Red Bull dispenser includes smokey presentation and rejects inferior drinks

The Eugene Maker Space’s entry in the Red Bull Creation contest dispenses cans in a mysterious fog through an iris opening. But it’s also capable of disposing of the Red Bull cans… and only those cans. If you try to put a different soda in it will violently reject it!

First off we must applaud the Eugene Makers for their prolific documentation of the project. There’s a day or two worth of fun reading/watching on that page so make sure you save the bookmark (and learn from their example!). Inside the mysterious waist-high enclosure there’s a hopper to store the energy-drink reservoir. As a can is dispensed its barcode is scanned to ensure this is an approved beverage. At this point the can is elevated through an iris in the case of the enclosure, al0ng with a theatrically timed puff of fog. The parts of the iris were printed on paper and used to cut out wooden pieces using a scroll saw. The fog blast is from an inverted duster can with a 3d printed nozzle that helps make it Bullduino controlled.

When done with your beverage the can can be placed back in the opening, where it is again scanned before going into the recycling bin. But as you can see in the clip after the break, trying to sneak a soda can into the machine will launch the empty right back at you!

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We made it into the RedBull creation finals!

We are quite happy to announce that we’ve made it into the next round of the Red Bull Creation contest.  Our entry was fairly simple, but just amusing enough to get us by. I’m assembling my team here in springfield missouri at Squidfoo as well as setting up some full time Skype sessions with writers elsewhere.

We currently have no idea what the topic will be, but we do know that we will have 72 hours to complete it, starting the 19th. Red Bull will be filming the entire process so you can watch as we build. We are not a well trained team and we are all very strongly opinionated. We’ll be lucky if we complete anything in that time!

I’d like to address a couple common thoughts:

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Raspi contest to get the kids programming

The Raspberry Pi was originally conceived as an educational platform. Much like the BBC Micros and Apple ][s of yore, the Raspi is designed to get kids into programming by giving them a very tiny but still useful computer. Truth be told, we haven’t seen any educational hacks involving the Raspberry Pi, most likely because makers and tinkerers like us have been buying up all the available boards. The Raspi team is trying to correct this problem by holding a summer programming contest aimed at kids under 18 years of age.

The rules are simple: there are two age brackets, under 13, and ages 14-18. The kid who writes the best piece of software for the Raspberry Pi gets $1000, with five $200 runners-up in each category.The contest will run for eight weeks, timed perfectly to coincide with summer vacation.

There will be a few more weekly contests the Raspi team will be holding in the future, but with eight weeks to complete a project we can’t wait to see all the neat stuff kids are going to make.

 

RickRolled by RedBull

As you’ve already seen, we’ve been invited to participate in the Redbull creation contest. While we were deep into our work today, hacking things apart and soldering things together while trying not to blow ourselves up, we received a second package! It had a hand written note explaining that this was the last of its type, reserved for only the most awesome teams. We got the very last one.

In this box was another bullduino. This one had a shield on it with a fancy display in the middle and a few scattered LEDs. Upon plugging it in, we were greeted with a “simon” style game that you can play using the resistive touch pads on the pcb. You can see the result in the video above. Also, my nose doesn’t work very well, but my wife informed me that the red bull mail smelled like bacon. I’m unsure if this was intentional or not.

Our project is coming long nicely. Preliminary tests today yielded fantastic results with minimal sub dermal hematoma. We look forward to unveiling this beast to the public. Stay tuned!

DEFCON 20 Tamper Evident contest signup

DEFCON 20 is on its way and if you want to put a team together to compete in the Tamper Evident competition now is the time! The idea of the contest is simple: your team needs to break into something without anyone every knowing. The payload is protected by the best of modern tamper evident techniques. One of the things we really like about the competition is that there are multiple levels so if it’s your first time you DO stand a chance. The number of teams accepted is limited, so don’t wait too long and miss your chance to register.

There’s a ton to be learned from the contest RULES. But perhaps a better primer is going to be [Datagram's] fifty-two minute talk which we’ve embedded after the break. He was one of the winners of all four contest levels at DEFCON 19 last year.

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Redbull’s new creation contest comes to your workshop

We get bombarded with press releases daily. Our inbox overflows with brand new iPhone cases and cheap LED manufacturers in china. We generally have no interest in sharing obvious product advertisement with you. However, some people understand what we’re interested in. Redbull gets it. They’re embracing hackers and running contests that promote DIY/hacking. Last year, we saw some cool results from their contest.

So, we’re happy to announce that this year, they are doing it again! Only this time, the contest will come to the location of the entrants! If you qualify to be one of the final teams involved, they’ll set up to stream live from your home workshop/hackerspace for the contest. You might be thinking, “aren’t you just advertising for red bull?”, we feel that as long as they’re promoting hacking, they’re advertising for us!

You can catch the details after the break.

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Win $40,000 for squirting plastic out of a nozzle

3D printers such as the RepRap and Makerbot turn spools of plastic filament into just about any object imaginable. There’s a problem though: this filament costs about $40 a kilogram, and raw plastic pellets cost about 1/10th of that. Obviously, there’s a lot of room for improvement. The folks at Inventables are throwing $40,000 at the problem in a contest to build a machine that takes plastic pellets and turns it into usable plastic filament.

The object is simple: build a device that takes ABS or PLA pellets and turns them into a 1.75mm filament. The machine has to cost less than $250, be able to add colorant to the plastic, and be usable in a 3D printer. The winner gets $40,000, a laser cutter, a 3D printer, and a CNC milling machine courtesy of Inventables. Sign up on the official contest website and don’t be shy about sending your progress into the Hackaday tip line

If you’d like to get started, here’s a great page that goes over the basics of plastic extrusion, and a few attempts (1, 2) from [Adrian Bowyer] and [Forrest Higgs] that show exactly how hard this is. There’s also the Filabot that had a successful Kickstarter, but there’s apparently been no (or very limited) progress in the four months since the Kickstarter. I’ve even given this idea a go, but am currently stuck at manufacturing a proper auger. To put this in perspective, this is the moonshot of the current crop of 3D printers; a simple device to lower the barrier of entry to 3D printing is desperately needed, and we’ve got to give props to the Inventables crew for putting this contest together.