic fingers, maybe an Armatron, or if you’re of a sufficient vintage or radioactive, a Waldo. This is not anything like that. Instead of robotic fingers, this is basically a balloon filled with grains of sand. To use it, the robot jams this squishy ball over an object and sucks the air out of the balloon. The result is an end effector that latches onto any small object.
Devices like this have been built before. Coincidentally, the earliest projects like this we’ve seen are also from students at engineering schools. However, [cole] and his team are really improving this sort of device, making it 3D printable and cheaper to make. It’s an amazing project, and you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t check out the project page.
If you want more evidence that students are our future and that we should teach them well and let them lead the way, take a look at this 3D printer project.
Most 3D printers only print one object at a time. Sure, you can load up your build platform with a bunch of objects, but the fact remains that 3D printing is a batch process. [Swaleh]’s WorkHorse 3D changes all of that. It’s a 3D printer with a conveyor belt. Sure, it violates the MakerBot patent, but that’s not the point. This is a printer that can produce an infinite amount of objects with just a little bit of G-code hacking. When one print is done, it rolls off the end of the bed, and another print is started without any downtime in between. It’s a factory on a desktop, and it’s amazing. And [Swaleh] is a mechanical engineering student, which means that he’s building this even though he has more homework than the rest of us.
Like all of the projects entered by students in The Hackaday Prize, these projects won an achievement. Yes, we’re doing achievements for projects this year, and these two are getting the Ender’s Achievement for incredible student entries. No, it’s not an extra prize or points or anything like that; it’s just recognition of the amazing projects done by students. These are some of the best, and if you’re a student who entered a project into the Hackaday Prize, we’d be more than happy to bestow the Ender’s Achievement on your project.