Inspiring Young Minds

James and I took our 11 year old son, Miles, to the September meeting of the Robotics Society of Southern California hoping to inspire him.  Boy did it ever! RSSC club meetings always start with someone presenting a class on a chosen topic, for this meeting it was TI MSP430 Microcontroller by Texas Instruments.

After a short lunch break we reconvened for the Robot Contest.  This month it was Walking Robots, the guidelines were as follows:

Walking Robot Contest   —-    Proposed Rules
 
The contest entries must be autonomous walking robots with at least 2 feet. 
No wheels are allowed on the robots.
Start and finish lines will be installed 6 feet apart on the floor using 3/4″ wide black plastic electrical tape.
Robots will be placed at the start line. Basic score will be seconds of time required to pass the finish line.
Time limit of 5 minutes to reach the finish line.
Robot with the lowest score wins the contest.
 
Score can be lowered if:
    Robot has only two feet, subtract 60 seconds from the score.
    Robot passes the finish line, turns around and returns to the start line, divide score by 4.
    Robot stops at finish line, subtract 60 seconds from the score.
Entries varied from right out of the box bots to hacked bots to  fully designed and built from scratch creations.

Stryker, winner of the Walking Robot Contest.

Jim Two Foot, runner up.

Walking Robot Contestants

The final segment of each monthly meeting is Show and Tell, this month began with a presentation on a Circular Navigation System.

Martin Mason brought in his TurtleBot, which utilizes ROS voice control and is programmed to follow movement.
A DARwIn-OP (Dynamic Anthropomorphic Robot with Intelligence) was also brought in.   Said to be “…an affordable miniature-humanoid-robot platform with advanced computational power, sophisticated sensors, high payload capacity and dynamic motion ability to enable many exciting research and educational activities.”  -Dennis W. Hong PhD Virginia Tech
And darn cute too!  DARwIn is able to get up on it’s own if knocked over and was programmed to find and kick a red ball.   The presenter forgot to bring a ball so a young man wearing red shoes volunteered to be kicked by a robot.
We all had a great time and Miles is looking forward to next month’s contest which is to make a Line Following Bot.  For more information on the Robotic Society of Southern California, including the rules on the Line Following Bot Contest and their meetings head to their website: http://rssc.org/

Planning for 2013

Now that we’ve (mostly) recovered from the success of our first ever OC Mini Maker Faire we’re beginning to look to the coming year.     On the top of the list is arranging a date that will not coincide with other major events that attract like-minded people.    With that in mind we’re considering the first couple of weeks in August 2013, anybody out there know of potentially conflicting events for that time frame?

Next on the list is expanding and improving our repertoire of activities, Makers and cool things to see and do.     There are some activities that we know we want but need help in making them happen, here’s a list of our top favorites:

  • Arduino workshop
  • Make Play Day (open making and free-build with piles of random stuff to create with plus tools, hot glue guns, tape, etc.)
  • Paper Rocket Make and Launch
  • Programming workshops (like Scratch, etc.)

What we need are volunteers or groups to help supply and run these activities so, if you or anyone you know might be interested please contact us at Info@OCMiniMakerFaire.com.

Also, if you have an idea for a great booth, we’d love to hear about it!

We are in the OC Weekly!

Follow the link here:  http://www.ocweekly.com/2012-07-19/culture/maker-faire-uc-irvine-beall-center-for-art-technology/

They have a photo slide show too:  http://www.ocweekly.com/slideshow/maker-faire-the-beall-center-for-art-and-technology-37316140/

Thanks OC Weekly and Charles Lam for the article.

Making Memories at the OC Mini Maker Faire

By core team member Pam Dowling

“You have totally inspired me. I can do this.  I’m going to crochet Christmas gifts this year.”

~Attendee in the Fiber Arts Room

And that was what it was all about, inspiring each other and discovery.

 

“I did not know you could do that.”

~Dad attendee in the Fiber Arts Room when his son sat down and started knitting with no help.

It was crazy.

I NEED A BREAK!” shouted Michelle Jensen, Swap-O-Rama at once point.   We got her one.

Fears were faced by many.

“Oh no, oh no I can’t do that, I’ll mess up!”

~Attendee in the Fiber Arts Room.  She did hold a pair of knitting needles and took home some yarn and instructions.

Thank you so much.

~Numerous attendees

It was amazing, crazy, scary and showed off the good side of humanity.  People were sharing, creating, inspiring, helping and just being.

My faulty recollection of how this all came together goes something like this:
  • Bequi and James took me up on the dare
  • Amanda is the hardest working person I know
  • Anna gave the financial jump start
  • Samantha gave invaluable guidance, support and wanted this adventure
  • Michelle created the Swap-O-Rama
  • Paige kept those volunteers working
  • All the Attendees that had interest in coming
  • THE MAKERS sharing their passion

Give or take a few thousand details

Creating a Minimaker Faire is not something you do.  It is something you experience.  I am so blessed to have been fortunate enough to be a part of it all.  It is a memory I hold close to my heart.

 

And now for next year…

What a Fantastic Day!

We had an astromech droid and robots.

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We had cupcakes and Quadcopters.

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We had things in motion… Cecil the SeeSaw and Nick on his home made powered skateboard.

_DSC0960

_DSC1107

We had music from Jason with his Cigar Box Guitars and the sounds of 3D printers.

_DSC1114    _DSC1142

DAT Space ran a Learn to Solder Booth.

_DSC1128

What a Great Day!

Someone pointed out this video to us on YouTube!

Thanks to everyone that came out and helped out.  It was fantastic!

[Hey Bill Hsu, thanks for taking these pictures!]

We are in the OC Register

Just bought three copies of the OC Register for keepsakes and to send to Internet Limited family.

OC Mini Maker Faire 2012 in the OC Register!

Give me a Sign!

When walking around the OC Mini Maker Faire look at the signs!  Natalie made all the signs for our event!  They look fantastic!

WP_001349

Wanna know something else?  Natalie is Producing and Hosting the Swap-o-Rama Fashion Show!

WP_001348

Thank you Natalie!

A Moment of Reflection

The OCMMF is just hours away and I’m thinking about how we got here.  I think it was a dare.  Really I think Pam dared us to do a Maker Faire.  Amanda said it was a great idea.  But Bequi took the dare.   Then I held on tight to Bequi’s hand.  Maybe that’s not how it really went down, but it’s how I remember it.

There are many pivotal moments in this story and many people to thank, but here are a few moments that really stick out.

At some point Anna became our first sponsor (Thanks Anna!), which meant this project had surpassed idle chit-chat. (For this we are grateful, please buy or sell your house with Anna Child from Coldwell Banker! Please tell her the OCMMF sent you.  She is totally cool and a great realtor!)

This is where the real fretting started, someone else believed in the project too!

At some point Bequi walked into the Beall Center for Art + Technology when it was under construction for an exhibit.  She marched on up to Samantha and David and asked if they would host a Maker Faire.  They replied, “How could we not host a Mini Maker Faire!” Thank you Samantha! Thank you to the Beall Center for Art + Technology and the  Claire Trevor  School of the Arts. Thank you!

Thank you to Make Magazine for sharing your brand with us and all the fine people who helped us like Sabrina.

Thank you to the rest of the core team:  Amanda, Pam,  Michelle and Paige (and Samantha) for doing a great job with almost no money.

Thank you to all the Kickstarters and silent donators.  You know who you are!

Thank you to the Makers, the inventers, the tinkerers, the dreamers and commercial makers for Making, for which there would be no faire!  I had a great time meeting all of you at meetings and meet ups.

Thank you Bequi for just being awesome and inspiring and Making a Faire and taking me with you.

I’m sure if you ask anyone on the core team, they all have their own idea on how this all started.  Some people say it started with a dare.

Thank you, to all the people I have not yet thanked (like Mathobotix)

~James

Saturday’s Schedule!

We are all supper excited about the first ever Orange County Mini Maker Faire on Saturday.  Attached to this post is the schedule.

Enjoy the schedule!

We can’t wait to see you there!

Fiber Arts Room and Fashion Show!

Are you a Fashionista?  Would you like to be?  Well, this is the event for you!

At the First Annual OC Mini Maker Faire you can come design  your own special style at the Swap-o-Rama in the Fiber Arts room!  Then, at 3:00pm you can show off your style at the Fashion Show in the Winifred Smith Hall, a beautiful venue for presenting your own flair.

But that’s not all!   Throughout the day there will be demos of all kinds in the Fiber Arts room including:

  • 11-11:30 Crochet Basics
  • 11:30-12:00 No Sew T-shirt Bags
  • 1:00-1:30 Knitting Basics
  • 1:30-2:00 Sew Fabric Flowers
  • 2:00-2:30 No Sew T-Shirt Modification

Whether you’re a beginner or a long time fiber-crafty person there’s something here for you!

Come join us and Discover the Maker in Yourself!