Thursday, July 26, 2012

Red Bull Creation contest voting is now open! Go Team 1.21 Jigawatts!

Red Bull Creation contest voting is now open! Go Team 1.21 Jigawatts!:

Click here to vote!  As you can see in our submission video above, we built a giant submarine simulation game.  The challenge was pretty intense, and we didn’t actually come to an agreement on an idea until we were already 24 hours in.  So, we managed to create what you see in the video in roughly 48 hours.  We had an absolutely perfect crew for the job.

The structure of the submarine was drawn up in Sketchup, and cut out on a Shopbot CNC machine.  We then salvaged nearly everything you see on the submarine, from the LCD display, to the pipes, and the metal grating on the floor.  The whole submarine rocks back and forth with an old hospital bed actuator.  We even have a built in vibration motor that shakes the submarine when you get hit by a torpedo.
On the electronics side, we have the whole thing powered by three Arduinos.  We chose to use three Arduinos instead of something like an Arduino Mega, because we have each Arduino running a specific task on their own, and then communicate with each other to trigger events.  One of the events is if enough people tweet #firetorpedo while the game is in play, red lights start flashing and warning sounds go off letting you know a torpedo has been launched (you can even see the torpedo incoming on the LCD radar screen).  You get a voice command telling you what you need to do to evade (press buttons in a certain order, pull handles, or crank valves).  If you are too slow, you will get hit, the whole sub will rock, and a bunch of valves will break.  You will then have to close them manually.  We use an Arduino Ethernet to communicate with Twitter, and an Adafruit Wave Shield to take care of the sound effects.

The story behind the game is that you were just hit by depth charges, and you need to evade the enemy while repairing your submarine.  You have two minutes to repair the submarine and launch a torpedo to destroy the enemy.  If you are fast, you can get out of the game completely dry.  If you are slow, you will certainly get wet!
We had a ton of fun building the submarine, and I am personally blown away by what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.  If you agree, please vote for team 1.21 Jigawatts by clicking here.  If we get enough votes, we will be taking the submarine game to Maker Faire New York where you will be able to play it in person.
Note: Red Bull is using Facebook integration to manage the votes, so you will need a Facebook account to vote.  Update: It looks like the Red Bull webpage is making it as hard as possible to vote.  You will need to disable your popup blocker and click on the vote button, then click accept to the Facebook app.  Then, finally, click the vote button again to register your vote.
Also, a special thanks to the Adafruit team for getting us all of our electronics gear by 10am the following morning!  We couldn’t have finished without your help.

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