As a makerspace, Ithaca Generator is joining a growing community of makerspaces around the world. Makerspaces regularly engage in behavior that is both high-tech and absurd. Case in point: the annual Power Wheels competition held annually at Maker Faires in several large cities. For this competition makerspaces construct small cars that race around a track. That’s the normal “tech” part. The absurd part is that the cars must be Power Wheels plastic toy cars, and that teams must spend less than $500 on parts. The rulebook explains that “The Power Racing Series (PPPRS) is an event where Hacker/Whateverspaces turn those toys cars that everyone wanted but only stupid Brad from down the street only owned (even though everyone hated him), into highly competitive sort-of racing machines.” Points are given for showmanship as much as speed. The rulebook continues: “Some of you folks aren’t up for Days of Thunder, so we’ll be awarding points for showmanship, generic cultural references, outright outlandishness, and epic failures.” You can read more about Power Racing on at blog post here and on the official website here.
We are in the planning stages now; we’ll need our entry to be ready next fall. Claire Fox is heading up our team. If people are interested in joining up they should email her. We might offer workshops periodically (once a month?) to share concepts related to what we are learning in order to develop the car, that would be open to people outside of the project. Go team!
Power racing image from Opacity’s Flickr set. Thanks Opacity!