A Maker Faire Preview

For the fifth year in the Bay Area, Maker Faire welcomes thousands of makers of all ages who show us the amazing things they make. Makers are enthusiasts who love what they do and enjoy sharing it with others, which makes for an incredibly stimulating experience that inspires everyone. Maker Faire 2010 brings back annual favorites such as the Life-Size Mousetrap, Coke Zero and Mentos (note they switched brands!), Russell the Electric Giraffe, a fleet of electric muffins, rocket launches and the Robotic Warship Combat and Swap-a-rama-rama. We have hands-on exhibits created by Bay Area partners such as The Exploratorium, The Crucible, The Tech Museum, The TechShop, NASA Ames, and The Museum of Craft and Folk Art.

Here's a preview of some of what you might expect to see and do at Maker Faire Bay Area 2010, May 22-23 at the San Mateo Expo Center.

Meta-USA Self-balancing Scooter, Mike Phillips

All I can say is note the all safety gear Mike's wearing. He says it goes really fast.

Fishbug, Rebecca Anders and crew

We've brought this one in from the desert and put it in a dark building so you crawl through inside. It's really big and it breathes.

Tirgex Race Cars, INCAS3 from Amsterdam

Wear a helmet to see what this small car sees and move your body to control its speed and direction. Now do it in a race.

Solar Power Charging Station, Solar Design Lab

If you run out of gas, or your devices run out of power, make a stop here.

The Black Hole, Michael Yates

Peer into the deep vortex and lose yourself in the music of the spheres.

Fire Sculpture Robots!, Justin Gray

When this robot starts moving, try to stay on its good side.

Hermes, Morris Jarvis

This is but one example of a project that outgrew the garage it started in.

Henry Ford's Quadricycle, The Henry Ford

Working replica of the first American garage invention; also outgrew the garage. Grew like a monster if you think about it.

Hennenpin Crawler, Krank-Boom-Clank

These pedal-powered masterpieces are examples of "back-dating" -- innovating on what came before the Quadricyle.

Waterboy, Marque Cornblatt

This looks uncomfortable but Marque might allow you to crawl inside and be pushed around by others.

Underwater Photography, Eric Cheng

Eric swims with whales and when he photographs them, he seems to get on their good side. In addition to an exhibit of his photos, Eric will give a talk on Giant Squid and Sperm Whales, a real-world Jules Verne story.

Near-Space Balloon, Hibal

Three college students built a balloon and sent it to near-space, an altitude of roughly 90,000 ft.. All this to see what they could see -- hey, that's Monterery Bay.

Moonraker, Paul's Robotics

Paul came to Maker Faire in 2007 with his combat robot. Now he returns with Moonraker, which won the $500K prize in the NASA regolith Extraction challenge - it shovels moon dirt into a bucket.

Lost in Space Robot, Team Filo

You might have to explain to your kids why this robot makes you laugh and say "Will Robinson!" repeatedly.

Homemade 3D Dome, Mitsuru Kitamura

Another thing you crawl inside. This dome, which is coming here from Japan, creates a starry, starry night.

3D Printing, Makerbot

What Make Senior Editor Phil Torrone famously said about laser printers: "Everyone's getting one," can now be said for 3D printers. So check out which 3D printer is right for you.

3D Face Painting, Valeriya Promokhova

You only have to sit still for the photos. Then some magic turns your head into a 3D object. Finally, you get to go totally overboard with the tattoo thing. Then it's all over Facebook.

Photo unavailable Anti/Surveillance Fashion Show, Noisebridge, SF.

So you want to be seen and not be seen, right? Do you really know who's taking your picture? Here's a fashion show for wearables that might confuse Big Brother or your little sister. (Sun., 3:30pm)

Wearable Adaptive Technology and eTextile Fashion Show, Lynne Bruning

Lynne designs smart garments such as this "bat" jacket that uses sonar technology to help the visually impaired. Lynne is also organizing eTEXTILE: the first Wearable Computing Fashion Show at Maker Faire (Sat, 3:30)

Entranced, Jason Asbahr

Part of the Bay Area Computer Music Collective, Entranced is like lip syncing with a screen saver. Wiggling a Wii controller does the sync'ing part.

The She's

Yes, it's them. You gotta like how they picked the simplest possible name for an all-girl teen band. You just know they rock.


Saphira the fire-breathing dragon, Sam De Rose and Alex Jacobson

Say what you want about kids these days, but you can feel good that young makers are out in the garage, building a fire-breathing dragon, getting Dad to help with the really hard parts, and naming it after a dragon in a favorite book written by a young author.

Pentagonal Wave, Reuben Margolin

Do pentagons have some kind of mystical significance? Reuben Margolin's kinetic sculpture promises to move and mesmerize you.

ArcAttack!, Joe DiPrima and gang

You take a couple of average Tesla coils -- no make that Large Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coils -- and synchronize them to music. Then some guy in a metal mesh suit stands between them while guys playing the Edison-powered guitars act like there's nothing unusual happening. I assure you ArcAttack from Austin, TX will rock the house, raise the roof, fry an iPhone, you know, something like that. Remember to stand back during the audience participation segment.

OK Go!

The band OK Go will be our special guests on Sunday afternoon. The band's frontman Damian Kulash sometimes makes big declarations like “We're trying to be a DIY band in a post-major label world” or “Our whole bag is having good ideas and making cool shit.” We're not exactly sure what they'll do on Sunday but they wanted to come to Maker Faire and we wanted to have them. In addition, Adam Sadowsky of Syynlabs was behind the Rube Goldberg machine in the video "OK Go: This Too Shall Pass" and he'll give a talk on Saturday afternoon called "Music, Machines and Life." He will talk about challenges in building such a machine.

This is only a small sampling of the over 600 exhibits that you'll find at Maker Faire Bay Area, May 22 & 23. Come meet the makers: hackers, artists, scientists, tinkerers, roboticists, educators, chefs, musicians, photographers, crafters, cyclists, mechanics, automakers, metal workers, engineers, physicists, puppeteers, and many more.

For more information on tickets, directions and the program schedule, see MakerFaire.com.

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