My dad and his life-size rubber band powered car

So I’m checking Boing Boing for the umpteenth time tonight (in the middle of a casual project), when I see a new post about Maker Faire Austin: “Adventures in Time” teaser film. The accompanying screengrab looks interesting enough, so I clickthrough and start watching the video.

A lot of the footage looks like it came from the recent Maker Faire in San Mateo—the one that I experienced with my dad and Stephanie last May.

So they’re showing all of the familiar exhibits, and I’m wondering whether there’ll be any mention of the rubber band cars I’ve heard so much about—the ones that the husband of my mom’s college roommate, Mike Rigsby, will be demoing at Maker Faire Austin, and that my dad is building a life-size version of.

Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
Sure enough there is..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…wow, my mom’s college roommate’s husband sent in a video..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…wait a second, that looks like the rubber band car my dad’s building..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…and that looks like my parents driveway..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…OH MY GOSH THAT’S MY DAD!..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…heh, the car automatically reverses..
Maker Faire Austin: Adventures in Time, Rubber Band Powered Car
…yep, that’s my dad (Brian Watt) waving at the camera. So cool

Update: here’s the original video of my dad and his car:

I was on vacation (from work and blog reading) when he began posting about the construction of the car in earnest (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, and part 6 with original video), so I didn’t read about it until after I got back. Definitely check out parts 4 and 5, where he describes some of the initial structural failures and his subsequent engineering solutions.

Of course I’ve been meaning to blog about it, especially after seeing the work of art that is the car’s chair:

Rubber band powered car chair

Serendipitously seeing my dad on a video linked to from Boing Boing was just the impetus I needed to finally write a post.

Rubber band powered car
Here’s a photo of the finished product. This car is amazing!

Shameless plug: if you’re going to be around for Maker Faire Austin, Mike Rigsby, my dad (Brian Watt), and the human-sized rubber band powered car he built will be on hand for test drives. Definitely check it out!

6 Comments

I updated the post to include the original video of my dad and his rubber band power car.

That is freaking cool!

Libby

This is soooooooo cool I want to try it hopefully I can get it accomplished I think that even tho it will be slow it will be fun to ride, Wish me luck!!!

Breanne

Whoa, dude, that is so freaking awesome! It’d be fun to try, but I’m not going to make it. Sweetness!

Bill Halliar

Very cool, Please see our contest for alternate powered vehicles….. http://www.alternatepowerinitiative.com

or e-mail me for info, bill_halliar at yahoo.com I would like to talk to the inventor.

Bri/Dad

I passed this on to Mike Rigsby, the inventor.

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