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Images from the 2011 Red Bull Creation Challenge: Energy in Motion

Mon, 07/11/2011 - 10:27am
Edited by Alix Paultre

The Red Bull Creation Contest series is all about inspiring invention and creation. In the Energy in Motion Event, teams were tasked to build creations designed to move the weight of a person (100lbs) from point A to point B. The twist? No fossil fuels allowed. The entries are not as practical as they were imaginative, and MakerBot had a tremendous amount of interest in their 3D printer, being used by some at the event to make parts and accessories for their entries on the fly. Although the various vehicles were entered with tongues firmly pressed into their cheek, their heads were definitely pointed in the right direction.

Here are some pictures from the event: 

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 Here is the final release from the event:

 

Red Bull Creation wrapped up a 72-hour, Brooklyn-style mind-melt of a building competition. 16 teams from across the country came together for three days of high stakes innovation with the city as their playground. Although one team came out on top, Red Bull Creation brought together many of the country’s most creative minds, showcasing their ingenuity and demonstrating what could be. Here's how it all went down:

July 7 -- The Kick-Off

Having previously been withheld, the official build topic was announced on the morning of July 7th: Energy in Motion. Gathered along Brooklyn's waterfront at Newtown Barge Park, the 16 teams dove headfirst into

the build-a-thon, a looming clock counting down above their heads. From there, the park would remain home base for all building and labor, but each team would have to claw their way across the city, hoarding any materials fit to be repurposed and reinvented.

July 10 -- Judgment Day

Months of imagineering, thousands of miles traveled (or in the case of the NYC teams competing, a couple really long blocks), all led to the final Brooklyn showdown. McCarren Park was transformed into an alternate universe of iPad-controlled water balloon wars, mechanical bulls made of tires, a consciousnessaltering performance by instrumental wizard, That 1 Guy, and of course, the stage for 16 teams to show the world what they (and their implausibly brilliant creations) were made of. The results? Predictably genius. To name a few...

There was Innovative Thirst's clay-powered mobile pod, complete with an electricity-generating swing set. There was Harford Hackerspace's "Chillerpillar," an extremely dangerous to operate, mechanical inch worm. NYC Resistor took it back to the 1800's and presented the steampunk's version of an off-road trolley car. With a total of 50 bucks spent, Hack RVA unveiled the invention every kid in every supermarket

parking lot in history has gotten yelled at by their mom for trying to create: A shopping cart that does its own poppa-wheelies.

Donner Party 2.0 lifted the curtain on the clean-energy vehicle of tomorrow: An electrical hybrid tricycle with a dryer attached that doubles as a gigantic blender. Saving the planet while downing margaritas immediately entered the minds of all. Team Doublewide managed to sufficiently creep out an entire audience with their puppet-ized take on Johnny 5, "The Amazing Cyclo" (shivers just at the thought of waking up, seeing that thing crackin' eggs and flipping pancakes.) If there was an award given for 'most mind-blowingly fun-looking thing likely to land you in the ICU,' then San Fran's Techshop would’ve taken it home. Their evolutionary take on the see-saw not only rotated 360 degrees, but its seats lifted 12 feet in the air and...wait for it...it even had an accelerometer that detected when the see-saw was going fast enough to trigger an attached Polaroid camera which snapped pictures of the riders' faces.

Truth be told, Techshop did end up taking home an award -- the highly commendable "Team Award," an honor voted on by all competing teams, securing them their very own Makerbot 3D Printer. Don't know what that is? Look it up and then glance over at your rickety old deskjet with contempt.

At approximately 6:15pm EST, the moment all the blood and sweat had led up to took form; the announcement of which team would inherit the grand prize. This year, the team that floored the judges and deemed themselves worthy of Red Bull Creation's crown was Minneapolis' 1.21 Jigawatts. To paraphrase what 1.21 Jigawatts created may be an injustice, (it truly needed to be seen to be believed), but here goes: A massive hamster wheel, wired into a mobile network, given its own phone number that could somehow receive up to 60,000 one-word text messages at a time. The kicker: once it received the text message, the hamster wheel would actually roll and perfectly print the word out along the ground.

Remember, this was built in 72 hours. It's practical purpose? To be an unequivocally awesome showstopper -- and at that 1.21 Jigawatts definitely succeeded. Not only was their team awarded with a grand prize of $5,000, but also received four 40W Hobby Laser Cutters from Full Spectrum Laser. That's right; Christmas came early for the gents of 1.21 Jigawatts.

So as the sun's gone down and engines have begun revving their way home across the states, each of these heroically inspirational teams muse on how to make their way back to the country's newfound, ultimate maker showdown: Red Bull Creation.

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