Pioneer Works To Launch ‘Hope Floats’ At Red Hook Regatta

Pioneer Works To Launch ‘Hope Floats’ At Red Hook Regatta

RED HOOK – The non-profit cultural center Pioneer Works will host the third annual Red Hook Regatta on Saturday, September 30, bringing the innovative, homemade boat race back to Valentino Pier.

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Works

The Regatta attracts hundreds of spectators to the Red Hook waterfront each year, eager to watch participants compete in three categories: the 3D-printed boat race (in which 3D-printed, radio-controlled craft transport cargo from the beach to mock cranes at the end of the pier); the General DIY race (with vessels made of any material, such as Tupperware, foam, or wood); and the Kinetic boat race (a make-your-own-boat contest for the kids).

Pioneer Works will also launch Hope Floats at this year’s Regatta, “an autonomous, interactive congressional calling device” created by Pioneer Works’ Technology Department. While traveling on a GPS-guided raft, the device will continuously call members of Congress with messages provided by the public.

Red Hook Regatta, photo courtesy of Pioneer Works

Beginning in August, participants have been logging on to Hope Floats to record messages for their congressional representatives. The Hope Floats auto-caller then directs the collected messages to elected representatives by district, making “round-the-clock calls” until all messages are delivered.

Set on a solar-powered raft and using a special web interface, the caller is able to constantly change phone numbers and carriers to avoid phone spam filters. “Congressional offices log each call they receive,” a release for the project states, “so when messages from constituents begin to pile up they’re impossible to ignore.”

Hope Floats will be launched into the water during the Regatta, traveling around the
Statue of Liberty before sailing to its destination off the coast of Washington, D.C.

The Red Hook Regatta is meant to connect the neighborhood’s rich history as a shipping port with new technologies such as 3D printing. “Technology should inspire, help those in need and bring communities together,” the event’s press release reads. “Hope Floats performs all three of these functions in an effort to make America ours again.”

Red Hook Regatta
Valetino Pier (near the corner of Coffey & Ferris Streets)
Saturday, September 30, 1pm to 5pm

Learn more about the Regatta at pioneerworks.org.

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