Saturday, May 19, 2012


This was our second visit to Makerfaire. Just like last year the event is overwhelming, exciting, and fun, all at the same time, and everyone takes home different impressions and new ideas.

One can spend most of the day walking the booths in the big Expo Hall alone. Notable booths and things we liked the most:

Building a foam rocket. Pascal enjoyed building and launching a rocket made of foam pipe, duct tape and foam sheets.

In the South Lot were plenty of odd contraptions (partially) made of bicycle parts, that where plenty of fun to ride.

The WhiskeyDrome guys were back. Roland, Pascal, and myself watched for quite a while. They even ride hands-free! Awesome.

The Crucible Village. They showed a truck that had 8 remote-controlled fire blowers installed on the bed. Gas. Fire. Heat. What else can you ask for?

Levitating Fountain
The Expo Hall. Many small and medium vendors and organizations. Electronics, Arduino in particular, was almost everywhere. I looked specifically for booths that did not show how to do something with Arduino boards (or did it in a way that wasn't immediately obvious). Gluemotor looked like an interesting project. I loved the "Levitating Fountain", which uses PWM and stroboscopes to manipulate a stream of water so that you see droplets falling down, and up!

Pascal was fascinated by the mechanical pinball machines of the Pacific Pinball Museum.

After a quick lunch (and waiting a long time in line to get to the order window), we explored the "dark hall", which featured a demonstration of Intel's Computer Controlled Orchestra . I saw part of the performance when we got into the hall. When they got ready for the next one, I got the kids, and brought Pascal to the front of the crowd surrounding the installation. He watched the whole thing almost motionless. Afterwards, he said: "That was so cool. Unbelievably cool."

Operating and modifying MATE's Underwater Robots kept Pascal busy for a long time, just like delving into playing with Bloxes a few feet away.

Gon KiRin is a kinetic dragon sculpture that spews fire, and you can climb on it, in it, even lounge on couches. When we walked along one side, one of the guys winked Pascal and Tatjana over and told them to press The Button. ... Pascal pressed it first and out spew a 10 ft flame from the dragons mouth! Pascal's face lit up, and he pressed The Button again. And again. So much fun.

As was building your very own toolbox from sheet metal at the booth right next to the Coke and Mentos stage.

We spent most of the day at the Faire, and everyone had a great time.

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