A group of engineering students from University of Louisville (who are also members of the nonprofit maker space LVL1, LLC) are trying to participate in a 7-day Red Bull challenge that would toss them to the wilds of Europe and they need your help. The goal of the challenge is for the teams to travel from Paris to Berlin, using only Red Bull for currency.The competition starts in mid-April with a week of check-point based events, and you can help ensure they participate by voting for their video.
Team Leader, Joshua Wilcox, stated; “Though this isn’t our typical competition, I am confident that my team, (Hack Attack Trio), will be able to easily get across the European Union and provide an ample level of competition at the event based check points. My biggest concern is running out of Red Bull currency. Then, I guess we will have to result in acting like something more akin to homeless vagrants. I hope you all take your time and vote for your Louisville team. We promise to represent Louisville well.”
For his team to be selected, they need a certain amount of crowd votes on the Red Bull "Can you make it?" web site. Users are required to sign in with Facebook in order to vote, but it seems worth it to me to send some Louisville love and hutspah to Europe and see if Red Bull will give these Louisville nerds some wings.
Team member Michael Mccreary stated, “Based on my statistical reasoning we need a couple hundred votes to be in the upward echelon of the qualifying teams for selection.”
The team hopes to qualify and then utilize European hacker spaces like Louisville's own Lvl1, LLC to network and find help. Hacker (or "maker") spaces exist all over the world, building a web of community minded inventors, tinkerers, do-it-yourselfers, and makers. One of the coolest projects built by a European hacker space is a submarine that was designed to pull a homemade launch pad out to international waters in order to launch their rocket into space with a person on board. That's far more extreme than any of the projects at Lvl1, but our own maker space has been involved in some very innovative projects and partnerships such as creating the Louisville mini Maker Faire, a GE hackathon (where LVL1 members won), and they recently received a $23,000 grant from the city. They are a great community resource, offering equipment, tools, and more to help anyone in the Louisville area make their making dreams come true. Although LVL1's involvement has been involved with notorious competitions with GE and NASA, this one could be the most interesting to see as it also relies on physical prowess rather than just intellectual ability.
And for those interested in seeing the projects the European hacker spaces have going on, final team member Caleb Sheehan promised, “If you guys vote for us, I will make sure our team goes to some other hack spaces and post really awesome things”.