National Maker Faire pitched its bigtop for the second year on the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) campus last weekend as part of our nation’s Week of Making celebration. The Maker Faire team, which seems to have almost magical powers at this point, flew into town, waved their magic wands around (OK, they worked their butts off), and a wonderful and inspiring event emerged from their efforts, along with the hard work of dozens of volunteers, participating individuals and organizations, and sponsors. Even in the midst of the DC summer heat beat down, fairgoers were in high spirits as they attended inspiring talks and workshops and got to see DC area makers, makerspaces, businesses, educational groups, and maker-engaged government organizations proudly displaying what they’ve been working on. You can read the live blog that we ran during the event here.
During the event, Marc de Vinck and Adrian Muys were also capturing video. Here is a collection of those videos if you missed them on the Maker Faire YouTube channel.Dale chats with the wonderful Yoshi Maisami, organizer of National Maker Faire and co-founder of Nation of Makers. Special guest appearance by the “Green Juggler.” Dale talks to Professor Pawan Tyagi from the Nanotechnology Lab in the Mechanical Engineering Dept at UDC about the work they’re doing and Prof. Tyagi gives us a tour of the lab. In this charming little interview, Dale talks to Sai Matukumalli, an Ellicott City, MD 5th grader who created his own smart home project after teaching himself Arduino and basic electronic circuits. John Choi of Carnegie Mellon University talks to Dale about Mobius, a modular, human-sized robotic system with attachments for handling various tasks. The robot is designed to handle everything from acting as a telepresence bot to the all-important task of delivering bagels. Navajo Tech University impressed us last year with their 3D printed 3D laser scanner. This year they were back, with the scanner and a robotic finger prosthesis project. They are hoping to eventually combine their projects to create a system where people with amputations could have their remaining appendages scanned to create 3D printed prosthetics. In this very inspiring interview, Dale talks to Ben Harris from Burlington Makers in Burlington, NC. Seventeen members of the Burlington community, from various organizations, and even including the mayor of Burlington, came to the Faire to show off some of things they’ve been doing to transform their community through the maker movement. Tony from Microsoft, a sponsor of National Maker Faire, talks to Make:’s Marc de Vinck about some of the Internet of Things and programming for kids technologies that they’re working on. Marc de Vinck talks to Brandon of RadioShack about what the company is up to these days. Contrary to what people may think, RadioShack is not dead. The company was cocooned for awhile, after closing down a large number of their retail locations, but they’re back, working on new product development, and hoping to triumphantly rise from the ashes. They were at Maker Faire running the always-popular Learn to Solder tent. Mana Momen of Positive Deviancy (a group that finds tech solutions for kids with autism) shows Dale her model of a human brain neuron. The device helps people visualize the firing of neurons using an EEG headset controlled by an Arduino. One of the highlights of National Maker Faire was a special “State of Making” breakfast that was held on Saturday morning at the new UDC Student Center. The event was hosted by Maker Media and sponsored by Arrow Electronics. Local-area maker movement leaders and the White House’s newly announced ten “Champions of Change” were invited. Speakers included Megan Smith, US Chief Technology Officer, and Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology. The impressive Maker City Playbook was also announced during this event.