LMR at Maker Faire 2012 NYC
March 9, 2012
Let's Make Robots has big plans for Maker Faire New York (September 29-30). Check this page for the latest info.
Or visit LMR at Maker Faire 2012, which has links to LMR activity at other Maker Faire venues this year.
This year, our presence at Maker Faire is sponsored by Revoution Education, makers of the PICAXE microcontroller products.
Maker Faire Summary
Maker Faire was a HUGE success. Between the nearly constant table traffic and teaching two workshops on the first day, poor Chris lost his voice!
Read on below, of check out our Maker Faire 2012 Photoset on Flickr!
At the Let's Make Robots Table:
Chris brought along example kits from Rocket Brand Studios, along with his own implementation of the Printrbot 3D printer. Chris had the printer running nearly non-stop, and it was a big attraction at the table. I saw one kid's head actually expand right in front of me as my friend Chris was describing 3D printing at the Let's Make Robots table. Blew. His. Mind.
Of course we had other robots at the LMR table. RoboDoc at the left of the red table was really, really popular with the kids. They lined up to have their heart rate measured by a robotic doctor. It was great to see their eyes light up when they heard that their hearts beat about 1 1/2 times every second. Thanks so much to MarkusB for sending his robot!
Robotgoldfish also volunteered to be one of the LMR Minions. He and his wife were super, amazingly helpful. He brought along isrobotgoldfish robot and also 23:59, a walking robot made from old CDs, complete with feathered helmet.
I brought a number of my own robots, including Fish Tank and Piranha Tank, and econoSpazzi. Since I equipped econoSpazzi with a joystick, he became quite a fun interactive display. Kids loved trying to make him jump right out of his base by repeatedly hitting the joystick button and timing it so the jumps combined to gain greater height.
You can see two of Chris' new Tadpole robot kits on the red table in front of Piranha Tank. They would form a master-slave relationship and execute sychronized manuvers. So cool!
There's a couple of more robots on the back table, including two of OddBot's new Doodle Bots. I'll be honest, we tried to reprogram them to say 'LMR Rocks' and wound up messing something up so they only drew circles. (Sorry, OddBot!) However, the kids really liked them anyway, and were impressed with how the marker could draw such a perfect circle. I used it as an opportunity to explain a little about how differential drive works on a robot.
I also had guibot's MagaBot telepresence robot on display. There wasn't floor space to safely drive him around, but we explained to many interested people just what this platform could do. It's an impressive design.
Lumi shipped me the LMR banner made by OddBot. Because of our position, we weren't able to hang it up, but we used it as a very cool table apron. My apologie to those whose robots are 'below the fold' and therefore not visible.
JoeBTheKing came to help at the table the second day, and was really helpful when we were short-staffed for a bit. He brought along one of his robots too. We also got help from a friend Don, who I met at Maker Faire last year. Don helped set up and get us ready for the workshops, handed out workshop flyers, and was generally a great guy. My friend Sandy (renegadegeek) was a huge help this year, just like last year. Of course my wife was a giant help to me as well, both preparing for and running the event.
Erin (RobotGrrl) had her own table, but helped with prep, load-in an load-out.
Robot Making Workshops:
A big part of our success at Maker Faire this year was our PICAXE sponsored robot making workshops. We ran two workshops each day of the faire, with 20-30 makers in each.
I have to say, Chris is an amazing and animated instructor. Anyone who has watched his videos probably knows he's a pretty funny guy. Seeing him present in person was a real treat. However, by the end of the first day, Chris' voice was totally shot. I taught the two workshops on the second day, and really had a blast.
I really have to thank the people I lovingly called 'Minions'. Robotgoldfish's wife Barbara was awesome. She's got some organizational skills that came in really handy when demand for the workshops overwhelmed us on the first day. Barbara offered to step in and help manage reservations, and the second day went much smoother.
That's my school chum Steve in the back on the picture above, and also in the picture below. He and other Minions assisted the makers as Chris or I taught the class.
Most important of course, were the people who showed up to participate.
Look how proud that little guy on the left is. He should be; he just made his first robot.
We had guys and gals, young and old show up. Most had never built a robot before.
One of the most touching things I saw was a middle aged man with an older fellow I presume was his father. The older man was in a powered wheelchair, but that didn't stop him from participating. He worked as hard as anyone, and did a great job. I sat with him a bit after class and enjoyed a really nice conversation. We even got to comparing how his powered wheelchair was not too dissimilar from our little robot project! Just much bigger and much more advanced processing for safety features.
The End... Until Next Year!
Thanks to all the volunteers and the great people at Maker Faire and the NY Hall of Science for helping to bring this about. Once again, we could not have done nearly so much without the kind sponsorship of PICAXE.
Robotgoldfish decided to build a little robot made out of CDs. 23:59, the last minute bot, is based on the same PICAXE-08 Motor Driver board that we are using in our Robot Making Workshops for Maker Faire. It is a great example of how you can use a board like this to make something very different from what we will make in the workshop.
You can see 23:59 and other fine robots created by LMR members in our area at Maker Faire.
Here are some of the very fine robots you can see at the LMR area at Maker Faire NY this year.
Our Maker application was submitted and accepted!
We've officially submitted our application for Maker Faire NY. Since is sponsoring the LMR robot making workshop at Maker Faire NYC, we've got some very specific needs for space. We want to be able to handle up to 25 participants at a time, at four scheduled workshops throughout the weekend.
You can build one like it even if you can't make it to Maker Faire, by going over to this Instructable.
We're busy designing stuff and ordering parts. I'm super excited.
Oh, and here's a sneak peek at the t-shirt we've having for this year. Anyone who comes and volunteers to help out can get one of these babies. Comment below or send me a direct email if you are interested in helping out.
Who's Coming to New York this year?
- Chris the Carpenter
- GeneralGeek (hopefully)
- RobotGrrl (probably at her own table)
- flummer will stop by and visit with some friends
What will we do there?
This year, we'll have four scheduledrobot building sessions, maybe organize some discussions, and of course, see lots of your robots!
Share you ideas of what we should be doing at Maker Faire!
Robot Building Workshop!
Details will follow, but Picaxe will supply the PICAXE-08 Motor Driver Board, along with some funding.
Lets Make Robots will supply materials for the chassis (more news coming soon!) along with our robot building know-how to teach 100 lucky people how to build a simple programmable robot. No cost to the participants.
Magabots at Maker Faire!