The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s (IMA) fourth annual Makers Madness contest will announce its winner March 29. Last year, the title of “The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois” went to the all-electric R1T truck made by Rivian and manufactured in Normal.
Out of the almost 250 products that were originally nominated, the final round has narrowed the field down to four strong contenders. From Carmi comes the Drug Terminator, manufactured by Elastec, a portable drug disposal incinerator for drugs, associated paraphernalia, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) designed for law enforcement use. Next, from Murphysboro comes the 17th Street Barbecue’s bottled barbecue sauce. Nationally recognized for its food, the business is largely responsible for Murphysboro’s title of “Barbecue Capital of Illinois” as declared by the Illinois State Legislature in 2014.
From Flora is Hella Electronics’ 77GHz Radar for Driver’s Assistance and Automated Driving, which is used to record and evaluate the radar’s surroundings in 360° detection. One of the world’s largest suppliers of radar sensors, Hella Electronics is one of the leaders in the 77GHz radar market. Rounding out the final four is the Rosenberg Moon Habitat from Ingersoll Machine Tools, Inc. in Rockford. A 3D-printed living space, this product is meant to be constructed on the moon and was designed to fit inside a SpaceX Starship.