A talented group of hackers thrilled participants of the Hardware Weekend hack-a-thon with their mods to a classic DeLorean DMC-12. Sponsor hackster.io provided the car in honor of the Hack to the Future themed event, which was hosted by Local Motors in Chandler. Special effects installed by the team included cool blue LED lighting throughout the car, and dual alcohol burners with electronic ignition. The complex lighting, fuel pump and ignition systems were controlled by a chipKIT uC32 and Motor Control Shield from Digilent.
The weekend event was a big success, with 16 teams competing for various prizes. There were several creative and impressive projects, but the DeLorean hack promised to be most dramatic. After a few test runs in the late afternoon, final adjustments were made to ensure an effective demo for the judges. The team took a much needed break, as the other presentations continued inside.
Finally, it time for the DeLorean demonstration. A crowd of spectators gathered as the hack was described in detail. Under cover of darkness, the DeLorean’s throaty engine roared to life. The signature gull wing doors closed, and the DMC-12 rumbled far down the lane and turned into position. There was a moment of anticipation, before the machine accelerated for its run past the crowd, spraying fire and leaving a long burning trail on the tarmac. During ignition, the cabin lighting flashed red to add that final touch.
Congratulations to the Smoke and Mirrors team from Arizona State University, including Cody Van Cleve, Frank Ross, Eric Person, Caleb Carlson, Josh Kosar, Deep Patel and Carly Thalman, for their excellent chipKIT-based hack and First Place win at the Hardware Weekend Series hack-a-thon.