Main Rules:
The rules are very simple.
        1) You must use an Arduino, PSoC, or a pre-approved 3rd party device (ask us for details).
        2) You must keep the cost below the budget (see info on microcontroller below).
        3) You must be enrolled at Colorado State University.
        4) Make something interesting.

Explanation of rules:
1) Microcontrollers are used to control nearly every modern electric device, and will almost certainly be the base of your project. We need to specify a microcontroller for a variety of reasons.
        a) We need to provide support and education to those who don't fully understand their hardware.
             - If everyone bought a different microcontroller, this would be impossible.
        b) With such great possibilities for projects, we need some standard to judge.
             - Not all electronics are created equal (in fact none of them are). An expensive,
               more technical microcontroller may be much more powerful and have more
               features than a more affordable one.  We need to be able to judge things like
               creativity and problem solving which is difficult to do if everyone uses different
You can, however, use other microprocessors in your project as long as the approved device is the master controller.

2) Money is a huge factor in building electronics.  Generally, the more you have, the better they get.  As we are working with students from a variety of financial backgrounds, we thought it fair to impose a budget cap. We look to judge who the creative and inventive students are, not how much money they can spend on a project.

There are several different flavors of Arduino. For example, consider a budget of $175. If you use the Uno or Nano the cost will not go towards the $175 limit. If you use a more expensive model such as the Mega, the amount above $30 will go towards the $175 limit (cost of board - $30 = cost to be accounted for). If you use a homebrew or cheaper controller, it does not change the amount you can spend.

3) We are in our third year of organizing the competition, and would like to keep the competition fair and oriented toward building the careers of our peers.

4) What is a competition if no one builds anything interesting? Make it light up, spin, levitate....whatever your heart desires, but don't skimp on the creativity ;)

Cheating is taken very seriously, and will be dealt with by instant disqualification. Close to the judged event you will be required to submit a report that includes your code, your schematic, and your budget to be reviewed by the judges and checked for cheating.

Cheating includes, but is not limited to:

Plagiarism - It is very easy to find schematics and code off the internet and use them.  We don't mind you using other people's work, but you MUST give credit to its creator.  This goes for code, schematics, project ideas, and any other intellectual property.

Lying about or padding your budget will result in instant disqualification as well.  A complete and accurate bill of parts is required.  Anything missing or with wrong values without good explanation will be considered cheating.  Note that used parts and donated or found "freebies" need to be included with searchable/presentable market values.