Sorry, but this isn't a coverage of Maker
Faire, but just what went on at my
table. I was so swamped and didn't even have time to take lunch break,
checked out much of the show. For full Maker Faire 2007 coverage,
check out the links on the bottom of the page!
I was lucky enough
to be part of Maker
Faire again this year. The event
was spectacular, full of creative projects,
and things that just makes
you wonder and smile. Maker Faire isn't just a showcase of creative
showing off their unusual projects, but for people who are interested
in making things of all types, to see, chat, and
be inspired by the makers and what they make. I was very inspired
by all of the projects just around my table.
One of the most satisfying things for me at Maker Faire, was seeing the
smiles on people's faces. I just find it amusing
that "grown-ups" can't stop asking over and over: "why....
why.... how... why... but
The event lasted 2
Days, and it was much bigger than last year, over 400 makers and
people attending the show. I don't know of the official final count,
but it sure was packed, a lot more
than last year! I brought 7 steambots - Rover, Walker, Centipede,
R2S2, Trilobite, Turbine, and Beetle.
I ended up with absolute prime real estate at the faire. From our
table, you can see the
and early birds were packed and lined up way before the show, which was
sight. If the gates weren't opened right on time, I'm sure
that these guys would have stormed it.
Opening of the gates on day 1, pic taken from my table
girlfriend was once again helping me with the show. I was
glad that this year Maker Faire included
a lot of the crafts, which
gave her the opportunity to join in on some craft workshops. Her
sister had a
booth at the crafts area, showing off her creations as well! It doesn't
matter if you prefer gears
or yarn, cute or
dangerous, there are just so much to see, do, and learn.
My girlfriend and me at the Crabfu SteamWorks table
Improvements of the steam
machines for the show:
For the Maker Faire, I added steam whistles via R/C to the
Trilobite tank and Rover, and
upgraded them all to Spektrum, to avoid the interference and
fighting for r/c frequencies. Spektrum
performed awesome, with RoboGames
& combots and so many other r/c bots around, it had no
what so ever in the 2 days, no run away steambots!
Other preparations included fixing the bouncing problem with the
Steam Turbine Tank, which
commanded an audience every time that it steamed it up. At one
point, 5-6 fire marshals
came to check it out, and I thought that they'd ask me to shut it down
because of the fire codes.
After about 10 minutes of carefully studying it from a distance ( with
perfect poker faces) they just walked away.
I couldn't really tell if they were concerned or amused, but they
didn't stop me for firing up. Thanks guys!
The digg button!
Also for the Faire, My girlfriend soldered together the
Digg Button kit from Adafruit. This was her very first
electronics / solder project, and she did a great job. Probably most of
you who are reading this
know and use digg, this button simply
keeps count of the diggs. I heard one guy said that this was
the coolest thing at maker faire, and when I asked him if he was
referring to my steambots or the button,
he replied " the button" :)
was not prepared enough for the show... the button would turn itself
off if no one pushed the
button in a while. A lot of people didn't know what it was
or what you do with it. Finally someone said that
I should put a sign on it so that people would push the button. After
doing so, I received about 160 diggs until it
was reset by a kid. Then after another 180 diggs or so, the battery
solder came loose. I should have put it
in a case, the battery was rubbing against the table every time the
button was pushed, and eventually
wore out the solder. The button lasted about half of the first day, and
received more than 300 digs. In
future upcoming events, I'd be sure to put the digg button it a
case and keep track of all of the diggs at
RC Driver &
Robot Magazine Booth Robot Magazine /
RC Driver magazine had a
booth next to my table. They've featured me several times in their
magazines, and I was honored to have my steam centipede shown at their
booth. We also had a great time
hanging out and chatting with George of Robot Magazine, and Leo &
his son, from M5 Industries. With George and Leo at the Robot Magazine
Steam Centipede, loaned to
Magazine Booth, photo by Engadget
Thanks to all of my friends who came by
to check out the
show! We saw a lot of familiar faces,
met up with some friends that I've never actually met in
person, as well as made lots of new friends.
I am sorry for all of the makers that I was planning on getting
together with at the faire, but
get a chance to. I'm sure that you guys were as swamped as I was :)
And for all of you geek media coverage people... you've taken lots of
great pics of my steambots
and posted them, thanks!!! but next time please let me know who
you are! I'd love to thank you for
coverage past and present, and steam up for you guys!
And last but not least... I'd like to especially thank everyone at MAKE, who made
all of this possible. Your hard
work gave us a lot to dream about, and put smiles on many "kids"
of all ages. It's good to know that I'm not the only nutty one on this
planet, and that there are at least
a few hundred freaks out there doing something wackier than me. Thanks
for the opportunity
to be part of this amazing event. Now if you'd excuse me, I need to go
Video taken by Leo from the Robot magazine Booth, thanks Leo!!!
TONS of people took videos of my
steam contraptions running, so I did not take any videos
figuring they'd turn up on youtube. However, there isn't much on
youtube / google video of my
steamups. If you have videos, please post them up! :)