I went to the Maker Faire, 2018 in San Mateo, CA. This was my first time in an event like this, I have never dreamed that adult people could have the space for create and do such cool stuff.
Before coming to California, never had heard (or understand) the concept of “Maker”. Nowadays I have a bit more clear concept. A Maker is someone that like to create things, the “Do it yourself” (DIY) people. They are a community, people that meet in events like this and other places, like the makerspaces, and share knowledge just because is what they love. In the faire some people were hobbyist, other wanted to share an idea, others where artist sharing their crazy and beautiful creations and other have their own business creating kits for other makers, providing hardware and software, or selling their creation.
It really opened my mind come to this faire. I used to think that the desire of create things was a childish desire. When I studied Mechanical engineering I thought that this career would allow me to satisfy that desire, but after graduation I realized that in Chile most of company hires engineers for administrative jobs that don’t required creativity. I never thought that this desire could be filled with a hobby because people in Chile usually don’t have time and money for a hobby, and there isn’t the same infrastructure in hardware access to build something as a beginner.
When I entered to the faire what first catch my attention was a giant octopus made of metal, a racing of DIY go-karts, a bicycle connected to a rotatory set of electric guitars (people play sounds when pedaling), and the “Rabid transit”, a kind of vehicle whit heads that spit fire!
In the faire you can found a lot of thing, people that make things related to food, with fabrics, cosplayers, 3D printing, electronic, robots, and probably a lot of more things that I wasn’t able to watch because the faire is huge!
Among them, my favorite was robotics. There where some crazy and beautiful ones like the can-can dancers robots (Tom Sepe’s Ridiculous Robots), and the “Prosthesis”, a huge robot controlled by a human inside it.
There were also home robots like Kuri and the Misty II. Kuri is so cute, I wanted to pat it, but it was surrounded by kids so amazed as I was. The Misty II is a community customizable robot, the idea is that the community develop new functions and hardware, helping to create and expand the knowledge in robotics. I really wanted to take one home, but at the moment I can’t afford them.
I was jealous of kid that were showing their creations. They have access to robotics through clubs and classes on their schools. I wish I had have the same opportunity in my childhood!
Other things related to robotics that called my attention
- There was an editorial that has some electronics and robot books for hobbyist (apress.com), I think I will start soon their “Robot building for beginners” book.
- Mycroft AI. An opensource personal assistant, they also sell the hardware
- There is something called “Hebocon : The Crappy Robot Competition” (it seems funny)
Other creations that call my attention
- 3D printed engines (they move). It amazed me the quality of printed gears, and of course they were so beautiful!
- Hexabitz. They sell modular electronics
- Nscope. A USB oscilloscope
- A bicycle that show images when it spins (https://www.monkeylectric.com/)
- Microduino. Kits with different components with different abilities, you mix them and create something. It seems nice for get kids interested in electronics and programming.
- Tiny Circuits. OMG I fell in love of their tiny arcade. So cute!
We also had the opportunity to see watch in person to “Electroboom”, in person he is as hilarious like in his YouTube videos!
I’m looking forward to coming back next year!
The streamed video by Maker Faire can be found in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twNuTDDK-Hw