For Maker Faire, I volunteered to help out at Joel’s and Yuri’s booth. Because of that, I didn’t get to fully see everything that was displayed. From what I did see, I was mostly disappointed. I had expected a gathering of savvy non-mainstream hobbiests with crazy, experimental projects, not a combination of commercially driven corporate displays and supposedly cool carnivalesque machines. There was a walking chair that was kind of funky, a Stifteo game that was somewhat interesting. I was especially not impressed by the much talked about “fire-breathing dragon”. A better example of large scale sculpture made of found/used material is Xu Bing’s Phoenix Project, where there is more content and the design is more refined.
However, the experience was not all negative. Working at the Maker Shaft, I got to see a lot of people, especially youngsters, who are becoming increasingly interested in DIY electronics and programming. The Shaft sold toys directed towards children in elementary school, that would introduce them to basic electronics and circuit design, these packaged boxes contained as many as 100 different projects. Also, many that came up to our pulse sensor (for those interested in PComp, Joel’s pulse sensor might be a fun addition to your toolkit) booth were hobbiests who hacked hardware and software during their free time. One of the visitors at the booth was a middle school teacher who taught Arduino in his class. It’s exciting to imagine what kids who are exposed to electronics and code at such an young age might come up with by the time they mature.
Motion Detector and Slider: