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Create the Future and win $20,000 (NASA TechBriefs Competition) Answered

Reveal your inner genius

(I have revealed mine here - please click to help my view-count)

It's time to bring out the inventions you've been keeping to yourself. Show off your design and engineering skills in the Create The Future Design Contest.

$20,000, other great prizes, fame and glory are on the line!

It's like an Instructables contest, but with a wider range of possibilities, and you could get away without actually making anything. The contest is open now, and you have until October 17th to get your entries in.

There are six categories:

  • Consumer Products: Products that increase quality of life in the workplace, at home, during leisure time, or while traveling.
  • Machinery, Equipment and Component Technology: Products that speed and improve work, manufacturing, or scientific research processes.
  • Medical Products: Products that improve the efficiency and quality of healthcare.
  • Safety and Security: Products that enhance the security or safety of individuals, businesses, communities, or nations.
  • Sustainable Technologies: Products that help reduce dependence on non-renewable energy resources, as well as products designed for other purposes using environmentally friendly materials or manufacturing processes.
  • Transportation: Products that enable movement of people and goods from one place to another.

You describe your idea in a maximum of 500 words, and you get judged on:

  • Innovation
  • Manufacturability
  • Marketability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Design communication (visuals and text explanation)


Grand Prize*
$20,000 USD

First Prize in Each Category (6)
HP xw4600 Workstations (or comparable workstation of equivalent value)

Popular Vote Winners (6)
$100 USD

All qualified entrants will receive a limited-edition Create the Future design contest t-shirt or souvenir of equivalent or greater value.

>You have to be 18 to enter (but you could get an adult to enter for you), you can enter a group's work (under your name), but for some bizarre reason, the contest is "void" in New York and Florida.

I'm going to give it some serious consideration, if only to get the tee...

Rules of Entry
Entry form
Tech Briefs Article

The best design ideas will:
  • Improve quality of life
  • Automate tedious tasks
  • Prevent or reduce injuries
  • Save time and money
  • Offer alternative energy solutions
  • Reduce the world's consumption of natural resources
  • Lead to other product improvements


Coo, somebody must be doing something right - I'm up to third!

Has anybody else entered yet?

You're up to first in your category!

Oh, so I am! I thought the rating listed was category, not overall.

Coo, number 1 in my category.

>smug smile<

I believe it's number 1 in the category and number 3 overall.

Personal plea - my entry had slipped to fifth place - please help me get my page-view count up.

If you haven't looked already, or you're at a different computer since last time you looked, or you've flushed out your cookies since last you looked, then, please, click here.

Diagram for NASA 01.jpg

I'm confused. I thought it was only what the judges thought that mattered-why do page views matter?

There's a popularity vote as well - even if the judges don't like your project, there's a chance of $100 cash.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about that! (Must remember to enter mine...)

OOOh, didn't see that YOU posted it, but I made another one, one that's more attention grabbing. People see this as just info for the contest.

Mine will help you more!

Make a thread about it kiteman! Iblers will surely give you a boost!!!

Someone came out of no where and took first ( look at the heirarchy)

Goodness me! They must have a more popular blog or something.

Or more computers

*grumble* Gotta be 18 or older....

Nah no matter, I must go check my pile of ideas for something good...

Just get a grown-up to put their name on it - an entrant is allowed to represent a group of people working together.


Reply 10 years ago

That's OK, mine was already in public view.

4th but the top one has 350+ views

There is time...

*Stops time, goes to thousands of peoples houses, goes to your page then shuts off computers*

if you are under 18, can you still put your own name for the entry?

The rules state that the entrant has to be 18. However, the entrant can also represent a group or team of co-workers. So, get a trusted over-18 to enter for you (even better if it is a family member, since they send prizes to the address you put into the entry form).

so the name has to be the person over 18 right?

Oh god oh god oh god... INEEDANIDEA!@!!!!!!

I have an idea.

I've even written it up and prepared diagrams.

I'm just waiting for a reply regarding intellectual property rights.

(What the heck - I figure that even the entry prize (a t-shirt) is worth the few minutes it took to knock the thing together from one of my Instructables. Anything more is a bonus.)

With a few tweaks, and re-named the Cuttlefish Drive (adding the explanation of the name took it over the 500-word limit), but yes. It's not up yet, I'm waiting for it to be "approved" - apparently takes about four days. Even if I don't win, I'll be looking to my fellow iblers to get my page-view count up.

I know I'll be checking it out. You'll just have to give me the link when it's ready.

I'm sure anything that you come up with is a win in my book!

You know I will.

> flexes spam muscles <

ahh spam!!! >reads KM's mind<
anyone gonna do a entry for transportation? ill give you a hint its flies...... <easy need to know what im gonna go against :P

als ong no ones post there version of anti gravity then im kinda confident though not with writing

Here's some help ( spam ) Kiteman:

It's spam,
it's spam,
It's spam that makes the world go round.
It's spamspamspamspamspam that makes the world go round.

It's spam,

It's spam,

It's spam that makes the world go round.

Oh, roaming over the ocean,
roaming over the sea,
roaming over the ocean and the Deep blue sea.

Thank you, thank you. I dedicate this spam to kiteman.

replace spam with cheese, you will get the first stanza of a song I learned in boy scouts.

There was cheese, cheese With great big hairy knees In the stores, in the stores, There was cheese, cheese With great big hairy knees In the quartermaster's stores. My eyes are dim, I cannot see I have not brought my specs with me I ha-ave no-ot bro-ught my-y specs with me.

Yay! scout songs.

Ahh very nice ingenious design , not sure if i can compete with that >.>

Thank you! If you don't want to compete with me, I don't mind (more chance of me winning!), but you could always try one of the other five categories.

" LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY. By entering the contest, the entrant agrees that (1) any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with the contest, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved individually without resort to any form of class action; (2) any claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering the contest, but in no event attorney's fees; and (3) under no circumstances will any entrant be permitted to obtain any award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental or consequential damages and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased and any other damages, other than damages for actual out-of-pocket expenses. " excuse my pessimism, but doesn't this bit say, in effect, "if we steal your idea, produce it, and give you no compensation, you can only sue for the value of the physical items you submitted"? couple that with the "give your info to solidworks for marketing purposes" and this seems a bit fishy.

There is usually a paragraph like that in the 'ibles contest rules as well. But, if you don't want to enter, you don't have to.

the difference I see with instructables, is that Instructables is about sharing ideas and directions freely for the pupose of furthering DIY, whereas this contest stresses ownership, privacy, and marketability... Instructables is designed to share projects, this contest seems to be designed to create a marketable product or two, with no stress on sharing the designs.

Oh, I understand your concern, and I have emailed the organisers for clarification / reassurances. However, I think it's probably just "standard shrinkwrap", like this typical example:

9. By submitting an entry and entering this contest, you hereby grant Instructables and RoboGames a perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable, worldwide, royalty free right to publish and distribute your entry for their promotional purposes.