Every April, more than one thousand men and women of all ages assemble in the Moroccan Sahara to run an ultramarathon—a six day race over approximately 240 km (150 miles) of uninhabited desert. The race, called Marathon des Sables, is an endurance test that requires runners to cross inhospitable terrain beneath the heat of the equally inhospitable sun, carrying all their food and gear with them for the entire trek. This year, one runner, Ande Gregson of the UK, decided to take Temboo with him as well.
Ande wanted a way to update his son on his daily progress, and decided to get creative. He built a dial with an Arduino Yún that would point to one of five statuses—eating, cooking, walking, running, or sleeping—depending on what he was doing. To control the dial in Britain from the Sahara, he turned to Temboo and Twitter. Ande brought a small Nokia phone with him during the race, and used it to tweet whenever he had a good enough signal. He had Temboo’s Twitter Choreos set up to read his tweets, and then move the dial back home based on certain keywords that he tweeted. He also hooked a small screen up to his Yún to display his tweets as they came in.
Congratulations to Ande for finishing the race, and for developing the most extreme application of Temboo we’ve seen yet! We’ll be checking back next April to see if Ande and Temboo will be returning to Morocco for another run through the desert.