Coming This Summer: Innovation to Blow Your Mind

Teams Scour NYC Streets for Raw Materials for Red Bull Creation

Jun 23, 2011, 13:14 ET from Red Bull

NEW YORK, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The summer's most insane 72-hour marathon is officially upon us. No one will be running for 72 hours straight--that would be inhumane and is only possible in certain Tom Hanks epics circa '94. Instead, 16 hand-selected teams, comprised of absurdly talented innovators and inventors from across the U.S. will be scavenging, sawing, soldering, circuit-bending and oh right, running all over New York City for a shot at conquering Red Bull Creation.  The grand prize? Their very own box of chocolates...That's not true. The prize is more in the realm of some serious Benjamins and worldwide recognition. So keep going for the real details...

For a web clip on "What is Red Bull Creation?" visit


From July 7 - 10, Red Bull Creation touches down in NYC. On Day 1, each team will receive a definitive build topic. (What's the fun in telling them now?) For the next 72 hours, these teams will scramble through the city, acquiring and re-appropriating used materials like they were teleported into a live-action Katamari Damacy. On the final day, each team will complete and present their own mind-blowing creations in front of a live audience--and that's where you come in.

On July 10, from 3-7 p.m., Brooklyn's own McCarren Park will be transformed into the site of the ultimate hacker showdown.  Sleep-deprived artisans will sweat their way to the finish, battling for $10,000 cash and brand new tools valued up to the same amount.  All you have to do is show up (it's a public park, it's free, people) and get inspired.


When gauging the work done by a wild pack of engineers, architects, coders and visual artists, you need a panel of a similar ilk. Which is precisely why these judges will be at the helm:

Starting with Simone Davalos, one of the key components behind the robotic mayhem and destruction of cult hit, Robogames. Flash Hopkins--who instantly gets the award for Coolest Name of the Decade--the Harvard-studied co-founder of Burning Man.  Rebel inventor, Hackett; NYU professor and subject of his very own Science Channel show "Stuck With Hackett." And oh right, Glenn Derene, Senior Technology Editor at a little magazine called Popular Mechanics.  So no pressure, folks!


Scientific fact: All strokes of brilliance must be backed by the perfect soundtrack. And who better to do that than the globe's most sought after slice-n-dice masters of sound + vision, Eclectic Method?! The renowned UK trio bent on mashing-up debaucherous pop culture video cocktails and attracting millions of viewers will be on-hand for an exclusive live performance. To give a brief history of Eclectic Method would be to say they've been previously tapped to team up with (total nobodies) U2, Public Enemy, Motown Records and the Cannes Film Fest.  Bummer of a resume, bros.

Meanwhile, be on the lookout for a show by That 1 Guy. Ya know, the awe-inspiring one-man band who's realized and built his own Frankensteinian vision of the bass: the aptly-named Magic Pipe. 7-feet high with strange concoctions of buttons and strings, the Magic Pipe is the harp-like invention on which That 1 Guy busts out some otherworldly future funk jams.  In sum, these performances are somethin' no one with eyes and/or ears will want to miss.


Back in May, the first 10 teams were announced--but anyone with the latest model abacus knew there were 6 left to be unveiled. So here's the breakdown on Red Bull Creation's lovingly-deemed Wild Cards--AKA the teams that are gonna shake the whole thing up:

Techshop -- San Francisco, CA: On the ol' intimidation Scale of 1-10, this collective's a cool 17.  Certifiable experts in robotics, carpentry, metal fabrication, circuitry and inventions that help treat arthritic pets, this crew ain't one to be taken lightly.

Effin Ladies -- Houston/Austin/Portland/San Fran: Separated by state lines, bound by an astronomical degree of know-how, these four women boast a resume most couldn't if they included their past 10 lives. Welders, chemists, carpenters, programmers and yes, globe-trotting ship engineers, the possibly-best-named-team in the whole competition are poised to cause an upset.

NYC Resistor -- Brooklyn, NY: Hometown advantage alert! One of the nation's most reputable hackerspaces throws their $.08 into the ring, which is totally clear of any other Brooklynites who might stand in their way--wait a second, what's that you say?! There's...there's...

Alpha One Labs -- Brooklyn, NY: Hohhhh, mama. Looks like Creation's got itself its very own subway series. Aeronautics experts, mobile app developers and robotics gurus. This could get ugly. Luckily there's no other crazily-skilled hometowners gunnin' for the prize...

ITP -- New York, NY: Oh lordy. NYC turf wars officially a-brewin'. This team of NYU grads specializing in architecture, product design and interactive art once invented their own electromagnetic computer--as undergrads.  Unsure if their name is a reference to ICP (otherwise known as Insane Clown Posse), but if so, high-fives all around.

Double Wide – Nevada:  In a trailer park deep in Nevada gathered a crew dedicated to unscrewing the inscrutable.  A redneck physicist who likes to play with fire, a red crested robot monkey that codes like a savant, an heir to an amusement empire searching for the gaming grail and a landlocked baconmaker who tinkers with things best left alone, united around the idea of creating the perfect mobile home. When the talents of these four are combined the secrets of the universe are safe.


When Creation's circuit-bent conch shell blasted out its call for submissions, teams across the nation assembled like the T-1000's mercury to answer it. The rules went like this: Build an invention incorporating an Arduino microcontroller, film the process and submit.  From there, a panel of self-professed brainiacs would nominate the most creative, most palm-to-the-forehead brilliant teams. These were the 10 that wowed:

i3Detroit -- Detroit, MI: In the past, this team of engineers built a car in the shape of a Twinkie that (of course) fires those delicious golden pastries from a built-in Twinkie rocket launcher. Though it was their creation and submission of the "ChronoTune," a digitally-controlled vintage radio that allows you to tune into different points in time that sealed the deal. SkyMall, ya snooze, ya lose on not carrying this one.

Donner Party 2.0 -- Truckee, CA: Perhaps the most ominously-named team in competition, this motley crew of metal artists, skiers and "enginerds" built themselves a 21st century grandfather clock that catapults fireballs from its head -- the number of fireballs corresponding to the hour on the clock.  Functionally realistic? Maybe not so much. The perfect gag gift needed to scare the bajeezus out of Grandma? Most definitely.

North Street Labs -- Portsmouth, VA: Donning the name of the hackerspace from whence they came, these four circuitry experts qualified by putting the most work into something that champions the utmost laziness: "The American Dream." You've guessed it: a motorized hammock on wheels.

Innovation Thirst -- Greenville, TX: A festive bunch of mechanical and electrical engineers, these fellas have gone and invented every party's new best friend: "The Pourmaster Pro" -- a robotic kegerator that detects the size of a glass and does the pouring for you. Also birthing the first time "Victor 884 speed controller" and "frosty brew" will ever be used in the same sentence.

1.21 Jigawatts -- Minneapolis, MN: Four Back To The Future obsessives who've reached into a storied tradition and flung it headlong into the 21st century. Their digital-age, GPS-tracked message-in-a-bottle allows anyone in the world to send it a text message that's then broadcasted across all forms of social media. 'Cause nothin' says "I love you and I want you back" like a hash-tagged Twitter post.

hack.rva -- Richmond, VA: If there's one thing these hackers and hobbyists take seriously, it's their Pong. Filed squarely under "How did this not exist?!," this collective's updated the videogame classic and created their own remote-operated live-action version. Ten bucks says a Hollywood exec buys Pong's movie rights within the week.

23B -- Fullerton, CA: Wrapping your head around this team's Creation submission is akin to following a David Lynch plot: there are wires, pitch-perfected, homemade organ pipes and something that sends empty Red Bull cans hurtling through space. Mindboggling? Sure thing. But the execution's impeccable.

Ruination -- Rochester, NY: This crew of engineers, designers and medical scientists have banded together to develop a device crucial to the well-being of our world: An electronic dartboard tethered to bottles of booze that pours you shots upon successful (or not so successful) tosses--either way, you're getting crunked.

Buildface -- Brooklyn, NY:  These four guys from Brooklyn like to build, program, hack, take things apart and put things together.  John is a software engineer who programs user interfaces for set-top boxes; Roberto works as an iOS developer making apps for mobile devices; Aidan is music technology and Arduino guru; and Greg is a Flash game developer, and part Jedi.

Harford Hackerspace -- Baltimore, MD: This B-More technologist collective dared to ask the ancient question "What do you get when you cross a General Radio Company Weston Model 891 DC Volts Meter with a hand-crank?" An expertly crafted audio player that plays miniature sound bites when cranked fast enough. Triple-dog-dare you guys to generate "November Rain."

There you have it, kids. 16 of the nation's most scarily innovative teams, hell-bent on transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. This July, be there to see it all go down.


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Contact:  Kerri Holt, +1-347-952-5367,