Sunday, May 25, 2014

We Did It!

We're back from Maker Faire, where our car and driver Leo both performed like champs. On Saturday, we placed 5th out of 11 entrants in the 25-lap races—not bad for first timers! It was hard to tell where we ended up in the Moxie Race, as points were added up all weekend (we also ended up 5th here by the end). As for the Fun Bike/PPPRS Race, it was anyone's guess.

Sunday there was only a single race: the 75-minute Endurance Race. The other teams drove this as a relay, switching drivers every 15 minutes and taking regular pit stops to change wheels and replace batteries. We had with us a single set of wheels, a single set of batteries—and a single driver. The rules allowed one driver racing in successive legs if sufficiently disguised. We quickly improvised a cape from Sabrina's Radlamp banner and phone charger cable. Emilio came up with a duct-tape mustache. A baseball cap taped to his helmet completed the change.

This costume went on and off 5 times, while Leo drove a careful, conservative race in order to preserve batteries. Car after car blew tires, had wheels and other parts fall off, suffered battery failures, and were penalized for various infractions; Leo avoided all of these and drove into a second-place finish. More impressively, the car ended the weekend with little more than a few surface scratches and a pair of dislodged bumpers (thank goodness for duct tape, the only repair material we novices thought to bring).

It was a fun weekend, the best Maker Faire in many years for all of us; and we have already met to celebrate and begin planning for next year.

Below is our race weekend condensed into 3 minutes:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Off To Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

"There is no significant difference between scrap and stock."
~Jim Stewart, inventor & YMY mentor

sewing machine pedal
wheelchair motors, lawnmower wheels
scrap metal

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Test Drive Video

This is the video of the test drive after the motors had been changed from the tape drive motors to the wheel chair motors.