Maker Faire Hannover: The Right Way To Do It

On these pages we bring you plenty of reports from events, most of which are from the hacker or hardware communities. These can be great fun to attend, but they’re not the only game in town when looking at things adjacent to our community. At what you might describe as the consumer end of the market there are the Maker Faires, which bring a much more commercial approach to a tech event. While so many of us are in Germany for Chaos Communication Camp there’s a maker faire ideally placed to drop in on the way back. We took the trip to Hannover, a large and rather pleasant city just off the Berlin to Amsterdam motorway roughly central to the top half of the country. It’s got one of the German emissions zones so without the green tax sticker in the car we took a park-and-ride on one of their clean and efficient trams to alight a short walk from the congress centre.

Plenty To See, And It’s Not All For Kids

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New Venue Gives Philly Maker Faire A Fresh Start

When we last checked in with the Philadelphia Maker Faire in 2019, one couldn’t help but be impressed with what the organizers had pulled off with just a fraction of the budget and resources it took to put on the defunct World Maker Faire in New York. We came away absolutely certain the event was on the verge of explosive growth, and that next year would be even bigger and better.

But of course, that didn’t happen. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that by the time the 2020 Faire should have kicked off, the logistics of holding a gathering much larger than a family dinner had become a serious hurdle. Philadelphia implemented strict rules on indoor and outdoor events to try and contain the spread of the virus, to the point that even when they were relaxed in 2021, it still didn’t make sense to try and put on a Faire under those conditions.

Thankfully things are largely back to normal-ish now, and as such the Philadelphia Maker Faire had something of a rebirth this year. Organizers decided to move the event to the Independence Seaport Museum, with vendor and exhibitor tables distributed throughout the museum’s three floors. This made the ticket price a great two-for-one value, especially if you had enough time left over to head out to the docks so you could explore the 130-year-old cruiser USS Olympia, and the USS Becuna, one of the last surviving WWII Balao-class submarines.

As you’d expect, the event was packed with fascinating projects and demonstrations, to the point that trying to list them all here would be impossible. But for those who couldn’t make the trip out to see what the 2022 Philadelphia Maker Faire had to offer, let’s take a look at a handful of the standout exhibits.

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Don’t Miss The Philadelphia Maker Faire This Weekend

For readers in the American Northeast that are looking for something to do this weekend, may we humbly suggest a day trip to attend the 2022 Philadelphia Maker Faire on Saturday, October 15th. After taking the last two years off due to COVID-19, the event has moved to the Independence Seaport Museum for its grand return, and is sure to attract plenty of hackers and makers who are eager to show off their pandemic projects.

Of course, the nature of these events is that you never really know what you’re going to see until you actually get there. But just browsing the list of confirmed projects that will have dedicated tables set up, we can tell there’s some very interesting stuff on tap — from fighting robots and hologram printers, to plasma physics and electric hydrofoils. While the deadline to submit projects for official inclusion has long since passed, we can tell you from experience that’s not going to stop folks from showing up with their own gadgets to show off to the captive audience. Especially if they’re of the wearable variety; it’s not really a Maker Faire unless somebody is wearing something that’s blinking.

Olympia and Becuna

Naturally the Faire itself is obviously the main event, but don’t forget that the Independence Seaport Museum itself is worth checking out while you’re there. You can tour the 130-year-old USS Olympia, as well as the USS Becuna, one of the last surviving WWII Balao-class submarines.

While the community might never truly recover from the loss of the flagship Maker Faires in New York and California, we do take some comfort in knowing that smaller regional shows like this one have been growing over the last few several years. They’re not only a great way to connect with like-minded folks in your area, but can help you connect with maker-friendly vendors and organizations which you might otherwise be unaware of.

The Philly Maker Faire Is Back And Wants Your Hacks

After two years of waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philadelphia Maker Faire is officially back for 2022. The one-day event will take place on Saturday, the 15th of October, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Independence Seaport Museum.

We don’t have a schedule or full list of what will be on display this far out, but given what we saw during our 2019 visit, we’re confident you’ll get your tickets worth. While we keenly felt the loss of the flagship Maker Faires in California and New York, we can take some solace in the fact that their absence has given these smaller Faires a chance to move in and grow in ways that might not have been possible before.

For those looking to take an active role in what’s often been called the “Greatest Show & Tell on Earth”, organizers will be accepting proposals until September 15th for individuals, groups, and companies that want to share their creations with attendees. Participation is free, so long as you aren’t trying to sell anything, and offers a fantastic way to show off those pandemic projects. That said, proposals aren’t limited to just hardware projects — artwork, live performances, and workshops will also be considered. Basically, if it’s something the STEAM crowd would be interested in checking out, consider it fair game.

If you can spare some time after seeing everything that will be on display at the Maker Faire, the Independence Seaport Museum itself sounds like a pretty fascinating place to check out. Beyond the exhibits and collection of maritime artifacts, the Seaport also offers the chance to take tours aboard a pair of unique vessels: the USS Olympia saw service in the Spanish–American and First World Wars, and USS Becuna is one of only eight surviving WWII Balao-class submarines currently available for public viewing.

Planning on attending the 2022 Philadelphia Maker Faire? Maybe even presenting? Let us know in the comments. Who knows, you might just run into a Hackaday writer in the wild and score yourself some coveted Wrencher stickers.

jellyandmarshmallows windTunnel close-up

Perfecting Paper Planes Peering Past Perspex Portals

This wind tunnel is a pile of junk and we love it! When making science and engineering accessible to kids, it really helps to show that it doesn’t require a fancy research lab. [Jelly & Marshmallows] show kids that it takes little more than cardboard, duct tape, and dumpster-diving to up your paper airplane game to NASA levels of engineering.

[Jelly & Marshmallows] built their wind tunnel for a Maker Faire using the aforementioned cheap and free materials for the straightener, collector, diffuser, and fan sections. We especially love the efficient hack of using stacked ceiling light diffusers rather than hundreds of straws for the straightener.


The most time went into the working section, custom-built from plywood frames and acrylic windows. Many 3D printed parts came together to convert a smoke-ring gun to emit smoke trails and LEDs were employed to make those trails a little easier to see. We think the magnetic clips for quick changes of aircraft and their position along a steel ruler were inspired.

The kids attending the Maker Faire (we miss those!) loved the exhibit, having the best time hitting a big green arcade button to spin up the fan. It’s the little things in life. How would you get the kids even more involved with analyzing aerodynamics and make the smoke trails more visible?


Thanks for the tip [Rómulo Antão]

Robot Travels The World

Around the World in 80 Days may have been an impressive feat of international travel in a world before widespread air transit. In modern times though, it’s not even necessary to leave your home in order to travel around the world. To that end, [Norbert] is attempting to accomplish this journey using a robot that will do the traveling for him as part of this year’s Virtual Maker Faire.

The robot is called the World Tour Robot, and the idea for it is to be small enough to ship to each new location around the world and be simple enough to be repaired easily. It is driven by two servo motors and controlled by a Raspberry Pi which also handles a small camera. Once at its location, it can connect to the internet and then be able to be controlled through a web interface. Locations are selected by application, and the robot is either handed off to the next person in the chain or put back in a box to be shipped.

The robot hasn’t left for its maiden voyage just yet but [Norbert] plans to get it started soon. Hopefully there are enough interesting places for this robot to explore on its trip around the world, although it’s probably best to avoid Philadelphia as it is known to be unfriendly to robots.

Dexter The Companion Bot Wants To Give You Five

The main character of Dexter’s Laboratory is a genius child inventor who inspired a lot of fans to become makers and inventors in their own right. [Jorvon Moss] a.k.a. [Odd_Jayy] counts himself as one of them. A serial companion bot builder, his projects are constantly evolving. But every once in a while he pauses long enough to share construction details. Like how we can build our own monkey companion bot Dexter named after the cartoon.

A slightly earlier iteration of Dexter attended Hackaday Superconference 2019. Perched on [Odd_Jayy]’s back, Dexter joined in a presentation on companion bots. We’ve been a fan of his work since Asi the robot spider and several more robots have been posted online since. Recently at Virtually Maker Faire 2020, he joined [Alex Glow] and [Angela Sheehan] to talk about their respective experiences Making Companion Bots.

Sketchbook pages with Dexter concept drawings[Odd_Jayy] starts with sketches to explore how a project will look and act, striving to do something new and interesting every time. One of Dexter’s novelties is adding interactivity to companion bots. Historically people couldn’t do much more than just look at a companion bot, but Dexter can high five their fans! Sometimes the excited robot monkey ends up slapping [Odd_Jayy] instead, but they’re working through issues in their relationship. Everyone is invited to see rapid cycles of iterative improvements on Twitter and Instagram. As of this writing, a mini Dexter is underway with design elements similar to the “Doc Eyes” goggle project running in parallel. It’s always fun to watch these creations evolve. And by openly sharing his projects both online and off, [Odd_Jayy] is certainly doing his part to inspire the next wave of makers and inventors.