Roller coaster simulator for the Redbull creation contest

[Dave] and [Martin], otherwise known as Ballistic Locomotive, sent in their entry for the Redbull creation contest. It’s a roller coaster simulator that can emulate the twists, turns, and drops of a roller coaster in your living room.

The simulator is built around a plywood roller coaster car mounted on a 2 DOF table. With a few first-person roller coaster videos and the speed, roll, and tilt data provided. Ballistic Locomotive had a functioning roller coaster simulator.

Of course, watching a 1st-person shot of a roller coaster just isn’t the same experience without the wind blowing through your hair. To simulate this aspect of a roller coaster ride, so the Ballistic Locomotive team connected a relay to the bullduino and connected a carpet drying fan.

Not only did Ballistic Locomotive build something awesome with their bullduino, they also manage to make a great ride for one of the builder’s son’s birthday party this weekend. You can check out the demo and a few videos after the break.

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Turning the red bull cannon to assault mode

Once we got our official entry into the red bull creation contest finished and submitted, we figured we might as well kick things up a notch just for giggles. We set up a firing range in the basement at Squidfoo and positioned “herbert”, a mannequin that was left over in the building from a previous tenant, in the sights.

We discovered two things:
1. it is hard to aim this thing precisely. We should have found a laser to affix to the barrel.
2. “Herbert” is the toughest mannequin in the universe. He barely had a chip on him even from point blank range!

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Hack a Day’s entry into the Red Bull creation contest

We had tons of ideas, but the one that seemed most feasible, and had the least probability of causing mortal injury, was this. We created a red bull launching mortar system. The cans are launched and a parachute deploys to bring them down to the eager people below safely. I was the one in charge of construction, so the rest of the team acted as consultants for this round. I was also able to recruit a few people from here at Squidfoo for help.

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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!

HackaDay is entering in the Redbull Creation Contest

When I returned from MakerFaire Kansas City I was very pleased to find a Bullduino waiting on my doorstep! Hackaday has been accepted into the first round of the Redbull Creation Contest. I’m doing the physical building while the other writers are consulting for this round. I’m also pulling people from around me here at SquidFoo (my local hackerspace) that can help.

Today, I got lucky enough to run into [Tony Sherwood] from MakerBot. I told him my idea and he eagerly volunteered to lend his brains and his brawn… as well as his Makerbot Replicator. He’s been extremely helpful so far offering very good ideas on how we can get this thing operational as fast as possible.

I’m not going to share exactly what we’re building yet. I can tell you it will not be the most complex project, but it will be really fun, and most likely dangerous. We’re starting today, which means we have very little time to build. Lets hope we can make something interesting enough to go to round two!

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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Redbull sends marketing doodad to hackerspace using an open source product


Looks like Redbull is harnessing the power of open source hardware to market their product to hackers everywhere. We’d say that it worked because here we are, posting up some free advertising for them. It seems that a rep for the company dropped off a package at a hackerspace in LA called Null Space Labs. It came in what is obviously a laser cut wooden box, a material that tends to make hackers salivate. Inside they found the board you see above. It took a bit of time to look over the hardware was eventually identified as an Uzebox. Sure enough, then plugged in an original NES controller to the controller port on the back of the board and were playing a version of  Pac-man in no time.

Marketing and advertising have their place in our lives which can be annoying and intrusive at times. But we have no problem with it when done creatively and targeted to our interests. Good job Redbull, and might we add, that’s a heck of a routing path for your PCB outline!