A First Timer’s Bay Area Maker Faire 2014

Our Maker Faire Team, decked out in LEDs.
Our Maker Faire team decked out in LEDs (I’m in the suspenders, Larissa has the scarf, and Alex the tie.)

Maker Faire 2014 was my first convention of any kind and the experience exceeded any expectations I could have had. From the time I stepped on the grounds, I was enveloped in the “Maker” camaraderie that exists despite the community being comprised of different skill sets and backgrounds. Really, we are all there because we just fit in, because we are Makers.

Digilent sent three representatives to Maker Faire to promote our chipKIT line of academic products. There were a lot of people who were not aware of chipKIT, and it was great to have the opportunity to tell them a little bit about Digilent and what we are doing with chipKITs. For added fun, we ran a drawing for chipKIT starter kits, resulting in many ecstatic winners!

Me with a winner of the chipKIT Starter Kit + uC32 he runs a robotics team at his school and likes to dress up at Maker Faire!
Me with a winner of the chipKIT Starter Kit + uC32. He runs a robotics team at his school and likes to dress up at Maker Faire!

Every part of Maker Faire was amazing, but to me the best part was seeing the immense creativity. There were cupcake cars, amazing flaming creations, LEDs and microcontrollers in everything imaginable, a tesla coil rock band, paper circuits, 3D printers, elaborate costumes, quadcopter demolition and more. There is no end to the creativity of Makers and now I realize that in everything I do, I am a Maker. I will forever tear apart electronics and cannibalize them to make something different and I would not have it any other way.

a robot skeleton that has been completely laser cut!
A robot skeleton that has been completely laser cut!

Thinking of all the excellent projects that I saw, I have dusted off a couple forgotten projects and continued where I left off. Maker Faire 2015 is less than a year away and I want to attend regardless of whether Digilent goes or not. I am excited to build a new demo that is better than my last demo and see have dreams of the possible crazy blinky, flaming, flying contraption that might exist next year.

El Pulpo De Mechanico - (a flaming octopus art sculpture) and Russell the electronic giraffe
El Pulpo De Mechanico – (a flaming octopus art sculpture) and Russell the electronic giraffe.

Thank you Digilent for allowing me to do such an amazing thing, and a special thanks to Keith Vogel, Megan Wingerson and Brian Thomas for working on our Wi-Fi LED Demo and making Digilent look so good.

Are those guns following me?
I think I fit in here.

 

If you would like to see more photos from the event, check out our Flickr album!
Flickr Album- Maker Faire 2014

[flickr video=https://www.flickr.com/photos/120755015@N07/sets/72157644398487820/show/]
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