View Full Version : [Discussion] Maker Faire Redux

05-05-2008, 01:12 AM
What was the coolest thing you saw at Maker Faire?

Having never been to one before it was all new to me, and the general sense of creativity and wackiness was infectious. The most clever thing I would say was a robot voice box -- a simple oscillator and a flexible vocal tract being controlled by a few servos making an utterly unique robot voice. It could only make vowels, no consonants, but that's for next year.

I would love to hear what others saw.

05-05-2008, 10:20 AM
I'm still on sensory overload, frankly. I slept horribly last night.

I agree that the general creativity was amazing. Even more powerful for me was seeing people think. It's so uncommon in my life to see other people think and reason and problem-solve - and to take a dream and realize it in reality - with all the process that goes into that included.

One of the most fun things to see for me was over in the Dark building - "TRC's own" Stephan Hobley's award-winning Laser Harp, with the Man himself inviting people to play it. http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?t=1416

I introduced myself, but he had the wild overwhelmed look in his eye of someone that has a hundred-plus people in front of his booth. If he even remembers I stopped by, I'll be more than flattered.

They had him directly across from the "lightning vs planes" "here, put on this suit of armor while we electrocute you" monster Coil, so his foot traffic was very high. The moment you walked into the Dark hall, you could see his laser harp even though it was behind a booth wall. It painted the ceiling in a beautiful green line. It was more impressive than a large coil firing, and he was firing his lasers constantly (until each coil firing when he had to shut-down for a few minutes.) rather than about once an hour or so for the coil. It was much more impressive and the large-scale interactivity really pulled people in.

The life-size reproduction of the "War of the Worlds" destroyer was magnificent. The fully autonomous Urban Challenge car with all of its electronics exposed and open for discussion was amazing.

How does one even really begin to decide where and when their mind was blown at Maker Faire? It might have been my first stop at Rockets off the main stage. Where a club was letting kids build rockets, and then take them out to an area of the lot and launch them? They were getting a couple hundred feet, and those motors were larger than A-series. How many B-series motors did they go through in two days [boggle!]?

From a larger view, how about those rockets with the H and J series motors making about a thousand pounds of thrust and lifting a couple hundred pounds up over 30,000 feet?

Yeah - seven hours and my mind was blown 45secs after the gates opened...

[edit to add:] I also got to hang out with the SparkFun guys for a bit and chat, as well as spending a lot of time with Stephen of RoboRealm. I could have spent all day chatting with him, as it was - we were running short of time to try to run around and see as much as we could...

05-05-2008, 01:13 PM
Holy Crap! Did anyone see this:


Poor, poor Pleo:(

Do you think this pissed off PETA?;)

05-05-2008, 01:25 PM
That was almost too painful to watch. A) Pleo is too cute B) I can think of other things to chop-up that don't run $374 at the show... And would be more rewarding at that...

05-05-2008, 01:49 PM
Aww man, I couldn't show this to the wife, she loves Pleo and would probably cry lol

Why do people have an obsession with killing poor, poor Pleo? :(

05-06-2008, 11:31 PM
Pleo got owned. Bad. :robotsurprised::robotsurprised: