A Day at Maker Faire!

5 Jun

Last month James and I met up with Nick and Kelly at the Bay Area Maker Faire. It’s a fair celebrating science projects and DIY stuff and we thought it was worth checking out!

We were greeted by an enormous fire-breathing robot.
IMG_20150516_103643To interact with the different exhibits you had to sign a waiver and get a wristband. If you went to the booth right by one of the main entrances the line was really long but on the other side of the booth (like literally steps away) there was no line. Score!

This was a cool rhino that you could get inside.
IMG_20150516_113732Also an arena with a bunch of modded bicycles that you could play around on. There were a couple of weird tandem bikes (like where the other seat was on the handlebars), one where the bike went in the opposite direction that you pointed it in, and another where the back half would swing around on its own and made steering really difficult.
IMG_20150516_105640My favourite exhibit was a pedal-powered ferris wheel. It could only fit three people and they gave you quite a generous go on it so the line took awhile to get through (and a couple of people got all the way to the front only to find out that they didn’t have the required wristbands).

The ride needed all three people to be a similar weight or else the lightest person would swing wildly around so I went with a couple of smaller girls while James, Nick and Kelly went together.

James and Kelly were a bit wary so they weren’t pedaling as fast as they could. =(

We also saw a robot that could do that movie thing where someone spreads their hand on a table, gets a knife and stabs it in between each of their fingers really fast. Though there were some stab marks on the dummy hand so I don’t think the technology is quite there yet to demonstrate it with a real one.
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Afterwards we had lunch. I bought some fairy floss for dessert but it was $10 for a bag. What a rip! $10!

We did see something that I had always thought was a myth …
IMG_20150516_130856We wandered inside the main expo hall which had people demonstrating and selling cool stuff. We saw a machine that used magnets to draw cool patterns in the sand, some pixel art that James really liked, and a gumball machine that released a gumball when you gave it a secret knock.
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While Nick and Kelly looked at the lego exhibit James and I watched some drone battles. People had modded drones – one had a baseball bat attached to it! – and were fighting each other in the air. It sounds cooler than it actually was because the drones kept malfunctioning (the baseball bat drone could barely get off the ground) and we had to watch like, 5 aborted matches until we saw one where they actually got to fight. And the actual fight was crap – they would gently brush up against each other which would send one or both crashing to the ground.

James: Are you writing about the fight? And how lame it was?
(long pause) 
James: 
I feel ignored.

We also got to try an Oculus Rift and saw a cannon that shot what I think was puffs of dry ice.
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And here is James in a battle bot. =)
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There was so much other stuff to explore – a sauerkraut-making class, a building full of 3D printers and big piles of lego you could play with.

Oh yeah, and right at the end we saw an actual battle bot (sorry James) shoot a cannon at a car.
IMG_20150516_160810My favourite was still the ferris wheel though. Or maybe the wacky bikes. Nah, it was all great. It was a super fun day!

(But seriously, it was the ferris wheel)

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