Robotics Society of Southern California

Meet Maya and her dad, Thomas.    Maya builds robots like the two she’s showing in this photo.  The one she’s holding came from a kit but the one on the table next to her is a hacked toy that, when it was new, just rolled back and forth.  Now, Body not only rolls back and forth but also moves his arms and head via voice command.  Not to shabby for a 6 year old, eh? Her dad, smiling proudly in the background, also builds robots.  He built Robot Betty9 and Elvis Robot, both of which are going to sing at the OC Mini Maker Faire.

Thomas invited me, Bequi, to attend a meeting of the Robotics Society of Southern California and talk a little bit about the OC Mini Maker Faire.    I accepted his invite and had a great time.

I was introduced to Walter, the President of RSSC, and he explained to me the day’s activities which included open meet and greet time, invited speakers, a robot competition and a show-and-tell at the end.

There were about 30 people at the meeting and during the meet-and-greet I spoke with several of them about various projects they were working on.   There was a two foot tall manufactured robot that a gentleman had hacked and replaced the arms  on for better functioning ones and added cameras and sensors so that it can guide it’s self around a room.

Another gentlman is working on a wheelchair that can be used for Ballroom Dancing!  He showed me video of the prototype and I was impressed.

My favorite part of the day was a the Robot Competition.  Five robots were challenged to traverse a long  T-shaped hall end to end passing open doorways and other anomalies in the wall; making three turn-arounds, including one at a glass door, and ending in the same spot that it started.

Being that it was purely for fun it was a bit chaotic and I’m not sure exactly who the winners were but, here are some photos of the contestants.

The day ended with a show-and-tell, unfortunately, I could not stay so I only caught part of the first one which was of a CNC machine.

Before I left the club voted and decided unanimously to move next month’s meeting to a different date so that the whole club can come to the OC Mini Maker Faire and run a booth as Makers!   I’m excited to see what they bring to share, I hope that Maya brings her wonderful creations and inspires other kids.

Next Saturday I’ve been invited to the Riverside Robotics Club, it should be another good time!

 

 

Call for Makers extended (vendors closed)

Thank you to everyone, both Makers and vendors, who filled out the Call for Makers application!

At this time we have more than enough vendors so we will be closing that part of the application and no longer accepting vendors.

However, we are extending the Call for Makers (Makers only) portion until June 15th so, if you haven’t joined us yet but are still interested in exhibiting your project please let us know soon!   You can reach the application by clicking on the button on the right side of the screen labeled Call for Makers.

Discover the Maker in Yourself!

Twenty-Two

As I write this we have 22 hours left on the Kickstarter campaign and only 27% of funding to go!   So far the amazing outpouring of support has been humbling, to each and every person who has pledged we thank you with all of our hearts.

To all of the Makers who have filled out the Call for Makers application or intend to, we welcome you aboard and thank you for joining us.  Without you there would be no Mini Maker Faire at all.

To all of the independant businesses who have signed on as vendors, we appreciate your efforts and are excited to see all the wonderful wares you have to sell.  Thank you for joining us.

To everyone who has so far purchased a ticket, thank you for believing in us and know that your purchase also helps to fund this marvelous event.

Only $661 left to go, we’re almost there!

Kickstarter Update

There’s  a mere 5 days left on our Kickstarter campaign and we’re only 29% funded, with your help we can bring the first Mini Maker Faire to Orange County!  Click here  for the latest update.

Thank you!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bequi/oc-mini-maker-faire/posts/234040

Maker Faire Day Two

Bay Area Maker Faire, like walking through the dreams of 900 people…

Some people dream of fire…

Others dream of Death Defying Crazy 8 Bicycle Races!

This person dreamt up conductive paint, added some LEDs and batteries and, voila, created a card!

Perhaps a little more like a nightmare would be the AK47 toting Garden Gnomes and the Cthulu Thinker…  I love it!

Some people dream in kinetic art and found objects.

Do robots dream of electric sheep?

This was an amazingly intricate beaded beauty, the rainbow anemone and shrimp moved gently as if pushed by unseen waves.

This gentleman had a dream of connecting Lego servo motors to Smartphones.  The kids sure liked his dream.

How about a giant robot suit made of cardboard?

These kids never thought they’d be in a robot petting zoo luckily, someone dreamt it up!

 

And what better way to end a fabulous Maker Faire weekend than with the eerily dreamy half light and strange crescent shadows of a solar eclipse?

Perfect.

 

 

 

Maker Faire 2012 Day One

Maker Faire is a fabulous showcase of the wide range of amazing things that people make.

From solar powered popcorn poppers…

…to gorgeous costumes and period outfits.

Electric cartoon birds run on Arduino…

…to non-electric robot puppets run on hand-power.

From electric hair…

…to pretend guitars.

There’s room for clock-makers…

…and lapidary artists.

There’s a place for laughter and fun…

…and breathtaking views.

This is all made from masking tape.   Yes, every bit of it masking tape.

Except for the hangers covered with multi-colored material on the wall.

Wandering through the Maker Faire is wandering through the imagination of over 900 people and it’s an eye-opening, inspiring experience.

Bay Area Maker Faire

Exhausted and exhalted, and the Maker Faire hasn’t even started yet!

Most of us on the OC Mini Maker Faire Exploratory Committee are here at the Bay Area Maker Faire for the weekend.   We arrived Thursday and met with the Maker Corp Team for a pre-MF walk-through of the San Mateo fairgrounds as part of our volunteer training.    Sherry led us around the exhibits and gave us bits of trivia, history and info we’d need, like the fact that there will be over 900 Makers this year.

On Friday we arrived on-site at 9:30 for our first set of Maker Corp Volunteer hours.   We worked with Spring to hang signage, which helped us become better acquainted with where things are so later this weekend we can direct people to where they want to go.

In the afternoon, our team attended the Mini Maker Faire Producers workshop led by Sabrina Merlo, it was very inspiring and informative.  They broadcast it live on the web for all those who couldn’t make it.   MMF Producers from all over the globe were there, including Japan and France.  This year there are about 60 Minis being produced around the world!

Finally, at the end of the day was the Maker Mixer where all the Maker Corp Volunteers, Maker Faire Crew and Makers got to meet and greet over Sierra Nevada beer and the best Paella I’ve ever had.    The OC Mini Maker Faire Exploratory Committee met many awesome people who are excited about our event.    Michael Conn of Mobile Muffins in L.A. said that he’d love to have a drivable cupcake at our event and Lindsay from San Diego is hoping to bring his 17′ tall Electric Giraffe!

We also met Mike Hatalski who wants to bring his 3D printers; Randy from EarthLCD in Costa Mesa; Steve from Scary Tinker Labs, also in Costa Mesa and several other Orange County area people who want to support the OC Mini Maker Faire.

Today is the first day of Maker Faire 2012, James and Amanda are already at the fairgrounds helping out with the Maker Corp and I’ll be following shortly.   I expect today to be a typical Maker Faire, amazing and inspiring a blow-your-mind experience.

Tips on How to Design Your Maker Booth

So, you want to be a Maker?  Great!  You’ve got a terrific project that you want to show off to the world and we’ve got the space for you to do just that!   The tricky part is creating a great exhibit for people to enjoy and interact with, here we hope to give you some ideas to help make your booth a memorable experience.

First, it needs to be said that filling out the Call for Makers application is crucial.  We need to know that you intend to be there and in order to meet your needs we must know what they are.   So, please, fill out the Call for Makers app so that we can accommodate you and your project.

Below are a few videos from a workshop that our friends over at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire put on for their potential Makers.    The beginning of the first video deals with introductions but starting around 4:30 they start discussing ideas for creating a booth.

Some of the highlights from the first video are:

  • Set up your booth at home and invite friends and family to try it out.   This way you can work out many of the kinks ahead of time.
  • You will be provided with a table (if you want or need one) but they will not be covered so plan on a table cloth and or table skirt.  The table skirt is great for hiding all the stuff you will be storing under the table.

Part Two of the Seattle Mini Maker Faire Maker Booth Workshop digs deeper into how to make your booth fun and appealing to people.

Some of the highlights from this video are:

  • Give the public something to do!  Whether they’re invited to make something, play with something or watch a fascinating demonstration give them a reason to be there and, even more, to stay there for a while.
  • Show your process.  Share what you’ve learned through mistakes, do-overs, partially finished projects, all of it!  You don’t have to just show the final product, people are interested to know what it took to get to where you are now.
  • What is your tool set?  What materials did you or do you use? Show off how you made it and maybe invite them to engage in trying it themselves at home.
  • Christin says it best about creating a booth that is dynamic and interactive: “…because that’s exactly what we’re advertising, that’s exactly what people will come expecting and what they will do.”

Kickstarter Campaign

Would you like to be a supporter of the OC Mini Maker Faire but you can’t make it to the event? Perhaps you love the idea so much you want to be a Super Supporter? Or, perhaps, you’d like a T-shirt or sticker with our Madly Making Orange on it? There’s a place where you can accomplish all of the above!

With the Kickstarter program if we don’t meet our pledge goal, you pay nothing. If we do meet, or exceed, our pledge then your card will be charged on May 31st, 2012 and we’ll send you your perks in June.

Visit our Kickstarter page to learn more!

However, if you are in the area and you are going to the OC Mini Maker Faire you can also support us by buying tickets from Eventbrite, here!  All proceeds from both the Kickstarter campaign and the ticket sales will go into making this the best First Annual OC Mini Maker Faire that we can.

Thanks to everyone for all your generous and enthusiastic support!!

Call for Makers Poster