Raleigh Maker Faire 2012

raleigh maker faire 2012

As [Caleb] mentioned earlier, I attended the Raleigh Maker Faire this year as an exhibitor. Although the table was for my personal site, some of you might have noticed that I was wearing a sweet [HAD] shirt and dispensing our stickers (which seemed to fly off the table). The event was extremely fun from the “other end of the table,” and I very much enjoyed meeting everyone. If you’re on the fence about showing off your stuff at one of these events, my advice would be to absolutely go for it!

The event itself is staffed entirely by volunteers, and Raleigh was able to attract more people this year than ever before. Thanks especially to [Kevin Gunn] and all of the volunteers for coordinating and setting everything up. Everyone was extremely helpful and the event was easy to find and prep for.

One warning though, if you do decide to set up a booth at a Faire, expect to talk a lot. You’ll feel like you’re among friends though, and you’re probably an expert (or at least can fake it) at whatever you’re displaying, so it’s really fun!  I’ll be doing several more posts on this event, so be sure to check back, especially if you attended! [Read more...]

Mini Maker Faire in Eugene, OR this weekend

[Rick Osgood] wrote in to tell us about the Eugene, OR Mini Maker Faire going on this weekend. The event is being hosted on the grounds of the Science Factory with a lot of help from the Eugune Makerspace

So far, Steamworks Cycles, the South Eugene Robotics Team, Oregon Rocketry and Eugene Rocketery will be at the Maker Faire showing off their skills and wares. It looks like an excellent place to spend the day, with events hosted by the Science Factor and the Eugene Makerspace all day long.

Tickets are $4.00 a pop; easy enough on our wallets, but unfortunately the official Hackaday transporter pad won’t be ready in time for this weekend. If anyone would like to write a blog post about the sights and sounds of the Eugene Mini Maker Faire, send it in and we’ll put it up.

[Ian Lesnet]‘s guide to the Bay Area Maker Faire

It may be a week after the fact, but former Hackaday alum and inventor of the Bus Pirate [Ian Lesnet] made a great guide to the Bay Area Maker Faire.

The San Francisco-area Maker Faire attracts 100,000 makers, tinkerers, hackers, and general geeks to a bazaar of DIY and generally cool stuff. All the regulars were there, including [Jeri Ellsworth] and her Commodore 64 bass keytar along with a huge assortment of cosplayers including a steampunk Boba Fett and a couple space marines. Outside the building there was a 40-foot steamship and the amazing DeLorean hovercraft of [Matthew Riese].

During his interviews with fellow makers, [Ian]‘s most received advice is, “take it slow.” There are thousands of builders in the bay area during Maker Faire, and it’s very easy to get very overwhelmed.

In case you’re wondering, [Ian] also picked up a ton of awesome schwag from all the vendors at the Maker Faire. Radio Shack had a box filled with random components,and [Kenneth] from Texas Instruments gave [Ian] a TI Launchpad, a capacitive test booster pack, and the king of all freebies, a Chronos watch.

After the break you can check out a few of the video project interviews [Ian] put up. Very awesome work from literally thousands of makers.

[Read more...]

Viper flight simulator (a la Battlestar Galactica) finished

Here’s a story about some guys who set out to build a flight simulator for the Viper from Battlestar Galactica. The goal is to bring a grand project to the Maker Faire. This is a recurring challenge for the group, which has participated over the last several years. But this year they decided to go big and mounted a successful Kickstarter campaign to help with the cost.

The best place to get the build details is their progress updates page. Each week the cadre of teenagers tried to post some info about their progress, and we’ve got a big grin on our faces after reading through them. The simulator aims to provide you with as much of a space flight experience possible given the restraints which gravity imposes. The cockpit can roll and pitch a full 360 degrees in each direction. Of course safety is a concern and they were careful with their frame design and pilot restraint system. But so much more goes into this than just the physical build. There’s sound, lighting, and the virtual simulator, all of which have been complete at an impressive quality level. There’s a ton of video posted and we’ve embedded one short clip after the break showing off the cockpit’s dashboard.

[Read more...]

Westport Mini Maker Faire is the first for Connecticut

If you’re in Westport CT, or within day-trip distance, you might want to check out the Mini Maker Faire happening there this weekend. Being held at the Westport Library & Jesup Green, there are going to be several interesting planned events, on top of the usual gathering of makers and hackers. Local hackerspaces will be in attendance as well.

Some of the planned events include a battle of the home made bands, rube goldberg events, and jam sessions with the home made bands. Check out the guest speakers as well, there are a few names there that we would love to see.

Forget that boring old fire pit, build a Flame Tree instead!

maker_faire_bay_area_2011_fire_tree

Maker Faire is a great event to attend not only because you get to see all sorts of cool designs and machinations, but because you can participate as well. At Maker Faire Bay Area 2011, maker [Brett Levine] put together a fun and interactive display he likes to call the DIY Flame Tree.

The concept is pretty simple, and he says everyone who participated got a pretty good kick out of lending a hand. Each participant was given a piece of copper tubing and allowed to bend, twist, and sculpt it to their liking before using a drill to add holes wherever they pleased. They were then allowed to choose where their portion of the project would be mounted on the existing tree.

With everyone standing a safe distance away from the display, [Brett] pumped it full of propane and lit the various sections on fire. In the video below, you can see that the display was blown around a bit by the wind, but we imagine it would look pretty awesome on a still summer evening.

Even if you’re not into this sort of art, you have to admit that it certainly beats a boring old fire pit!

[Read more...]

BAMF2011: Google’s SKPR Bot, not for arachnophobes

Google’s Maker Faire exhibit space is swarmed with robots…er, androids. Amidst some cool bipeds and Segway-balancers, our inner sci-fi nerd was most smitten with this hexapod design, which they’ve dubbed SKPR Bot. The “Skipper” is on hand to showcase the ease of various Google technologies: SketchUp, Android OS and the Android Open Accessory Development Kit. The whole project came together in less than six weeks.

18 servos are mounted to a framework designed in SketchUp and laser-cut by Ponoko. The low-level servo PWM control is handled by the Dev Kit (essentially a rebadged Arduino Mega, as we’ve seen), while an Android OS phone provides a slick GUI and handles all the inverse kinematics calculations required as the robot takes each step. The coolest bit is that it’s all up for grabs. At this moment you’ll have to scrounge around the ’net a bit to find the plans and code, but some time post-Faire they plan to bring everything together at the SKPR Bot site.