Cordless Drill Incentive Challenge Design

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  • Generate revenue from open source Enterprise community
  • Generate academic support from authors and references of Publications for a paper on the Incentive Challenge for Bridging the Technology Colony. Invited public lecture Lu's collaboration with authors

Working Questions

  • How do we design Quality Control into design challenges to produce the highest quality of design? This is a central question for distributed product development
  • Is anyone currently running a design challenge for distributive economic good on basic transcendance of Artificial Scarcity?
  • Can we design an incentive challenge that goes beyond design and into Public Production Engineering (PPE) for replicability by social entrepreneurs worldwide? The requirement for PPE is that building and testing of the technology must be included.


  • Open source components such as 3D printed electric motor are favored. But they still have to meet performance goals. Weight limit must be maintained. In practice - the industrial grade quality will not be compromised.
  • You must attribute any prior work by referencing the work what your contribution is based on. Documentation of both failure and successful experiments counts to one's final score.
  • Some guidelines for part sourcing must be used - such as BLDC motors and 18650 and Arduino Mega.
  • For admissibility, all designs must enter a public part libary on the OSE wiki. Files under 1M are stored on the wiki.
  • Entry must be complete, which forces participants to collaborate and network with one another.
  • Nobody gets the prize unless entry is complete. Completion is verified by build + pictures.
  • Dev Template of critical assets is posted on every wiki page as a template
  • Wiki Log- consists of template on top (critical assets), time sheet, and Work Log of progress.
  • Charger and drill must be enclosed and follow requirements of UL Certification and CE. Entrant must show how standards would be met.
  • Submission package must include:
  • Data - drill performance - number of holes through a softwood 2x4 on one charge
  • Code for charger with Arduino Mega or clone
  • Build Instructions - will be evaluated for completeness
  • BOM
  • CAD
  • Exploded part diagram
  • Tech drawings
  • UL/CE proof
  • Drill proper
  • $50 fee
  • Top 10 winners are invited to 2 Day Extreme Build Competition. Video edit is required by a team member.
  • Winner is selected on performance data and build time. Must use documented Admissible Parts and meet performance requirements.
  • Simply start a Name_Log - where Name is your first name. Include your last name if the Name is already taken by someone else. To enter, you must: (1) start your work log, and (2) register where you simply provide your name, email, and link to your work log.

Structure of Design Challenge Wiki Page

  • Has a dashboard -one graph with weekly number of registrations; number of active contributions


  • Make the project so large that it is simply impossible without broad collaboration of at least 100 human years, allowing for 10% efficiency typical of peer development, so 10 human years of full time effort (about $1M value at $100k/pop)
  • Reward X for non-native FreeCAD CAD, 1.2 to 2 x for FreeCAD native format
  • Production Engineering is included in settings and platform layout; nesting is considered for production optimization
  • Bonus for self-packaging-print parts kit on the production engineering side?
  • Produced on OSHWA-certified hardware for non-ambiguity
  • Discussion thread is set up. All infrastructure is set up so we don't need to manage the process throughout outside of casual oversight.
  • Commenting on the results weekly, with assessment of contenders on a blog post.
  • Hire someone for the posting - one month, $3k. Question is who? Abe or Jonathan.

Incentive Structure

  • High quality documentation is provided assisting entrants in as much of the build process as possible, to facilitate a rich product development learning experience
  • For printing of parts - OSE can provide printing service at low cost if you don't have access to a 3D printer. . (develop online print service)
  • Contributors can freeload; winning entry is measured by attribution - if an entry is based on other work - people who made those contributions get paid. If work is completely original, it may win - but because project is so large - it is not likely that a single contributor did not build upon others' work. So for examply, a late entrant can build upon all past work in the last 2 weeks - and may win - but their reward will be proportional only to their contribution, and others whose work was built upon will also be rewarded.
  • Specific reward formula is not public to prevent gaming of the system
  • Individual or team submissions are accepted. Obviously, a team has a higher chance of winning - so the incentive structure encourages creation of teams. A team is likely to produce more effort. Strategic alliances may be used - this promotes collaboration
  • Distributive enterprise is the fundamental motive.
  • Submissions must be postmarked on the last day of the contest, and only published data is admissible for judging. Publishing incentivizes others to use that information, which means that the more you publish - the more reward you can get even if you don't submit a winning entry.
  • Judging is based on the perceived importance of contribution as determined by the judging panel.

Enterprise Facilitation

  • Part of reward goes to creating a white label online printing enterprise software platform as open source software where you upload files for printing. The print software automatically nests the parts in 3D - to print a cube that goes directly into a flat rate box of USPS. Service includes a print camera, and includes.
  • Software allows for printing of all drill parts in one printing, by stacking in the vertical dimension
  • This allows for people to set up a business producing cordless drills easily anywhere in the world.
  • To do this is tricky, and may simply mean that we produce all parts either on a larger bed (12"x12" or larger)
  • May have to remove this.


  1. Register
  2. Document build on Log
  3. Submit complete entry by mailing to OSE


  • Process involves (1) performance testing of submitted entries; entries must have a QR code attached to the entry linking to person's build Log to facilitate examination of documentation. (2) evaluation of documentation for the entry

Research Question

  • What infrastructure and resources are required to create a successful public engineering design outcome suitable for distributive enterprise?
  • Can the public engineering cost be significantly lower than proprietary engineering? That is, can incentive challenges greatly leverage the cost of the reward + overhead? The answer comes from assessing a complete development process. We know from the X Prize that teams spend multiple times of the actual reward amount to win that reward. The competition and publicity aspect is the motivating factor.
  • Is it possible to leverage funding for development 10x? 100x? Theoretically, based on the Valuation of Open Source Hardware paper by Dr. Pearce, the leveraging should be 100x or more? Needs analysis.


  • 10% overhead to HeroX
  • 10% overhead to OSE
  • Develop submission tracking infrastructure on the wiki.