This maker spotlight was brought to us through Maker Faire Rome. You’ll be able to find them and many more creative and exciting makers at Maker Faire Rome: The European Edition on October 18-20. Get your tickets now!
Who are you?
I am an entrepreneur, musician, inventor, biologist and parent, but if people ask me what I do, I usually answer that I am an artist. I believe that art and science have a strong reciprocity to each other, and I think that only through each other do these two faculties gain importance. It amuses me endlessly when science catches up and turns fiction into reality.
Where are you located?
I grew up in Norway but I now live in Vienna, Austria. Being in the center of the European Union is highly inspiring, and provides great possibilities in so many ways. In addition to having an exciting variety of cultures, Vienna is also an international hub for a lot of organizations and trade.
What is your day job?
I work on my entrepreneurial project, Personal Robotics. Personal Robotics is my childhood dream being realized. Growing up as a science fiction buff I always wanted to be surrounded by robots and aliens. As science is catching up with science fiction, I found that it is time to fill the world with properly awesome robots. (I’ll do the aliens later, promise!)
What makerspace/hackerspace/fablab do you attend if any?
I have been a member of the Viennese Happylab (http://happylab.at) for many years now, and it has been very helpful and inspiring. It is located near my home, so I have spent many a night there tinkering and building stuff.
What kinds of stuff do you make?
Currently it’s mostly robots but I also build loudspeakers, record players and synths and brew beer when I have time (and space).
I am just finishing up my first Personal Robotics product, which is a robotic biped kit made out of wood. It is based on the Raspberry Pi Zero and will be an affordable and simple platform for the implementation of AI projects and similar. It will be available as a kit which will be shared as an open source project.
How did you get started making stuff?
I’ve been making stuff all my life, mostly out of wanting something unique and not having enough money to buy the really cool stuff that I wanted. I soon realized that the best way to learn something was to explore it by constructing, thus breaking with the confinements of available products and solutions. I am a big fan of knowledge sharing and open source, which has had a great impact on my personal development as a maker. Also, becoming a member of a fablab certainly opened a door to tremendous opportunities.
Personal Robotics was then started while I was pretty bored working a desktop job for an NGO. As I was watching “Ghost in the Shell” I realized the potential of the current progress but also that the technical development was not going in the direction that I desired, so I decided to start a robot company instead.
What is something you’ve made that really stands out, that you’re proud of?
I’m mostly proud of whatever I made the last, even if it is just dinner. However, the most perpetual feeling of pride is given to me by my children.
What do you have on your horizon?
Getting Personal Robotics off the ground and making really cool robots an household item for everyone.
What is something you’d like to work with but haven’t yet?
Any advice for people reading this?
Stop thinking so damn small!