Laser-charged glow in the dark message board

This entry in the Red Bull Creation contest uses a laser to charge up a glow-in-the-dark message board. The concept is something we’ve seen several times before. Since light can excite a phosphorescent surface, moving pixels of light over that surface leaves a fading trail. Most recently we saw a spinning ring message board. This contest entry is different in that the board is stationary and the print head moves.

It’s basically a two-wheeled robot with a laser diode which can swivel perpendicular to the direction of travel. In this way, the laser prints the rows, and the motion of the robot takes care of advancing the columns. Since laser light has incredible intensity it is able to excite the phosphors much more thoroughly than LEDs. So the message will last longer than that spinning ring project or this awesome turntable hack. Don’t miss the video after the break that shows off the hack along with a bag full of theatrics.

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Cool Master advanced beer delivery system

The Cool Master is a beer delivery system which Innovation Thirst built as their qualifying entry for this year’s Red Bull Creation contest. It’s one of the best beer delivery concepts we’ve ever seen. Instead of tossing you a beer directly from the fridge, this offering brings the cold beverages directly to you. It even manages to de-cap the bottles before serving.

Mobility is provided by a six-wheeled base which allows for a zero-turn radius. The cooler acts as the body of the robot, and hides a hopper which carries a stock of bottles on their sides. When you want a beer, the bot approaches you, tilts the next bottle to the upright position, removes the cap, then raises the vessel on a beer elevator until it pushes its way through the rubber orifice in the cooler’s lid. Right now the device is operated using an RC controller, but there’s always room for adding autonomy and the ability to restock from a refrigerator. Don’t miss the demo video after the break.

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Tug of War… with your mind, man!

Challenge your friends to a little mental Tug of War thanks to the Omaha Maker Group’s Red Bull Creation contest entry. The power struggle is all in your mind, and can only be won if you’re able to concentrate deeply and quickly. The headsets worn by each competitor monitor brain waves over a ten second window. If you concentrate more deeply than your opponent they’ll get a squirt of water in the face. If no one is concentrating well the contest is a draw the measurements start again. The screenshot above was taken from the test footage found after the break.

Hardware details are scant on this one. Obviously the Bullduino is the centerpiece of the build, taking readings from the headsets. A motor moves the water nozzle along a slit cut in the top of the sphere.  Progress during the 10-second window is displayed by that nozzle, which starts in the center yellow ‘safe’ zone and moves to one side or another to enter the green ‘kill’ zone.

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Automatic beverage delivery system

Members of theTransistor, a Provo, Utah based Hackerspace, are showing off their entry in the Red Bull Creation contest. This is an all-in-one energy drink delivery system. It can take a warm can of Red Bull from a reserve rack and turn it into a chilled cup of goodness in no time. And it (kind of) cleans up after itself too!

The process starts when a can is opened by lancing it through the side walls. At the upper right corner of the rig you can see the apparatus that is responsible for this beverage extraction technique. The drink drains from the newly created openings into a funnel below. It then enters a heat exchanger the team built by surrounding an aluminum pipe with several copper pipes. The copper has ice water circulating through them from the orange bucket that serves as the reservoir. By the time the drink gets to the cup on the bottom left it is ready to drink. The empty can is crush, falling into a bin and making space for the next in the 16-can backup supply.

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The most surprising game of Simon you’ve every played

How does one take a game of Simon and make it extremely awesome? The folks at the North Street Labs — a Hackerspace in Portsmouth, Virginia — have found the secret and it’s all in the execution. They turned this chair-desk into a coin-operated Simon game that hides a huge surprise.

We suppose you should be able to guess the secret. Most coin-operated sidewalk attractions are rides, and so is this. As their Red Bull Creation entry the team built a base for the desk around a 2000 Watt floor buffer. These are the kind of things that you’d see a janitor in the 1980’s using to polish the tiles of your middle-school.  This one just happens to shake the bejesus out of a player who makes a mistake. To help suck you into the game this won’t happen right away. You have to make it past at least four rounds before making the mistake.

The rest of the game is as expected. The playing area is nicely milled from a piece of wood with acrylic windows serving as the buttons. Apparently the biggest problem with that part of the build is finding a way to hold everything together despite the intense vibrations. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

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Game of chance built as a Red Bull Creation entry

[Tom Bourke] wrote in to show off the game of chance which was built for this year’s Red Bull Creation contest. The project was completed with the help of the Wausau Collaboration Center, a Hackerspace in Wausau, Wisconsin.

He does a great job of showing off the game in the clip after the break. Near the bottom of the device is a hard drive platter which each player can spin to test his or her luck. [Tom] used a max485 chip to turn the leads for the hard drive motor into a quadrature encoder. This input is monitored by the Bullduino board, which puts on a light and sound show during the spin. The LEDs that surround the display are individually addressable (probably the same LED strings as this wall display) and cycle trough different colors based on the rotational speed of the patters. The large seven segment display provides a readout for the random number that is generated. Roll a ten and you win! We guess you need to make the rest of the game up yourself, but this could easily be used as a 16-sided die (or less).

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Red Bull Creation hardware (Bullduino) arrives

The Bullduino’s are starting to arrive. When [Arclight] received his in the mail the first thing he did was to share the hardware details. Of course this is the hardware that participants in the Red Bull Creation contest will be receiving ahead of this year’s contest.

The board is an ATmega328 Arduino clone. Instead of an FTDI chip for USB this one is sporting an ATmega8u2. That’s not too much of a surprise as it should translate to a cost savings. [Arclight] reports that the stock firmware flashes a message in Morse code. It seems the Harford HackerSpace got their Bullduino several days ago and already decoded the message. It reads:

“Wouldn’t lou prefer a good game of chess?”

The guys that did the decoding speculate that this could be a type as ‘l’ and ‘y’ are inversions of each other in Morse code; or it could be some kind of clue. At any rate, if you want to do some disassembly and see if there’s anything lurking in the firmware, [Arclight] posted FLASH and EEPROM dumps from both ATmega chips along with his article.

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