Amazon and Lego have unveiled the winners of their Alexa-focused Mindstorms challenge, and they're as clever and oddball as you'd hope. The grand prize winner is Jason Allemann's Game Station, a project that uses Alexa for a five-game console -- you can play the likes of Simon, trivia or Race to the Top while Alexa issues commands, plays music and checks answers. It's straightforward, but shows that the voice assistant can provide the 'glue' for a gaming system. This is also lucrative for Alleman, who gets $20,000 in Amazon gift cards, Lego models and a trip to Lego's headquarters in Denmark.
The other finalists are more... off the beaten track. Eric and Julie Hartye made Wafflebot, a connected waffle iron that uses Alexa to prepare and even dish out breakfast customized to your tastes. Annika Vuurzoon's Puppy Training, meanwhile, gives you a robo dog you can teach to sit, stand or lay down. Neil Pollard's Sky Finder can show your the location of objects in the night sky, Isabel's Magic Show performs tricks, Maya Hackston's Smart Susan upgrades the venerable lazy susan and Keenan Johnson's Paige Turner both reads and turns pages for the visually impaired.
These projects are all available to make yourself if you're willing to sign into Hackster. Some of them will require more time and skill than others -- the Wafflebot by itself is estimated to take 12 hours. If you're looking for a tech-driven DIY project, though, this might be just what you're looking for.