Maker Faire Panel: 10 Years of Maker Faire

Maker Faire 2008

EepyBird at Maker Faire 2008 by Skip Russell

I am extremely excited that I’ll be  at Maker Faire moderating the panel Looking Back at Maker Faire on Sunday, May 17 at 11 am on Center Stage.

My panelists include long-time Maker Faire stars:

Maker Faire 2010

Mark Frauenfelder at Maker Faire 2010 by Kent K. Barnes

This year’s program guide (pdf) with event highlights is now available for download. For fun and to get in the spirit of my panel, check out Make’s post about the program guide from the very first Maker Faire!

Maker Faire Bay Area 2011: Super Awesome Sylvia

Super Awesome Sylvia at Maker Faire 2011 by Steve Hoefer

RoboGames Wrap-up

Eggs decorated by the EggBot at RoboGames

Photo by Jim St. Leger

We had a great time at RoboGames demonstrating the EggBot over Easter weekend. Thanks to the contestants in both Combat and Bartending Art Bots categories that we were privileged to judge.

Erin

Photo by Jim St. Leger

Congratulations to our friend RobotGrrl, who took home a gold medal in the Best of Show category.

Schuyler and Roger show off the RoboGames logo as drawn by the WaterColorBot

Photo by Jim St. Leger

Congratulations also to our collaborators on the WaterColorBot project, Schuyler and Roger who won gold in Art Bots in the Painting category.

STEM at the White House Easter Egg Roll

Families gather around to learn more about how the EggBot works

From the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog post, An Egg-straordinary Day of Science and Technology:

Interacting with EggBot, an art robot that can paint very intricate and precise designs on eggs. EggBot taught students about digital design, computer numerically controlled machines and robotics. This was also a fun way to celebrate National Robotics Week!

Fixing on the fly at Maker Faire

Maker Faire can be a pretty demanding environment for a project. Outdoor locations expose many projects to the weather, prototypes may have been unpacked and repacked by the TSA, and curious visitors may handle projects in new and unexpected ways. Or maybe ambitions were greater than preparation time, and the project just didn’t quite get finished before the fair opened. No matter what the reason, Maker Faire is a great place to see people in action fixing, troubleshooting, and finishing their projects. Below are some beautiful projects I caught in progress at Maker Faire New York.

Pick n place

The FirePick Delta pick and place machine was a victim of the TSA, and arrived less functional than when it had been packed. The team was working on it valiantly, which also provided opportunities to get a closer look at many of the components.

Pick n place

Components not in use were repurposed for holding down business cards in the breezy aisle of 3D village.

Fixing robotic soccer

The maker of this robot arm soccer game was opening up one of the control boxes to check on a malfunctioning knob.

Robotic soccer (after repair)

He had no shortage of willing testers after the repair.

Tiny 3D printer under repair

This half-scale 3D printer assembly was at least as charming in its disassembled state as it would have been all put together. It is great to see the components along with the kinds of tools that are used to assemble and repair projects like this one.

Gertie the jumping robot

Gertie the robot had seen quite a bit of action, first at the Bay Area Maker Faire and then in New York. Her actuators were apart and in the middle of repair when we came by.

Gertie the jumping robot

This let Alonso show us the mechanism and demonstrate how the internal frame worked to lean and make Gertie jump in different directions.

Maker Faire exhibitors are generous with sharing tools and materials with each other, and visitors are treated to what are typically hidden activities. No one whisks away a broken prototype to hide it out of sight. Instead, the guts are happily spilled out for everyone to see and learn from.

Highlights of Maker Faire NY

Giant handmade seven segment nixie clock

Maker Faire was a whirlwind of an experience, and here are a few highlights from our trip. Above is Wayne Strattman’s Nixie Rex, a giant scale handmade seven segment nixie clock. Each tube is about two feet tall. A “normal” sized nixie clock is on the table in front of it for scale.

astronomical quilting

This constellation quilt was made with glow in the dark thread by Haptic Lab.

Wall of Nails

Sometimes the simplest activities are the most satisfying. Contruction Kids let everyone leave their mark on Maker Faire by hammering into the wall of nails.

Power Racing

The Power Racing Series was joyfully providing great entertainment for the crowds.

Gertie the jumping robot

Gertie the robot’s creator Alonso is demonstrating with an oversized model how the frame inside the squishy case can move around to make her jump in different directions.

There were many memorable moments from Maker Faire, and the ones we managed to capture with our camera are in this flickr set.