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Rewind Your Old Games

Games Over at ReadyMade magazine, they are sponsoring a new MacGyver Challenge contest: devise a way to repurpose your old analog board games and/or your outdated PC games. Anything is game. The winning entry will score a subscription and a handsome ReadyMade T-shirt. Better hurry, though, the contest ends January 21, 2008.—Dave Prochnow

Announcing the PopSci.com/Bug Labs Build-a-BUG Challenge

Buglabs_600

We’re excited to announce that we’re launching a special PopSci.com contest with Bug Labs, the folks behind BUG, the open, modular consumer-electronics hardware and Web-services platform that you can use like Legos to build practically any gadget you can dream up. And even more exciting, the grand prize will be a BUGbase and the first batch of four BUGmodules!

Launching soon, the BUG platform comprises the BUGbase: a mini Linux computer with 128 megabytes of RAM, a 532-megahertz ARM processor, built-in Wi-Fi, Ethernet and USB, and a rechargeable battery. The first set of four snap-on BUGmodules includes:

  • GPS receiver
  • digital still/video camera
  • touch-sensitive, color LCD screen
  • accelerometer/motion sensor

With these cool capabilities in mind, the world is yours. What would you do with a gadget that can sense its location, has Wi-Fi capability, accepts input via screen or USB, can detect motion, and is capable of capturing photos and videos?

That's precisely what we want you to show us. For full details on how to build your ultimate BUG and win, continue reading below.

Continue reading "Announcing the PopSci.com/Bug Labs Build-a-BUG Challenge " »

Coming Soon: PopSci.com BUG Labs Contest

If you've already gotten your hands on our hot-off-the-presses January issue, you may have seen our announcement of a contest with BUG Labs—makers of the modular open-source hardware kit that allows handy builders to create the gadget of their dreams by snapping one of several available modules to a central BUGbase portable computer, which can then be programmed to get all the modules talking to each other in all kinds of interesting ways. Sounds pretty cool, right?

Along with the BUG folks, we're putting the finishing touches on the contest now—it's going to be great!. So watch this space for details in the next few days. DIY gadget heads, prepare yourselves.  —John Mahoney

iRobot Create Contest Winner: the DIY Personal Home 'Bot

Irobot_winner Congrats to Instructables user dttworld for bagging the grand $5,000 prize for the iRobot challenge. If you recall, we helped get the creative juices flowing with our iRobot iNstitute—a guide to getting started with the flexible Create kit. Something tells me dttworld wasn't in need of our help, though, judging by his winning home service 'bot: it can talk, recognize faces, control your TV, water your plants, and even remind grandma to take her pills! Check out more photos and video here. —John Mahoney

iRobot Create Personal Home Robot [instructables]

iRobot iNstitute

Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Gets In

Umbrella_sm

Ever have your umbrella blow inside out, only to cast it off into the nearest dumpster? Well, our good friends at ReadyMade magazine have a MacGyver challenge for repurposing a ruined umbrella. The best entry scores a subscription and a RM T-shirt. Hurry this contest ends November 30. No word on whether or not that tee is waterproof.

(Image: ReadyMade)

Our New Instructables Contest: DIY Halloween!

Pump

Halloween might be more than a month away, but we all know a successful 'Ween requires planning; and, occasionally, incentive. Just in time for the holiday, we're joining forces with our friends at Make and Instructables to bring you a Halloween contest with enough prizes to rival a night's worth of candy-stuffed pillowcases.


Pencils ready? Here's the deal. Throw us your most ghoulish trick or ingenious costume or gruesome treat, via Instructables. A skinned chimp? Yes please! A jellyfish hat? Perfect! Conjoined twin mice? Um, ok.


Since there are four categories to excel in, there's plenty of opportunity to wow the judges. Handy with a knife? Enter the Hack-o-Lantern Contest. Brandish a mean sewing needle? Try the Costume Contest. There's a category for food and another for decorations, gadgets, and more.


In return for your efforts, you'll be handsomely rewarded with yet-to-be-decided (but undoubtedly fantastic) prizes.


Best get a move on, though. The contest ends 11:59pm Sunday, 4 November 2007 (a full weekend after Halloween, for you procrastinators). To see the full details and entry instructions, check out the official contest page at instructables.com.


You're still reading this? What are you waiting for!? Go! Make! Instruct! See you on Halloween. We'll be the ones downing witches' brew in the corner. Bwahahaha!

We Have a Winner: The DIY Hydroponic Bog Garden

We are happy to announce the winner of our Go Green contest, thrown over on Instructables with the help from our friends at TreeHugger. The winning project details an ingenious way of further purifying the effluent water output of a sewage treatment tank (also designed by the contest winner's organization) and using it to grow plants in a hydroponic garden. Well done! Stay tuned here for more of our favorite entires, published in their step-by-step glory. Congratulations and thanks to all who entered! —John Mahoney

Green Contest Now Officially Closed

I just wanted to thank everyone who entered our "Go Green" contest over on Instructables—and everyone else who submitted great greening ideas to the original post's comment thread. We're thrilled with the great response we've gotten, and it'll be a tough job judging all the entries. Stay tuned here for the winner's announcement and several of our favorite projects. —John Mahoney

And the Winner Is...

Fewc3xjjx6ezixdjmomedium The results are in for our Use It Again challenge! We were completely blown away by the amount of quality entries we received, and distilling them down to a smaller list of winners was a pretty excruciating task, but alas, someone had to bag the top prize. And that person was Instructables user radiorental, who transplanted the guts of a wireless router into an uber-slick vintage casing (pictured here), complete with a working analogue network traffic gauge pulled from an old boat. We'll be featuring it in an upcoming issue of PopSci, a nice bonus to go along with the sweet grand-prize Canon Rebel XT DSLR.

Also, congratulations to the first prize and honorable mention winners, whose projects we'll be featuring here in the near future:

First Prize:

Honorable Mention: We're pumped to do this all again soon, so keep an eye out here for details on what's coming up next. —John Mahoney

One Weekend Left!

Robot_popsci_smJust wanted to remind everyone that there's only one more weekend left to work on your re-purposed tech projects for our contest over at Instructables, so get cracking! April 1 is the deadline, meaning there's still time to grab some e-junk and turn it into something new and exciting. Head on over to the PopSci group to see what's been submitted to date—we're not going to single out any of our favorites just yet (must preserve impartiality!) but let's just say there have been some pretty amazing entries so far; some you might have even seen being picked up on blogs already. Check 'em out here. —John Mahoney

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