When the U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced a grant available for whoever organized the first Maker Faire in Russia, a team at FabLab Moscow (FabLab77), the first fablab in Russia, enthusiastically applied and won. The result was last year’s Moscow Mini Maker Faire, which featured about 70 makers, drew 5,000 attendees, and brought Russian makers together.
The organizers were so inspired by the community support that this year they’ve scaled up to the first large-scale Maker Faire Moscow, taking place September 9 and 10 at the National University of Science and Technology MISiS. This year’s Faire will feature 120+ makers and a ton of workshops. Their focus is on showcasing the wide variety of makers and presenting infinite opportunities for attendees to go from observer to maker.
Lead organizer, Fab Lab Moscow cofounder, and university professor Vladimir Kuznetsov shares:
The first Maker Faire in Moscow had left us completely exhausted but deeply satisfied and happy. Despite lots of unexpected troubles of all kinds, we consider our first experience a great success. Thus, the recipe for 2017 seemed simple: we should do the same thing at double scale.
In fact, it was not linear. We strive to present makers of all possible activities at our festival, from handicraft to digital evangelists, but we thought it would be hard to double participant count. However, workshops and other hands-on activities will be almost quadrupled this year. We would like to leave no spectators and to invite all attendees to take part in the makers’ extravaganza. Popular workshops that proved to be hot last year will run nonstop this year. New workshops are coming to both makers booths and a few designated areas.
It is also worth mentioning that there is a shift toward individual makers among participants; the percentage of companies (startups, hackerspaces, etc.) is less this year. Perhaps this illustrates that the Maker Movement is centered around persons, not institutions.
Moscow Maker Sampler
With more than 120 makers sharing their amazing creations, there’s sure to be something that appeals to everyone. We asked Kuznetsov what the emerging themes of this year’s Faire are. Here’s what he shared:
Steampunk, cosplay as a maker culture, street culture, and outdoors. Another big thing that is still new for us is city farming. Meanwhile, the main theme for the forum part of the event is “City of Makers=City of the Future.” Modern cities are living through the formula “products in, trash out,” but cities of the future must generate most products (and recycle most of their trash) within city borders. It is becoming feasible with emerging distributed production systems, with fab labs and makerspaces serving the role of functional prototypes of future system. For us, that’s a development of the digital revolution idea, along with all its benefits, including decentralization and an information-based economy.
Below is just a small sampling of the many projects that will be waiting for you at this year’s Maker Faire Moscow. Be sure to also check out the full lineup of workshops and lectures, which will include a talk by Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty, pictured below with the organizing team from FabLab Moscow.
FabLab Moscow will have a large area devoted to personal digital fabrication, with everything from a three-in-one laptop factory to PrintZilla, their huge 3D printer.
Last year, local maker Yury Quint showed off his extremely realistic model of a velociraptor made as suit for a human performer. This year, Quint is bringing his baby tyrannosaurus rex robotized suit.
Fine Custom Mechanics
The guys from local motorcycle shop Fine Custom Mechanics were the first team of Russians to take place in the Bonneville Salt Flats races. They’ll bring a bike named Bony, which was built to set a record during Bonneville Speed Week. Bony has an one-cylinder engine from a 1950s Soviet Ural motorcycle and it’s the world’s fastest bike of its class.
Robot-octopus Vasily, created by the artists and engineers at Mechanium, led by Sergey Tsyss, is cheerful, sings songs, talks, squirts water, and plays music. Wherever he goes, he gathers a crowd around him! He’s quite a mysterious and optimistic misanthrope. He’s got a great sense of humor and many of his jokes come from the robot Bender from the beloved Futurama. He’s also an educational robot. It’s not by chance that he’s transparent. See what a robot looks like inside, complete with microcontroller, control drivers, switching units, relays, pumps, etc.
Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club: Red Fist Clan
Want to learn how to make your own Star Wars armor? Find out who the Mandalorian mercenaries are? Or see Boba Fett live?
Red Fist Clan is the Russian branch of the international organization Mandalorian Merc Costume Club!
Underwater Vehicle “Cousteau”
Come see remote-controlled unmanned underwater vehicle “Cousteau,” Developed by the Educational and Scientific Youth Center Hydronautics at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University to participate in international competitions in underwater robotics.
Led by architect and designer Lena Nguyen, City Farming aims to create home and city gardens, so that every city dweller could grow natural products all year round at home, using automated mini-greenhouses.
FunRobotLabs offers programmable intelligent DIY robot kits geared at students, allowing them to take their first steps in robotics and learn to program, create interesting robots, analyze information, work with electronics, and much more.
Center for Youth Innovation Creativity
The Center for Youth Innovation Creativity (CMIT) offers many opportunities to get hands-on with the tool offerings at their facility. Inspired by skateboarding being a favorite hobby of members, for the Faire, they’ve prepared a program about skateboards: the physics of skate tricks and how to make the ramp yourself.
For further insight into the Moscow maker community, the recap video from last year’s Faire offers some really interesting perspectives:
All the information you need to join the celebration is on the Maker Faire Moscow website!