Red Bull Creation: i3 Detroit

If there’s one thing I learned about Detroit last weekend, it’s that it is freaking huge. It’s an unbelievably large city, and looking at the population numbers, you can really start to see the problem of providing city services to such a large area. With such a sparse population, it’s the ideal environment for experimentations in urban farming, after a few seasons of planting crops that will leech everything out of the soil of course.

If you have a farm, you’re going to need some means of irrigation, and you might as well throw a scarecrow in there as well, giving i3 Detroit the idea for RoboCrop, the perfect project for an urban farm or anyone who is putting on a production of The Wizard Of Oz but is a little shorthanded for a full cast.

RoboCrop is an all-in-one irrigation and bird and small mammal scaring device, controllable with webcam video streamed right to the remote. It’s a fun project, and fits right into the apparent unofficial “urban gardening” theme of this year’s Red Bull Creation.

i3 is also the largest and arguably the best equipped hackerspace in the Detroit region. They were kind enough to let us throw a little get together there last weekend where we gave away a 3D printer for The Hackaday Prize. Good times all around. We’ll have a video tour of i3 up a little bit later.

Comments

  1. fartface says:

    Detroit is tiny. Chicago and NYC are far larger. In fact right now Detroit is barely the largest city in Michigan. Unless you count all the decay and warzones. Heck even Atlanta is starting to make Detroit look smaller.

    • TheGoogles says:

      From Google:
      Detroit area: 142 sq mi
      NYC area: 492 sq mi
      LA area: 4,850 sq mi

      Wut.

      • Matt says:

        You’re comparing apples to oranges. Your numbers for LA are for the LA metro area, not the city itself. If you count all of metro Detroit, the area is closer to 5800 sq miles, and NYC at 6700 sq miles.

        Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_Detroit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_metropolitan_area

        • hashtagfartfaceisstinky says:

          To further the point, reason why Detroit seems so huge is what the locals call Detroit/D town/hockey town is not official. For an example you can drive at 75 miles an hour for four hours along the same interstate (94) and never feel like you left the city. It all blends together and there never feels like there is a break in the city until the far side of Ann Arbor on one side to Utica on the other. Really there is so many lies and misconceptions about the area. Detroit city is the only bad part of town. Size wise it is comparable to London proper and what normal people call London. It is a tiny area at the heart of this great expanse that goes by the same name.

          Can’t we just ban fartface for being a fartface already?

        • TheGoogles says:

          There goes my A+ geography AP.

          Thanks, Matt. :'(

  2. cyberteque says:

    you guys sound like you’ve drunk the Monsanto Kool Aid when you say “a few seasons of crops will leach all the nutrients from the soil”!

    If you compare what edibles you get from a crop of whatever compared to the rest of the plant, there is way more material to turn into compost.
    There are many different ways to improve soil in between crops, simple things like sowing some barley, letting it sprout to around 3″ – 6″, then digging it in.

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