Meet the M.A.D. Challenge Finalists

Last May, the Samsung ARTIK team launched its first ever Makers Against Drought (M.A.D.) Challenge, and now we are excited to share the results with you. We were amazed at the sheer number of ideas and ingenious solutions proposed to alleviate the water crisis in California and other drought-stricken regions of the world.

In the end, there were 47 qualifying submissions to the Challenge (you can view them all online). We wanted to thank all of the Challenge participants for their hard work and effort, and to share a few projects that caught our eye. There are 10 individuals or teams that were chosen for Honorable Mention recognition and each of those submissions will earn $2,000 for their project.

One of the Honorable Mentions went to EVA – an autonomous floating hydrometeorology device that identifies, measures and tracks areas that are most vulnerable to evaporation such as aqueducts, riverbanks and canals worldwide. The video demo submitted with this project really captures all of the hard work that has gone into this project:

The Aquastat by the California-based team Droplytics is another Honorable Mention recipient. Their solution is an “aeroacoustics sensing platform” designed to be placed on or near water fixtures in the home to help monitor usage. It uses a combination of vibrational and acoustic sensing to ‘tune in’ on and estimate water flow.

One Challenge finalist came from the NYC-based team Water Warriors, who submitted their Electrodialysis Desalinator for Irrigation (EDDI), which removes salt ions from neutral water before irrigation, allowing farmers to use less water to grow their crops.

Another finalist is the PureWater 16, which can actually produce pure, potable water on demand using an air-to-water generation process. Their solution is going into production later this year, and it will be distributed via multiple channels to California’s residents, small businesses, and light agricultural/industrial users.

Also in this category is Code 4 Software, who created the Water Waste Warning System that provides an inexpensive solution for monitoring water usage, and alerting city managers through an automated messaging system. Their device was prototyped using Autodesk, and 3D printing.

The ARTIK Smart Water Meter is both a Challenge finalist, and the winner of the Popular Choice Award, based on a public vote on the Challenge website, earning an additional $500 cash prize.

Representatives from EVA, the Water Warriors, and Code 4 Software will all be at the ARTIK booth during the Samsung Developer Conference this week. The top 10 finalists in the M.A.D. Challenge will each receive $10,000 per submission, and now those teams have until June 17 to fine-tune their projects before final judging takes place from June 18 – 28.

Selection of the Grand Prize Winner will be based on in-person or virtual presentations given by the 10 finalists during the final judging period. The winning solution will receive an additional $90,000. Stay tuned for the announcement of the Grand Prize Winner on July 1, 2016.

For now, we hope you will make the time to take a look at all of the projects that were submitted to the M.A.D. Challenge, and join us in congratulating the teams that earned Honorable Mentions and Finalist status.

Following the success of the M.A.D, Challenge, we plan to introduce new Challenges for makers in the coming months. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates on upcoming Samsung ARTIK Challenges and events.