September was a busy month for me! The highlights were both Maker Faire Orlando at the Orlando Science Center and World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science. You might have noticed a hint of what I have been up to over the past weeks. This post will be pretty heavy when it comes to pictures to help share the AWESOME that is the maker movement.
Never heard of Maker Faire? A Maker Faire is an event put on in conjunction with Make: magazine to celebrate “makers”. What is a maker? Well that is a little more difficult to understand. At its core a maker is someone who makes things. There is no age requirement to be a maker. There are lots of different types of makers. Some are ROBOT MAK3RS or people that make with LEGO MINDSTORMS. However that is hardly an official category. You might make robots, cars, giant flaming robot sculptures, paper models, apps, clothes. Making can use a range of materials from 3D printing to LEGO to metal/wood to fabric. Making is a form of expression and hands-on learning.
You can checkout coverage of the LEGO MINDSTORMS Booth, including some of my bots at The NXT Step!
Follow me after the break for more.
For Maker Faire Orlando, I spent most of my time talking about FIRST. FIRST is all about getting students in K-12 interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM). From solving problems to creating a team identity, FIRST really shows off the core of the maker movement.
However, Maker Faire Orlando was also a nice testing ground for one of my World Maker Faire Projects. You might have seen a hint a few weeks ago. One of the projects I was planning was a HUGE LEGO Graffiti Cube. This cube towers some 53 inches and is about 45 inches deep and 45 inches wide. It is covered by 45 grey LEGO baseplates or 103,640 studs. Simply put the cube was a hit in Orlando, but there were some tweaks needed to improve the design for New York.
After a couple of tweaks later after Maker Faire Orlando, the cube shipped out Monday morning. Renaissance Jax, a non-profit in Jacksonville, Florida offered to help ship and store the cube. This will enable us to bring the cube to events all over Florida and get kids excited about creating!
The cube shipped out and made it to New York, ready to go. Once assembled and leveled, the cube was ready to go in the LEGO MINDSTORMS booth.
I might have over engineered the cube a bit… The good news is that it is safe for kids and this make it fun for families to build on all sides.
Want to make your own cube? Well I have shared plans and instructions on Instructables!
Maker Faire New York is always a highlight of my year. As usual, I was at the LEGO MINDSTORMS booth as a #ROBOTMAK3R and a #RealLEGOFan. The Wall of Fans project was on display and was a crowd favorite.
But that wasn’t all I brought. One project that was also a hit (besides the cube) was my LEGO MINDSTORMS GoPro Gyro Stabilizer. This project was a blast and used a PID controller, a few motors, a few gyro sensors, and a custom 3D printed part. The camera stays stable while you move around. This project is something you can build in an afternoon. Stay tuned for more information on how you could make your own!
Walking around with the camera, it was a blast to get some shots. Check out the video below to see how the camera did. I love playing this bot.