I finally got to go to the 10th annual Maker Faire in the Bay Area, and it was great. The Maker Faire is a where tons of “makers” (people who make really cool tech futuristic things) come and set up exhibits where they show off all of their cool tech. It is a giant event, and about 30,000 came. I got to see a ton of famous developers, including some of the head Microsoft directors, Eben Upton, the creator of the Raspberry Pi, Autodesk directors, and even the developers of the 3D printer I have now (Printrbot).
In some areas, I got access to online tools and beta apps that you could only get if you go to the Maker Faire. I saw drones battling each other, life size R2D2 units from StarWars, and at least 50 different 3D printers. The first thing I saw was a “hovering” seat, which acted similar to how air hockey works. The small platform-seat had a black air bag on the bottom, with small holes.
The air back is constantly being filled with air, which is exiting through the small holes at the bottom, giving it a slight hovering effect. Then inside a building (the whole Faire was held both inside and outside) I saw ton of different printers. I saw a Dremel printer, which did pretty much the opposite of a 3D printer. If you put a block of wood on the printer bed, it would carve things if given a 3D file.
I passed a lot of different 3D printers and their developers, and even a 2D printer. This printer acted similar to a 3D printer, but you gave it a pencil instead of filament and only “printed” on one layer. Then, probably my favorite part, I saw a newish app called Imaginary Spaces. It lets you build a house in 3D, then simulate it in first person view (and at the same time building it).
Then, you can actually export it into both Minecraft and as an STL file for 3D printing. I got a “business card” in the form of a 3D printed castle (made in the app) with the words ImgSpc at the bottom. I also got access to an early beta version of the app for iPad/iPhone. Then, in the next building, I saw an example of using servo motors and an iPad to move things.
There was a lot of iPads in the booth, which, when you moved the little cursor, it would move a balloon tied to one of the motors. Next to that booth, I saw a fighting robot, which would be able to deflect and know when the best time to attack was. In this case, though, it had a balloon instead of a stick. I also saw an example of sensors, combined with the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino, including color sensors, motion sensors, pressure sensors, and depth sensors.
Then, I saw some 3D scanners, by Apple, which was basically a pad which you placed an object on and it would get scanned. After that, I saw a Kinect 3D scanning station for scanning people. It was a rotating platform and a robot that moved the Kinect up and down slowly. You just stand on the platform, and it would scan you and export to a 3D model.
I also saw tutorials on how to solder, which I probably should have taken (seeing as I had short circuited two Raspberry Pi’s as a result of a failed soldering). Then I saw a popular game called Roblox, which had been out for a while. Roblox was very similar to Minecraft (but existed way longer) which basically was a game engine built for making your own worlds, then sharing them for multiplayer battles. In this booth, you could use a special game engine which allows you to code your own logic into worlds that you built.
Only people who went to the Maker Faire could use this engine. Then, I saw a freaky humanoid robot (only the upper half). The fingers were especially creepy, as well as the (probably prosthetic) teeth. It had a very monsterish deep voice, too.
I saw a thermal camera, which could detect heat. If you rubbed your hands a lot, then it would see the heat resulting from the friction. Then I saw a thing called Game of Drones, where people used custom built (and even bulletproof) cases for their drones, then battled them. It was a large area, with a net around it.
If a drone got too near the net, it would get tangled. It was very crowded around there.