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.

28 thoughts on “Red Bull Creation Hardware (Bullduino) Arrives

  1. I’m a member of the Harford Hackerspace. From talking with other groups we noticed there seem to be at least two different variations. One is this one and the other is one that has a simon shield that rickrolls you.

    Who else has recieved one? Any other variants?

      1. Ah, my bad, I didn’t read the post thoroughly. Yeah the Atmega8U2 is the USB controller. I don’t see how that would be cheaper than an FTDI chip. The best route might have been to use an AT90USB which has native usb and has arduino support (see Leonardo)

      2. The Atmega8u2 AFAIK is used on more recent Arduino boards instead of the FTDI chip as a CDC class USB Serial converter. It certainly is cheaper than the FTDI, and is more flexible in that you can update it, or re-purpose it.

      3. For full USB support on Arduino-compatible boards, you should check Teensy, my favorite toy…

        Yesterday evening, I simply made an accelerometer-based joystick in minutes (the longer was to find good coefficients between sensor readings and joystick outputs)

    1. Joshua: Shall we play a game?
      David Lightman: Oh!
      Jennifer Mack: I think it missed him.
      David Lightman: Yeah. Weird isn’t it? Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War?
      Joshua: Wouldn’t you prefer a good game of chess?

    1. I agree. I would not use it for any project unless it was given to me for free and I took the time to dremel off the garbage. I certainly would never pay for it.

      But I can not blame them for wanting to waste the extra money on production. It kinda even fails on making it known that it is “red bull”. They should have at least used a red solder mask on it.

  2. So I spent some time doing a pinout only to find, yeah it is like the Arduino Uno like it says in the link above :-/. When AVR Studio finishes installing I’ll see if I can do something cool with this thing.

  3. it really shows that redbull spends half of their revenue on marketing.
    still, it’s nice that they are going after the tinkerer market as well as the extreme sports fans.

  4. Confused, non-energy drink drinking Australian here, is Red Bull is running a competition? They are trying to elbow into the hacker market? Why have they released this board?

    1. yes, winning team gets $10,000. they’re not trying to elbow into the hacker market, the bullduinos are for the competition and as far as i know, otherwise unavailable.

  5. so we checked out the Morse code on the Bullduino that got sent to 23b. It is in fact the same message. Curiously, it uses an apostrophe character, which is not common for human users. Most likely, the code was generated by an automated tool. Could also account for the error?



  6. I have had mine for a couple of days now. Just set your IDE to uno and it works normal. My biggest complaint is the pins are not labeled. They mach the uno but with out reference you can slip up. I made a minor mistake and toasted the VCC input pin, tho the large solder pad works fine. As for the look, I am putting the board front and center.

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