Maker Faire 2007, Austin, Texas, part 1
Maker Faire was a two-day event that celebrated arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset. It took place in Austin, Texas in October 2007.
The Do-It-Yourself stuff exhibited here ranges from technology to art, and some exhibitors even stretched this concept a little to include food. Cooking, after all, is the DIY of food! The exhibits covered every category: from practical, to art-that’s-actually-beautiful, to art-that’s-kinda-pointless, to practical technology, to technology that has no value except quirk, to technology that has no point at all. Most of the technology demonstrated here only had value as a piece of art. Or as a proof of concept. There were exceptions, of course. I will cover a bit of all of those categories in the next few posts.
A trailer with a happy face by Stoneheart sculptures
Camera Van — a van covered in cameras. It has its own website: http://www.cameravan.com
I noticed there was an item in the program about making clothes out of men’s ties. The dress worn by the woman on the left looks like an example of that.
You are supposed to be able to see a secret image in the the shadow of this hanging sculpture. I didn’t see any. Maybe the lighting wasn’t right. Or maybe it’s all supposed to be in your head anyway.
Lampshades made of interlocking pieces. I think the exhibitors of these lampshades were giving away instructions on how to make your own lampshade in this manner.
A skeleton hand from Instructables. I’m not sure how you can instruct a skeleton hand, but I saw one guy scratching his back with it…
Something-KEYLECTRIC? Very mysterious. Letters in a spinning bicycle wheel that are only visible in high speed photographs? With a naked eye it’s just a colorful blur. In the picture, however, I can almost make out the letters KEYLECTRIC, prefixed by 3-4 other, illegible, letters.
A yellow H2rObot named Charlotte, made by a company HydroRobotics.com.
Children cuddle with Pleos, the cute dinosaur-robots. As far as I could tell, a Pleo has a set of behaviors that make him look almost sentient! The way they inspire cuddly feelings in children certainly makes it seem so.
Not satisfied with munching on a leaf, a Pleo angles for a tastier morsel — a human finger. Just kidding. He sniffs the finger like a friendly puppy. A creature this cute can’t possibly want to bite off your finger. Right???
Here are Pleos with and without skin (such as the one in front).
A Buddha-robot that lights up when you touch it. You can receive a “karma reading” from it. This exhibit was called Chakratron and was created by Scott Gasparian. It was described as “An interactive illuminated kinetic sculpture made from microcontrollers, LEDs, and recycled materials accompanied by demos of programming microcontrollers, shaping plastics, and repurposing sewing machine parts — all with a live webcam “karma relay” link too.”
A child touches a Buddha-robot’s hand to receive a “karma reading”, whatever that is. The Buddha lights up in rainbow colors.
A closeup of Chakratron’s hand. The sculpture has lit up after the child touched it. And there is also a bowl for donations.
A robotic flower with petals made of a steamer insert. It opens and closes rhythmically, pulsating to the music. The steamer insert is identical to the one I have at home, that’s why it caught my interest. It kinda appealed to my girly side. The tiny holes in the steamer insert create hypnotizing moving patterns when the petals open and close.
It was made by the members of the Robot Group, an Austin organization, and presented at the Maker Faire 2007 in Austin, Texas. Here is a video.
CIMG7618 The mechanical flower dances
Marvin Niebuhr’s Screamin’ Babyhead Band of steampunky robots “performed” at the Maker Faire 2007. If they were playing any music, though, I couldn’t hear it — it was lost in the din of the exhibit hall. Here is a short video.
Marvin Niebuhr, aka Professor Conrad, with his creation, the Screamin’ Babyhead Band of robots.
A robo-angel at the Maker Faire. A bikini and a halo — make of it what you want.
This tall, construction crane-shaped robot wielded a vacuum cleaner. Move away, Roomba!
A young Maker Faire attendee is playing a thereping — an instrument that probably operates on the same principle as theremin, but maybe it is plucked?
Stirling Engines. Here are two videos of them in action.
Speakers hidden in Mylar balloons. By Marc Greenberg.
Marc Greenberg, the maker of inflatable speakers
A frog purse
Stop-Motion Armatures, poseable figures that can be photographed serially to create animation. They were created by Matt Norris.
A poseable insect from Stop-Motion Armatures
A poseable human figurine from Stop-Motion Armatures
A lounging skeleton