Archive for the ‘events’ Category

Make Food Not War Hackathon Recap

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I’d like to thank everyone who came out to the LVL1 Make Food Not War Hackathon this past weekend.  Without a doubt, this was the most dangerous group activity ever attempted by LVL1!

We had 6 teams participate, with 6 very innovative ways to launch food very long distances.  Team Aaron built a device to remotely launch shot glasses into half-filled pint glasses, resulting in the most entertaining Irish Car Bomb you’re ever likely to consume.  The device worked amazingly well, and was incredibly easy to use.  Props to Aaron for one of the most polished projects!  Tuesday night, we used it to lob burning alcohol through the air, for kicks.

Team Sprinkles, consisting of three people from the local science center (and our own Ben Hibben) was probably the most well-prepared team.  They had plans to build an advanced device capable of mixing flavored ice cream on-the-fly, and freezing it with liquid nitrogen.  The ice cream would then be launched from an automatic ballista.  Unfortunately, the ice cream mixing robot didn’t quite get finished, and the automated portion of the ballista broke during the demonstration, but they still hurled ice cream over 100 feet, and tossed the shaft for their projectile on the neighbor’s roof (4 stories!)  And the ice cream was delicious!

Team Muff Cannon (the only all-woman team) built a fantastic muffin cannon.  Powered by exploding ether, their pink hello-kitty adorned cannon managed to launch a muffin over 150 feet, and it remained intact!  They also experimented with a very entertaining waffle flinger, which threw waffled onto parked cars, and the roof of a nearby building.

The Bomb Squad started the evening with a bang, burning up teflon wire and bulging a fully-charged lithium-ion battery in an attempt to bake a cupcake. Their plans changed from flying a helicopter ez-bake-oven, to integrating the cupcake into a miniature Up! house.  Unfortunately, at launch time they weren’t able to achieve neutral buoyancy without cutting off some critical components.  As soon as they did, the wind carried their (tethered!) house straight into the power lines!  A few well-placed tugs, and the cupcake came back down, but not without some worry among the crowd.

Team Pat created a powerful martini shooter.  Although it only took him 2 hours to put it together, it managed to fling food the furthest, reaching over 300 feet, at high velocity.  In fact, the aluminum bottle he used to store his libation was destroyed on impact, and very little martini was left!  He also created a smaller olive shooter, which served to atomize the olives, more than shoot them.  Still, very impressive, from both a danger and a distance perspective!

Finally, the idea that spawned the hackathon so many months ago: The taco cannon.  Long a dream of many LVL1ers, it became a reality this weekend.  A taco shell is loaded into a carrier at the muzzle, pulled back by a powerful magnet, and a screw-driven hopper dumps taco ingredients into the shell.  The ingredient-door is sealed, and the weapon is fired, propelled by the same mechanism (but bigger!) as the Muff Cannon.  Unfortunately, the blast door wasn’t as secure as it should have been, so upon ignition, vaporized taco ingredients showered the crowd!  Still, a very tasty weapon, with a lot of future potential.  Next year, guys?

We had two teams tie for first place: Team Sprinkles and Team Aaron.  Well done to both of you! They split the first and second place trophies, cutting them in half and gluing them back together!

Trailing them (but only barely!) was Team Muff Cannon, taking home the third place plaque.

Once again, thanks to everyone that participated in this second 24 hour hackathon.  We’ve seen great success with the past two hackathons, and we hope to continue the tradition.  Start thinking about next years hacks, along with ideas for future hackathons!  What could be better than combing sleep deprivation with power tools and explosives?

There are many dozens of pictures on our flickr feed, so please browse through to see more of the hard work these guys put in! http://www.flickr.com/photos/lvl1/

Get your Game On

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Come on down to the space Saturday, September 8th at 8pm and we’ll be talking about gaming, PC style mostly. Bring your rig if you got one, as we will be doing a LAN party with the game Team Fortress 2, which is now free for download. Please install it before you show up as it will take forever to download at the space. GO to Steampowered.com to download it.   Never played it before?  No problem, come on down, we will try to have a few extra consoles available.  Click more to see what all we’ll be doing.
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Make Food N̶o̶t̶ War

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Team Sign ups here: http://lvl1makefoodnotwar2012.eventbrite.com/

It’s time for another 24 hour hackathon!

This October, from Saturday the 20th to Sunday the 21st, pit your building skills against 9 other teams attempting to assemble the finest food-flinging machines in the world!

Your challenge is to build a machine in 24 hours (or less) that can fling the tastiest foodstuff the longest distance with the most style.  Teams can bring in any supplies they want (up to $150 worth– We will be asking for receipts at the door!), but you can’t put anything together until the start of the competition.  From then on out, it’s a free-for-all to build your contraption using the supplies you’ve brought in alongside the supplies at the LVL1 hackerspace.

As with last time, buy only one ticket per team!  One ticket gets your entire team in the door! Try to think of a team name before you show up!

At the end of the competition, teams will judge eachother in the following categories:

  • Taste: How delicious is it, after being flung?
  • Distance: How far did you fling it?
  • Ingenuity: How well-built was your flinger? How crazy?
  • Appearance: Is your food recognizable on the other end?
Scores in each category will be averaged, and the top three teams will receive their assorted glory.

The rules:

  • $150 budget, not counting parts from the boneyard at LVL1
  • Must be built in 24 hours (nothing preassembled!)
  • Team size is unlimited (in either direction), but 3-6 is recommended
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at BradLuyster@gmail.com

Upcoming Workshop! Arduino: Beyond the Blink

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Sign up for the workshop HERE: http://lvl1arduinobeyond.eventbrite.com/

Workshop is BYOA (bring your own arduino).

Another Arduino workshop at LVL1!

On August 26th, from Noon to 4pm, we’re going to cover software on the Arduino.

This is different from other workshops we’ve done on Arduino.  We’ll cover the IDE, built-in Libraries, their uses and pitfalls.  We’ll go over the current Arduino sheild ecosystem, investigate embedded C best-practices, and more!

This workshop will be strictly BYOA (bring your own Arduino), and will run about 4 hours.  Feel free to stick around afterwards to ask any questions we didn’t cover.  Buy your Arduino from Radioshack, Sparkfun, or any number of other online vendors.  Bring your laptop and a USB cable, and we’ll make the Arduino sing.

Here’s a detailed list of topics covered:

  • What is a Microcontroller?
  • What training wheels does Arduino provide?
  • What are sheilds?
  • What are libraries?
  • Getting into the IDE
  • Blinkenlights
  • Built-in Peripherals
  • Pitfalls
  • Basic embedded C techniques
  • Going beyond Arduino
If there’s any particular topic you’d like to dive deep into, email me at BradLuyster@gmail.com
LVL1 Hackerspace
1205 E. Washington St.
Louisville, KY 40206