This is a “Live Blog” meaning that I will be updating it all weekend long with new pictures and information from Maker Faire Xi’an. Check back frequently for more. I’ll be placing newer items at the top. 


Wrapping up this wonderful weekend in Xi’an, we got to see a MakeFashion show. The MakeFashion crew found local designers to construct outfits using technology. I’m not particularly knowledgeable in fashion, but judging by the crowds reaction, this was a hit!


the Maker Faire is drawing to a close. Here’s a 360 degree image of the robot battle stage, and the crowd eager for the action! Click on the picture to open up the interactive 360 degree view.


 

This art piece by Yongjian Su was really eye catching. The entire stage had spindly bug like legs holding it up and as you get closer, you see that the containers have different critters in them. I spotted giant snails, a tarantula, and some ants. Each animal had a sensor reading its movement and triggering some mechanical structure or noise maker. It was intriguing to watch.


These little bots were so adorable. They were easily programmed using scratch, but what really made them stand out was the facial recognition built in. They would make “eye contact” and track your face as you moved around. You can find them at Morpx.com


The Moai SLA 3d printer is here. I know that the technology isn’t incredbly new or anything but I’m constantly blown away by the detail achievable with these machines!


Geekplay had a few interesting things to show me. There were augmented reality game kits as well as this rubic’s cube looking device covered in LEDs. He took it apart to show me the way it snaps together.


It was too difficult to push through the crowd to get closer, but I could see that this artist was doing patterns of paint on top of water. He would then dip material in the water and it would absorb the patterns.


The maker who created this wasn’t available to talk, but I was told that they had recreated this mechanism from some very old drawings. The idea is that this character will always point the same direction, no matter how you turn the cart. it does this through a series of cables and pulleys attached to the wheels. This would have been used as a mechanical compass while traveling.


While visiting Tapagami again to see how much the tape city has grown, we were visited by a tour of a very important local official. Kevin Lau, the organizer of the Maker Faire is holding the red Makey and answering questions for the Secretary of the CPC in Xi’an (pointing). You can’t see it in this picture but there is a very large entourage of photographers and security around. I was swallowed in the group as they approached the display.


This morning I was happy to get to see “Touchy”. This is a fun experiment where he can’t see anything unless you’re touching him. A conductive switch opens his camera-iris eyes and he can see. When you’re not holding the orb and touching him, he wanders around blind. If you maintain contact for longer than 10 seconds, touchy’s eyes take a picture!


Day two above this point! 


 

We closed out day one of Maker Faire Xi’an with a performance from Japanese musical act, Maywa Denki. I have to say that this is one of the best shows I’ve seen. You really need to see them perform to get just how absurd and wonderful this all is.


It was fascinating to see how shadow puppets area created. I never really thought about the fact that they must be partially transparent to allow for color in the shadows!


They’re making paper here at the Maker Faire using traditional methods. People are gathering to press pulp into sheets and dry it for use later. Some of the sheets get flower petals embedded and are works of art on their own.


 

This local craftsman is from a near by city. He made this cart using all traditional hand tools and skills passed through the generations. They brought many tools here and it has been fascinating to watch as he carves the wood and hammers the metal into shape.


 

In this area, people were drawing designs and the laser cutter would engrave and cut them right then. It was fun watching this boy customize his Makey robot and then get it lasered


 

The work of Laura Martinez was a beautiful mix of 3d printing and traditional textiles. She wasn’t around for a photo, but her work really spoke for itself.


 

Tapigami is visiting from the US. it is hard to believe how quickly this city made of tape has assembled! People are adding pieces constantly and it looks like they’re having incredible fun doing it.


These traditional kites have a mechanical system built in that allows them to move around with the slightest bit of wind. I gently blew on the crab and it began moving around!

 


 

MakeBlock is here with their educational robots. Every time I see them they’ve created some new and interesting configuration!


This artist was winding these fantastic wire creations by hand. He gave me his Chinese name, but I have no way to transpose it to the article right now. I’ll try to update later with the help of my translator. The sculptures were fantastic and included moving parts.


 

Bigfacebox is visiting and brought their delightfully simple creation. It is just a box, a fresnel lens, and some LEDs, but the result seems like a constant crowd pleaser. I snapped some pictures of the inside and even the view from inside the box!  They do warn people not to look at the sun while playing with the box (you can’t, it is inside, but still a smart warning) because the lens could burn your face quickly.


The Beijing cosplay club is making an appearance gaining lots of fans in the process!


I was pleased to meet Vivian, one of the founders of MakerBeta. She explained how they produce educational project videos and release them 3 times a week. The videos I saw looked great and I think I will be sharing them soon on makezine!


 

This absolutely blew me away. I was ushered into an inflatable dome for a “3d planetarium”. I’m no stranger to planetariums and expected lasers or projection. Instead, Mitsuru Kitamura stepped out and did a shadow puppet show that used a red and a blue LED. The 3d effect was incredibly convincing and the show was spectacular.

 


As I was entering the show proper, I caught Eepybird doing their first diet coke and mentos show in China. Interestingly, the 2 liter bottle size isn’t common here and all their show is rigged for 2 liter  bottles so some creative importing was necessary.


As I arrived this morning, I almost missed Dale’s opening remarks. He discussed the wonderful diversity of the maker movement and elaborated a bit about how makers set “missions” for themselves and learn from the play that is involved in reaching those goals.

 

click on this embedded image below to get a 360 view of Dale speaking!

I’m eager to get into the buildings to start meeting the makers! I’ll post more pictures soon.

This is a picture from the setup last night. I just love the robots in traditional garb. They have so much personality!