Maker Faire

Last week I went to the Maker Faire at Odaiba, Tokyo

People there had a great sense of humor!

From what I could see, In most of the stands people were presenting their hand-crafted electronics. Half of the presenters were showing some sort of robot (My favorite was the guy with the “hand extender” – a phone would film your hand, and the robotic hand at the end of a pole would mimic the movement). Then we had the raspberry Pi hacks (and its Japanese versions). After that, a little bit of everything, like the guys who made super detailed star wars costumes.

This robot was pretty cool too. It would clean your glasses in the morning while you had your breakfast. I heard someone nearby say “the robot is too slow, I’d do it faster” — they clearly didn’t get it.

The most interesting part, however, were the children workshops. There quite a few of them. In one, a person was helping the kids build elaborate paper planes and fly them through hoops. In another, this old dude was teaching kids how to program in Scratch. There was an “experimental” one, with multiple tools like air blowers, and the kids could do whatever their wanted.

My favorite one was the wooden racing car — the kids would get some pieces of woods, wheels, elastics, nuts and bolts, and were asked to build cars for these tracks. Then they would release the cars. Inevitably some of the cars would fall and explode into pieces, which would draw huge cheers from the staff over-viewing the workshop. Maker spirit!

At the end of the Faire, I saw a stand selling the Arduboy, a tiny programmable pocket console. While I certainly would love having one of these, what came
to my mind was trying to make a Pico-8 powered hand held using some mix of Raspberry pi, a small led screen, a disassembled controller, and much more experience putting electronics together than I actually have.

I wonder if there is some sort of workshop that would help me with the steps necessary to make this project…

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