I have been lacking in vacuum forming table updates lately. That’s because I signed up a Eugene Maker Space team for this year’s Red Bull Creation Challenge and we were accepted!
This year’s challenge is to use a custom Arduino microcontroller board designed by Red Bull to create anything. There is no theme or really any rules. We just have to use the board to make anything we want. We then have to create a short video introducing ourselves, our past creations, and our new creation and upload it to YouTube. The catch is that we only have until July 3 to plan, build, film, and upload. We’ve been working almost around the clock on our creation to ensure that we are chosen to move on to the next round. Oh that’s right, I forgot to mention that this is just the qualifier round.
Twelve teams will be selected from the qualifier round based on their uploaded videos. Those teams will then be entered into the actual competition. The competition is a 3 day event. The teams will have video streaming equipment setup in their workshops. The teams will have 3 days to design and build another creation and stream the whole build on the Internet. Then a winner will be selected to receive the grand prize of $10,000 in tools and gear. I haven’t seen much about what the rules of the competition are, so there may be a theme involved or some more constraints than the qualifier round. Either way, it should be a ton of fun. I’m really hoping we make it through to the next round.
We didn’t know we were accepted until last Wednesday (June 20) when we received our Bullduino in the mail.
The Bullduino is basically a clone of the Arduino on a PCB that looks like the Red Bull logo. It came in a “box” made from laser cut corrugated cardboard that had a fun Star Wars quote etched into it.
We plugged in the Bullduino and a small surface mounted LED started flashing at us. It didn’t take us long to realize it was flashing morse code. After some decoding we figured out that the message was “Wouldn’t lou prefer a good game of chess?” This is a quote from the classic hacker movie “Wargames”, although it should be “you” and not “lou”. It was probably just a typo. We haven’t found any other easter eggs yet but you never know.
Since we received our Bullduino, we’ve been working on our creation almost non-stop. I’ve spent so much time at the shop that it’s getting ridiculous. I’m really excited about our project, and I think if we complete it we will have a really good chance of moving on to the next round. Unfortunately I won’t be posting updates as we go because we want to keep it a secret until our video is uploaded and the creation is completed. But expect a good post once our video is online that shows off the creation and explains how everything works.
Wish us luck!