Mini Maker Faire Recap

Ted on the Bristlebot photo by dugsong

Saturday, makers of all ages, interests, and backgrounds descended on Ann Arbor for the Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire. i3 Detroit had a booth, and I think it’s safe to say we all had a great time. There were a ton of cool projects, and people showed a lot of interest in i3 and what we’ve been doing. There was a general buzz of enthusiasm in the air, backed by a carnival-like soundtrack of kids playing with the laser harp at the booth next to ours.

The bristlebots were a big hit. People were really fascinated by Matt’s bristlebot arena, and were often amazed that the bots’ seemingly-complex behavior was the result of random vibrations. As for the giant bristlebot, people usually looked at us with disbelief when we explained that it was a life-sized version of the small ones, and they were quite entertained to see the big one in action. Despite some battery troubles in the afternoon, we ran a lot of demos of the giant bristlebot, and had a lot of fun showing it off.

We were giving away bristlebot kits to anyone who made a donation to i3 Detroit, and ran out kits before lunch. We started tearing apart old cell phones to get the vibrator motors out and a very enthusiastic young maker named Indigo sat down and started helping us. After a few minutes, she’d gotten the hang of it, and was harvesting LCD screens for her own purposes.

Outside, i3 Detroit had a second booth that showcased Nick’s cupcake car, water rocket, and marshmallow launchers. The crowd was a buzz just waiting to see the cupcake car in action. Once it was announced that the cupcake would be taking it’s first ride, the crowd gathered to cheer Nick on. An even larger audience gathered for the water rocket launch (and the fantastic crash as it came down).

Some of the other cool projects included a RepRap built here in michigan, an aerial photography rig, a vortex cannon, an acrylic cnc table, a Wii-Nunchuck-controlled Etch A Sketch, the Ypsilanti FIRST robot, and on-site screen printing.

It was great to meet so many interesting people and share what we’ve been working on. If you’re checking out this blog because you saw us at the maker faire, definitely try to make it out to one of our meetings! We’re always looking for more people to be a part of Detroit’s first hackerspace.