Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, normally the place for children’s kickball games, was riddled with people hopped up on energy drinks for the Red Bull Creation showcase this past Sunday. Teams of machine-savvy makers from all over the country were brought together and given 72 hours to build a new kind of vehicle for mankind without using fossil fuels. The pay-off? $5,000 and 40W Hobby Laser Cutters from Full Spectrum Laser. All the fatigue, sweat and shakes from too much Red Bull paid off as the creators displayed their work to the public.
After a long, humid day full of anticipation and interactive entertainment – including a water balloon slingshot and mechanical bulls made from tires – the team known as 1.21 Jigawatts took home the grand prize for their text-messaging hamster wheel. Yes, you read it right. This contraption has it’s own mobile phone number and can receive up to 60,000 one-word texts, which it then rolls and prints out on the ground. It’s not particularly practical or that useful to the modern man, but the judges were left in shear awe over what this team made in just three days time.
Click ahead to view more awesome creations by the runner-up teams.
Team: San Fran’s Techshop
Everyone wanted to give this re-envisioned see-saw a try. Not only does it propel the seats 12 ft. in the air, but it also rotates 360 degrees. The built-in accelerometer, once at a fast-enough speed, then triggers a Polaroid camera to snap photos of the riders. Although they didn’t win, San Fran’s Techshop received the “Team Award,” which came with the equally kick-ass Makerbot 3D Printer.
Invention: Remote-Controlled Hammock
Team: North Street Labs
Have you ever lounged in a hammock and got the craving for some chips but were too lazy to get up? Now you can simply pick up a remote and wheel yourself over. North Street Labs should have presented this as their final invention instead of the tool box turned go-cart. Perhaps then they would have won.
Invention: Wedgie-Powered Vehicle
The inventors of Ruination took back the wedgie for the geeks and turned it into something not quite of value to society. Despite the inherent diaper quality this vehicle gives the rider, it’s actually quite fun. You feel like a kid again while sitting in the seat and bouncing on the tramp. Leave it to the techies to see the good in wedgies.
Invention: Compressed C02-powered and solar powered squiggle trike
Team: i3 Detroit
Parents, if you’re looking for something environmentally conscious for your kids to ride that barely goes over one mile per hour, than this version of a squiggle trike is the perfect gift. And just in case your child crashes into something, an air bag will pop out and cushion the impact.
Invention: Giant Hamster Wheel
Team: Alpha One Labs
The idea behind this invention was cool, but the actual execution proved flawed. As one guy runs inside, another rider sits in the front and steers. However, the demonstration quickly turned into a slap-stick comedy show with one of the inventors tripping and falling backwards while trying to operate the wheel.
Invention: Electrical Hybrid Tricycle
Team: Donner Party 2.0
The perfect bike for the summer weather is now a tricycle complete with margaritas. Contained within the attached washing machine, the blender will mix drinks as you ride and by the time you reach your destination a frozen treat will greet you. Or ride to the park and get plastered with your friends.