A trip to the Bay area

| | Comments (6)
I spent the last weekend at the MAKE magazine "Maker Faire" in san francisco and I have to say, I'm hooked.  I tried everything from blacksmithing and welding to making felt finger puppets.  I have no shame about the finger puppets either, they were cool.  I got to hear one of the Mythbuster folks talk for a while (though it was crowded and there were ultimately more interesting things to do).  Basically I got to do all but one of the things I really wanted to do.  I didn't get to drive around in a motorized cup cake.  They wouldn't let me, I did ask.  And now, pictures with commentary!

Ball Bot LIVES!
Yep, that's a spherical robot.  It turns out you really can make one of them.  I got a chance to talk with one of the lead designers of the "orb swarm" robots about some of the trials of making something so outside of the norm.  It turns out the propulsion system that Mikey and I designed was pretty much what they'd come up with as well - score one for amateur nerds!

BlacksmithingI spent a little more time with the folks at The Crucible learning some very basic blacksmithing.  Technically they weren't offering classes but I was apparently visibly interested enough that they threw me into the forge.  Figure of speech there, I am not currently hideously burned.  I have no idea what this guy was making other than a heavy pointy bit of metal but I like the flying flakes of metal in this shot.  I made a hook.  I'm immensely proud of it.

Steampunk hunterXeni interviewing steam punk manThere were some interesting folks at the faire.  I have no idea who this guy is (as in, what acting or artist troupe he's part of) but he was quite fond of showing pictures of the polar bear he'd shot with his steam powered rifle.  He was interviewed by internet celebrities (that's Xeni from boingboing).  There were quite a few interviews going on, only a few from "legitimate" sources.  I really need to see about getting a press pass next year!

little girl feltingGirl checking out lego booksThere were quite a few "girlscout" aged girls at the show which, I'll admit, surprised me a little.  The young gal with the missing tooth absolutely loved "Finger puppets who wish to not die" and I was incredibly proud of the next batch of young nerds being raised when the little gal to the right exclaimed, "Mom, check out all of the new lego robot designs!" while browsing the book section.
Robots and steampunk were pretty much the order of the day for the faire.

Pleo is hungryCircuit bot can never restThere were robot dinosaurs that were oh so affectionate and tiny little robots that could never rest, never drop their burden lest they starve!  That little guy was kind of tragic actually.

Steampunk hat on a steampunk galAbney parkAnd of course steampunk hats on steampunk gals who eventually all congregated at the steampunk concert featuring - yep - steampunk punk.  Abney Park were actually pretty good, and it turns out they're from here but sadly - and I'm quoting now - they could never get an audience to show up in seattle but they're hugely popular in california.  That's a strike against you there pacific northwest, let's do better next time, okay?

Statue on fireMousetrap girlsOther than that, pretty much just fire and tools (both of which I love) and gals dressed up as mice inside a 15,000 pound recreation of the game "mousetrap".  So, you know, good times. 


This all looks so awesome. I totally want to go next time! I know you told us what it was but this account really does it justice.

And this: "I was incredibly proud of the next batch of young nerds being raised when the little gal to the right exclaimed, "Mom, check out all of the new lego robot designs!" while browsing the book section," makes me so happy. :)

Welcome back dude!

Wow, forging a fairly decent sized hunk of metal with just a 16oz machinist's hammer? The guy must've been pounding on that thing for some time.


Maybe next trip I won't be so lame (or busy)...

And yes, Yay ameteur nerds!

I'm glad to see that the next generation is being brought up correctly (with the LEGO robots and all)... and steampunk punk? awesome. Hopefully they'll try again in Seattle sometime soon...

Here's another propulsion idea for the SphereBot:


  • projects
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.