Maker Faire Bay Area 2015 - Part 2
The 10th Annual Maker Faire is unmatched for talent, skill, creativity, innovation. We hear these words all the time, yet seeing the manifestation, and the WOmanifestation of these makers is absolutely spectacular. Californians have a little advantage in all of this because when we make, we’re making for Maker Faire, Burning Man, street festivals and parades, therefore we’re really motivated and have lots of venues to share our projects with the public.
Our placement was across from the ITA, collection of makers from Italy, which was perfect for us, though we brought our whole international team out from Taipei, Shenzhen, Switzerland, Italy, and cross-country, Boston.
We’re an eclectic group brought together because we all believe in the quality of our hardware and want to talk directly with the best of the best makers to see how we can improve and better serve our community.
Federico Musto, our magnanimous leader impressed me as always with his beaming smile as he skillfully navigated meetings with our clients, colleagues, and the press, eager to hear about our latest hardware releases. Launching several new boards and shields in an ever focused effort to provide makers with the specific micro-controller needs we all have moving into the Internet of Everything future.
Although I am a novice in programming and electrical engineering, my role continues to be that of an enabler for kids to get involved and fearlessly get started with an Arduino Uno starter kit and soon a Linino ONE starter kit. I already use the Linino ONE in place of an Uno in my workshops because I want the kids to feel confident in going WiFi.
We plug the ONE into our computers using the USB and the students can see that already under the Port selection, we see a choice to upload programming through the USB cable OR wirelessly. Then when we plug the ONE in across the room, we only see the WiFi choice. It amazes them, and thrills me that I’ve inspired a student to start dreaming about wireless projects and capabilities of their projects.
My favorite part of the Faire is experiencing it right from the booth, reconnecting with students and friends who find me, but this year, I also got the chance to perform in the Dark Room as the first show on that stage at the faire. As 13 year old girls, and my best friends gathered, I performed my 3 hit singles about making. I’m so Maker, total smash, Happy Making - got the crowd really going, and finally the release of my newest video just blew everyone away! Check it out, share it with a maker you know, or convert one!
More highlights, the hackster.io DeLorean was in town - ironically adjacent to a Back to the Future inspired DeLorean as well. I recommended all of our guests at the booth check out their website to see Arduino and Linino projects posted by the makers themselves.
Weaved was way North in the Start up tent, with a beautiful demonstration of how their app platform works with Linino ONE and a few other hardware choices. I look forward to working with Weaved more, fellow AllSeen Alliance members, we are certainly more than allied with our goals for IoT! The Tech Museum brought back Hacker vs Hacker, such a fun challenge to break the code before your competitor! Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco brought a Faire version of their animation studio out for all to enjoy in a great hall, which also featured the Bay Area Discovery Museum and the Black Pine Makers Club of Berkeley.
I always miss checking out the Arduino farming projects as that is a high priority interest for me, of course for personal use but also to help others tackle the challenge. It’s more than just a fear of combining an electrical controller water project, many of us just don’t know where to start. My end goal is more than “water my plants at 6am and 6pm daily,” I’m going straight for the difficulty of connecting circuits with sensors that inform the system when to do the watering, based on air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture detected, weather forecasts, etc. I’m very motivated to automate this for my dad’s 1 acre farm in Lafayette California, but I’ll start small with a small backyard project which can correlate to roof gardens or vertical garden projects. Call me sentimental and old fashioned, but it’s always a good time for a Victory Garden.
Final props to the Maker Faire robot, R2D2, AVR man, and Sander Arts - my favorite photo ops at Maker Faire!