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FreeCYCLED Hacks Ideas

By: Abbi Minessale Category: Blog Posted: July 20, 2017

The coder games are coming up fast, so it’s time to get prepared! I’m heading the event so I thought it would be helpful to assemble a list of inspirations and ideas! What’s great about FreeCYCLED Hacks is that people of heavily technical backgrounds and those who have experience in non technical areas can work together to create something amazing! The goal is to build a machine out of everyday items that can move a ping pong ball one foot forward without touching it. I am welcoming teams as well as solo entries! I’ve also attached the official instructions to help you prepare. We will be judging not only on success but also on creativity and wow factor so get brainstorming!

If you still need to register for ClueCon, click here!


This hydraulic robot arm is my favorite! It’s made completely out of everyday items, mainly cardboard and syringes, and looks super cool! Use the robot arm to pick the ping pong ball up and move it away from the starting line.

This catapult is super cute and incredibly effective! Fling the ping pong ball across the room…with flare!

This one will require sharp aiming skills, but it works! Make a paper or rubber band gun and shoot the ball so it rolls away.

Place the ping pong ball in front of this rubber band powered water bottle car, rev it up, and let its propulsion push the ball away from the starting line! Another way to make this car is to use the air escaping from a balloon to move the car forward.

These are just a few ideas, so feel free to tweak them or come up with your own machine entirely! I have included the rules below to help better prepare you for the Coder Games events.

FreeCYCLED Hacks

Objective: Build a contraption that can move the ball at least one foot without touching it.

  • You may touch the ball during setup, but the ball must be able to move without your help.
  • You may use any of the materials present, in any way you see fit.
  • You may use any materials scavenged or found.
  • When you have finished building your FreeCYCLED Hack, bring it up to the judges table!
  • Write your name or team name on the cards provided and place it in front of your project on the judges table.
  • Be back in the conference room by 3:30p.m. to show the judges your work!
  • We encourage groups as well as solo entries!
  • Teams: don’t forget to pick a cool team name.
  • Get creative: Feel free to combine Coder Games challenges.  
  • Check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for live updates!
  • Check out the links on Facebook for inspiration.
Prizes: (Projects are judged on creativity, success, and entertainment value.)
  • Judges Favorite – Winner selected by hand picked panel of judges.
  • Fan Favorite – Who got the most votes on our Facebook page.
  • Super Special Bonus Prize – Eligible if 2 or more Coder Games challenges are combined.

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