Many design challenges ask participants to toss together some parts, blink a few LEDs, and write a bit of code for a shot at a prize. The NXP mbed Design Challenge 2010 staged by NXP, Elektor end Circuit Cellar was different. It was administered for the higher purpose of encouraging designers around the world to help make embedded design a more accessible, productive, and community-oriented endeavor.

The rapid prototyping revolution began back in September 2010 when designers from such diverse locations as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, India, and Taiwan started working with their mbed NXP LPC1768 prototyping boards. The challenge was to use the board, the mbed online "Cloud" compiler, and the mbed community resources to develop an innovative hardware- or software-based application.

The project submission period ended February 28, 2011. Soon thereafter, the judges began scoring the projects on their technical merit, originality, usefulness, cost-effectiveness, and design optimization. And now the judges' results are final. Congratulations to all of the winners!

First Prize: (VI)sualizer: A Smart Electronic Load
By Hexley Ball (USA)

Second Prize: mbos: A Real-Time Operating System for mbed
By Andrew Levido (Australia)

Third Prize: CNC Panel Cutter
By James Koehler (Canada)

Honorable Mention:

STN LCD Controller Library
By Matt Bommicino (USA)

menbed: A Universal Menu System Library
By Kyle Gilpin (USA)

mbed Net Meter: A Wall Clock Display of Real-Time Network Traffic
By Bruce Lightner (USA)

QRSS Grabber
By Clayton Gumbrell (Australia)

AC Tester
By Kevin Gorga (USA)

The picture shows a prototype of Hexley Balls’ winning entry.

Links to the abstracts and supplied documentatiion of all winning entries may be found on the NXP mbed webpage hosted by Circuit Cellar (url below).