This year, the MakerSpace at Digilent was able to attend the 2015 Bay Area Maker Faire. We brought two great demos, a breadboard wall, and a 900 LED matrix running the game Snake! Individuals also brought projects that they worked on. Our booth got a lot of attention due to the breadboard wall with simple and prepackaged circuits. Everybody loved being able to connect up a few parts with a couple wires and create a blinking light with a 555 timer. With that, there were also a couple adventurous people that created their own circuits.
As proud as I was of our booth, experiencing all of the creativity that everybody else brought to show off was absolutely mind boggling. Out of the countless imaginative creations, the things that stand out the most for me are: Rock the Bike pedal-powered stage, creative costumes, and the excellent MakeFashion group.
Maker Faire does not just inspire technology oriented people but also cosplay enthusiasts. I met a great guy who absolutely loved my hat and I loved his costume. He borrowed my LED fedora for a couple pictures and then we posed for this silly picture that was the best of several blurry pictures.
The pedal-powered stage was run by Rock the Bike. They are a company that promotes the use of pedal power instead of grid power. They were using custom stationary bicycles with brushless generators to produce all the power for the stage. The amount of power generated on by the bikes was displayed on a small panel that would display red for low power, green for adequate power and white for optimal power. It was amazing to see the entire stage operational with a dozen bikes. Also when the power level dropped the audio quality dropped to a point where the audio started clipping.
MakeFashion had to be the most amazing exhibit I had seen. Each scene showed different ways to display LEDs using different types of technology like accelerometers, gyroscopes, and wireless communication. Although the entire show was amazing the female samurai and the disabled models are the most memorable for me. The female samurai were absolutely stunning with the intricate detail on their armor. The LED work on the guards on one of their arms were amazing and the diffused illumination over the torso was just jaw-dropping. The scene that stole the show were the two disabled models with their amazing prosthetics. The crowd was clapping and cheering in right up to the point when the models broke into the robot and the crowd exploded with roaring cheers. It was an amazing show and I loved each scene for different reasons. I was lucky enough to meet some of the crew and got to tell them how much I loved the show.
Overall, I am still stunned by the amazing people that I witnessed and met. Going to Maker Faire is always a reminder that there are amazing people doing great things and I will always strive to be one of them. Thank you, to Digilent, for helping sponsor the technology at the MakerSpace and allowing me to go.
Repost from Marshall’s Tech Blog.