The third annual Red Bull Creation event has boiled down to six finalists, and each of them is just as great as the next.In a couple of weeks, six teams will gather in Brooklyn, NY for a 72-hour competition to build something involving a custom-made, Arduino-controllable board made by Red Bull. The “Turbull Encabulator” has to be involved in the project in some critical way, and the winning team gets $10,000. This is the Red Bull Creation contest, and for the last couple of years it has spawned a ton of absolutely silly-yet-incredible inventions from makers and hackers all over the world. The six finalists for the event this year, chosen from hundreds of YouTube submissions, had one rule — to make something awesome with LEDs.The Sky StrikerA futuristic take on the classic “ring the bell” strongman game, this creation shoots a beam of light up a 40-foot glowing tower after striking the pad with the foam hammer. The logic board in this glowing contraption calculates the force of the strike and uses it to measure how high to shoot the light. If you reach the top, the whole tower starts pulsing colors. Everything about this project looks and feels handmade, which is part of what makes it so amazing.The RainbowTronThis Creation uses infrared-sensitive tiles to create a large touch board, which in turn allows the user to create a musical beat by assigning different colors to the various places along the grid. The end result is a fun board that lets anyone who walks up to it create their own basic repeating beat. This project took significantly longer than 72 hours to build and demonstrate, but it’s pretty clear this team has the technical knowledge to pull off something fun.Let there be LightUsing a coffee shop, the Turbull Encabulator, and doppler radar detectors, the Maker Twins turned a street corner into an interactive video art display in Phoenix, AZ. As people passed by the shop on the night this was demonstrated, interactive videos would be projected onto the coated glass windows and show everything from dogs, to swimming people, to giant hands. Judging from their video, this team is really big on presentation and likes to have a lot of fun.99 (Red Bull)oonsWith a quadcopter, programmable LEDs, and a ton of balloons, team 1.21 Jigawatts made a slightly-heavier-than-air craft that knows when it is about to hit the ground. When it gets close, the entire craft will start pulsing colors to simulate a hot air balloon being filled with hot air, and the quadcopter will kick in, saving it from touching the ground. As long as it has power and doesn’t crash into anything that could damage the balloons, this machine will keep itself in the air.PersistenceLast year’s finalists MB Labs added a Raspberry Pi to their Turbull Encabulator along with some UV LEDs to make a web-aware light printer they call Persistence. The 6-foot robotic arm paints UV light on a phosphorescent canvas by rotating all the way around the center of the wall. The individual LEDs turn on and off to draw the image on the canvas, which will be all but faded before the next pass by the wand. For the presentation, the developers opened their website and a live cam to show users that they could draw whatever they wanted and have it show up on the wall.Tic Tac WhoahIf you’ve ever played Tic-tac-toe on a massive board of any kind, or even just drawn it with massive symbols in the sand, it can be deeply satisfying. North Street Labs decided to make a board that you could walk across and play by stomping on large red buttons for the selection you wanted to make. Each player is assigned their own color at the beginning of the game, and the lines in between the board will pulse and glow when a winner is decided. It’s an incredibly polished creation, done well enough that multiple adults can walk across the board and play the game safely.The final contest will be held on June 12, and whichever of these six teams has the best project at the end of that 72-hour contest is sure to have assembled something incredibly cool for all of us to enjoy.