We have begun building our entry for the 2012 Power Racing season. Unfortunately both our vehicles were rather mediocre last year and we are having to build from scratch. We have our power wheel body and we spent this past weekend parting out our bill of materials and came just under budget. The body was then scanned with lasers to make a 3D model so the frame we weld will fit the body like a glove. Yes, we took it way to far. But we giggled the whole time at the absurdity of using $30,000 equipment to replicate a children’s toy so it can be modified into a “big kid” toy.
Adults who missed the thrill of Power Wheels or Little Tikes cars as a child now can go one better: by modifying the battery-powered child-size vehicles and competing at Maker Faire Detroit. Teams of DIY mechanic enthusiasts have been upgrading the small-scale cars far beyond stock performance levels to win prizes and bragging rights.
Among many other activities at Make magazine’s Maker Faire at the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, July 31–August 1, the DieHard-sponsored Power Racing Series (PPPRS) will premiere. In its inaugural year the event was internal to PS: One, but this year brings teams together from far beyond the Midwest.
Jim Burke, a Pumping Station: One Director-at-Large and the Director of the PPPRS, said “I want Makers to meet face to face with a common project. Modifying and racing these toys is fun, creative, and challenging.”
This year, with DieHard Platinum batteries and chargers powering the series, nine teams from six different hackerspaces and makerspaces will compete in the three events of PPPRS: a drag race, a road race, and an endurance race. The PPPRS will be a main event at Maker Faire: Detroit, and families are encouraged to attend. We hope to see you there!
Lots of stuff going on with PowerWheels again this year. This time with a bit more press. Features on Make Blog and Time Out Chicago are out and about and let’s hope that keeps coming! It’s really exciting right now about all that is going on at PS:One. It’s pretty nifty and I have to say there’s a lot of people I’m thankful for that have helped make this happen. Before I rant on further about Powerwheels I’d like to spend time thanking them first. Here’s the short list:
Shawn for making the powerwheel work before Notacon
Hank for making that solid drive train
Ryan for wiring, website work and being our Official Field-Trip Party Wagon
Jordan for PR, emailing and working on the PW late into the night
Nicky for proofreading almost anything I throw at her
Jessica for buying the PW and working on that fancy packet
Josh for welding things to other things
Eric for pimping PPPRS to whomever is willing to hear about it
Jeff for making sure we don’t stick our fingers in electrical sockets
Sacha for ensuring we don’t Failboat so hard PS:one spins out of orbit
Everyone at i3 for working with us and Maker Faire
everyone else that have donated time and money that I couldn’t remember off the top of my head
Let’s put this simple: This might be an event that I started, but this is event that everyone at the space is responsible for. You guys make this happen. Without your neighborly hacker help, this would never ever get off the ground. So I will continue thanking each and every one of you who have done your part. There’s just over three months to go before Maker Faire Detroit and if we keep this momentum, it’ll be great. Just wanted everyone to know that I’m proud of this space and all of its members.
Also, check out the PowerWheel trailer I finished last night to promote the event. I was sick when I did it so this is the result of Nyquil and Ibuprofen.