RedBull Creation 2013: final thoughts and recap

I have arrived home safely, and I’ll spare you the long and boring story of how horribly my airline experiences were, both directions. The contest was delightful. Not only did I get to watch the teams compete, I got to meet people that I’ve wanted to meet for a long time.  The judges and shop monitors were a delight to talk with and work with. There are some great daily recap videos on the creation website, but I can’t embed them.

You’re probably wondering who won. Well, that was announced after I left. The public hadn’t even begun to vote on people’s choice (we weren’t even finished building the sign with the voting buttons!).

The judges were from all different areas of expertise. We had a form to fill out for each project that had several different values. There was functionality, aesthetics, resourcefulness, and some other stuff I can’t remember right now. [Greg] put together the criteria and I think he did a fantastic job at making the judging fair and balanced.

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Causing trouble at RedBull Creation 2013

Skullduggery systems (a first time participant) came up with an extremely ambitious idea for their instrument. It was to be a jug, that would have a changing pitch based on water being pumped in and out. Ultimately, they ran into a few issues that meant that the effect wasn’t quite what they were looking for. They shouldn’t feel too bad, a bunch of teams didn’t succeed in making things the first year they participated.

What their instrument did do, however, I found simply delightful. The jug sounded just like feedback from the sound system. The contest was happening during a big music festival called the NorthSide festival.  There was a stage and a huge crowd most of the time.  They were testing their jug and we noticed that the band on stage (with a full crowd at the time), had stopped playing and was checking all their equipment. The sound guys were running around like crazy. They thought they were getting feedback.

We held off for a while and decided we would wait till sound checks to mess with them. While we wanted to cause trouble, we didn’t want to ruin the show for an entire crowd.  As you can see in the video, the sound is very much like feedback. They would begin to play, then stop to track down this mysterious feedback. We even tricked [Tyler] the announcer that was talking over our local sound system in the Redbull tent (by accident, I assure you).

The secret projects at the RedBull Creation Challenge

You’ve all already seen that there are 6 teams making some kind of a musical instrument. However, there are two more projects that have materialized out of nowhere and are looking like a lot of fun.

In the shop, there are “Shop Monitors”, artists and hackers who are here to help the teams get stuff built. There are also the judges. Since all of us have some experience and craving for making things, you can imagine that no one is just twiddling their thumbs.

[Greg] the lead judge has taken this opportunity to play with the plasma cutter and various metal working tools and is making a voting system so that the public can walk up and hit a button to vote on their favorite. Yup, those are easy buttons you see there. This thing is shaping up to be pretty nice looking thanks to that cutting machine and [Greg's] hard work.

[JoeJoe], the guy who built the turbull incabulator is building “piss bot”, an inside joke turning to reality. Pissbot  will literally just freak out and urinate all over. Don’t ask why, ask why not.

RedBull creation update: Fantastic videos from the welder company!

As I’ve been wandering around today, I saw a couple people filming all day. They were crawling on their bellies, climbing things, and doing interviews. It isn’t that surprising till I found out they’re from Lincoln Electric, the company that supplied the plasma cutter and the welders.

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Hackaday at the Redbull Creation Challenge: The teams begin to build

After a long day sitting around airports watching one flight after another get cancelled due to the storm in New York, I finally made it. Unfortunately I missed the entire first day, but luckily RedBull put out a recap of Day1. They also have a live feed if you want to check in.

I got a chance to run around this morning and check everything out. The 6 teams are already in the heat of competition, rushing to get their musical instrument built before the time runs out.

I apologize ahead of time for the noise. I don’t have a better microphone for this environment. I’ll do my best to try to pull them into a quieter area if I’m going to talk to them in the future. Also I can now see that the footage is over exposed. I’ll fix that, though you can see the gallery of pictures turned out well.

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Heading to New York to judge the RedBull Creation Contest!

We had a ridiculous amount of fun last year in the RedBull Creation Contest. This year, however, we’re not participating as competitors, we’re judging! I will be there representing Hackaday as a judge as well as getting behind the scenes coverage. Sometimes the best stuff gets missed when all you get is the highlight reel.

The format this year is returning to what it was in 2011. The 6 teams will meet in New York this weekend to compete in a 72 hour build off. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with.  You can see what each team did to get into this stage in the video above.

I’ll be recording video during the event so you can follow along. I’ll try really hard to give a real view of what an amazing event like this is like. I imagine it will be a whirlwind of activity, so I’ll do my best to capture it.

The RedBull creation contest begins!

The RedBull Creation contest begins today.

Last year, we had a ton of fun competing in the RedBull creation contest. The idea is that RedBull hosts this big contest where teams compete by making awesome stuff. Finalists get to take a trip to Brooklyn for a build off extravaganza. Frankly, we think this is how ALL advertising budgets should be spent.

This year, however, we will not be participating as a team in the contest. We’ll be helping judge it!

The hardware:

In previous years, RedBull has sent out some custom hardware for people to use. Last year it was basically an Arduino on a custom PCB with some cool touch sensors. This year, they’ve sent out this multi purpose LED controller shield that looks pretty impressive.

You can see all the details along with a breakdown of the board from the creator himself, after the break.

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