The Ottawa Mini Maker Faire took place this past weekend at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. I was in town and decided to check it out. After the break, check out some of the projects that I saw at the Faire.
We recently featured a Raspberry Pi powered pinball machine, and this is another project revitalizing a pinball machine using a Pi. [Alan], [Mike], and [Randy] are building the DIY pinball system using custom PCBs to control the lamps and solenoids. It operates at 36 volts, which is required to fire the solenoids with sufficient power. The system is networked using CAN, and managed by a Raspberry Pi.
This creepy eyeball used a Phidgets USB interface to control servos for pan, tilt, and iris control. It used OpenCV, a webcam, and a Python script to track faces of people passing by. Once it locked onto a target, the iris opened up and stared at you.
One group presented their Enigma Machine simulator based on a PIC microcontroller. They gave a quick history lesson on how the Enigma worked, then let attendees try out their simulator by keying cyphertext into a PS2 keyboard. If the rotors, reflectors, and plugboard were set up correctly, you could decode their cyphertext jokes.
The Lumipendant Firefly is a light up badge designed for Nuit Blanche. It communicates with nearby Fireflies over IR and can schedule events to flash LED patters on all nearby badges. It’s based on an Arduino, and the group plans to use them for educational purposes after Nuit Blanche. Obviously someone is going to turn it into a TV-B-Gone.
[Steven]’s music box used a 555 timer synthesizer with resistances for tuning each note. When the paper wheel turned, copper contacts connected to proper resistance to the 555 to play the note. [Steven] also created a video about the project.
The Ottawa Robotics Enthusiasts had a collection of robots on display. This one was built for the Fire Fighting Home Robot Competition. The competition challenges the robots to find a candle in a room and extinguish it. This robot uses a UVTRON sensor to find UV light coming off the candle, and puts it out with a candle.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Faire, and took the time to chat about their projects. If you’d like to meet makers in your area, find out if you have a local Mini Maker Faire.