Red Bull gives wings to wacky creations

Imagine what a suitcase bike, a tornado see-saw and a WedgiePowered Vehicle (WPV) look like.

Inventions like these and more were on display at Red BullCreation – where innovators from around the country including threefrom Brooklyn, competed in a mind-blowing technology build-a-thonin Williamsburg, reflecting the growing art culture inBrooklyn.

We definitely picked Brooklyn for a reason. We really wantedthis event to be a celebration of Brooklyn creativity, art andculture. Brooklyn has long been a hotspot for the maker movement,said Jason Naumoff, the producer of Red Bull Creation.

Brooklyn also hosts some amazing community-based hacker spaceslike NYC Resistor and Alpha One Labs, he went on. They holdclasses, workshops, and teach people about how much fun it can bedo build things. There are a lot of people here making art, andmaking things. They all know each other, and it’s a really awesomecommunity.

Thousands of residents including artists and gadget-loverspacked McCarren Park during the free, family-friendly show on July10, to see what kind of creations would be revealed.

Although none of the teams from Brooklyn won, the crowd eruptedin cheers after each presentation.

1.21 Jigawatts, a team from Minnesota, electrified thecompetition with its winning design of a human-sized hamster wheel,that could receive one-word text messages from a mobile network,and print them from spray cans as it rolled. The team received$5,000 and four 40-watt Hobby Laser Cutters for theirinvention.

That thing that they built technically was superior toeverything else, said Flash Hopkins, a judge and co-founder ofBurning Man. Hopkins added, I think that everyone who made itthrough that gate is a winner. It’s really difficult to pick outone person.

The goal of the contest – which involved 16 teams of fourprofessionals who specialize in art, mechanics and electronics –was to build something within 72 hours with the theme of energy inmotion. There was one simple rule-whatever they created had to movea person.

The teams chose starting pieces from a provided junk pile, andwith little sleep and lots of Red Bull energy drinks, they scurriedto find more parts, make circuit boards, weld metal and stringwiring to create all sorts of wacky devices.

Among the completed projects, there were a glowing-cowcaterpillar chariot, a motorcycle that ran on carbon dioxide, afamily vehicle powered by children swinging and other wildinventions, making the contest an enjoyable experience for theaudience as well as the teams.

Nick Vermeer of NYC Resistor, one of the Brooklyn teams, saidthe contest was, A lot of fun, especially since while it’s acompetition, the community that they are bringing together is thecommunity of makers and creators, who are doing this out of apassion.

I think Red Bull is doing a really wonderful thing in havingthis sort of creation workshop. It allows artists to be able tofulfill more complex art projects for an audience to see it, addedAngelo Sotira, CEO of deviantART – the world’s largest online artcommunity-which helped to promote the event.

Sotira added I’m really inspired by some of their creations,and I look forward to checking out more of them. The world needsmore events like that.

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