Food Robots, Edible Circuits, and Cupcake Drums Sweeten Maker Faire Tokyo

Maker News
Food Robots, Edible Circuits, and Cupcake Drums Sweeten Maker Faire Tokyo

Tokyo is one of those cities that’s absolutely a natural fit for hosting Maker Faire. Simultaneously rooted in ancient tradition and the latest tech, the event and community offer many varied aspects of making. Now in its sixth year, Maker Faire Tokyo, taking place August 5 and 6 at Tokyo Big Sight and organized by the team at Make: Japan, is on track to host more than 450 maker exhibits, 100 more exhibits than last year. Roughly 23,000 people are expected to attend. Among the central themes of this year’s Faire are food-based exhibits and projects that employ deep learning and image recognition. Let’s take a look at some of the projects that will be on display this year.

Watching the official recap video from last year’s Faire, the joy and excitement of the event are palpable:

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Food Robots

The organizers wanted to expand their offering food-based exhibits, and many food-making robots answered their call. Here are just a few.

Crepe-Making Robot

Like a DJ spinning out a delicious treat, MoriRobo‘s crepe-making robot “Crep” was very popular at last year’s Faire. Crep automates the tough part of making crepes so you can apply your energy to creatively enhancing them.

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Takoyaki, snack balls made of wheat flour and other ingredients, is a very popular snack in Japan. Come marvel at how OctoChef prepares takayaki for you to season and enjoy.

Robot Cafe

If you’re thirsty, come see Yamada Shacho’s Robot Cafe, a mobile cart with a refrigerator on the base level and a robot on the second level, who fishes a soda out of the cooler, twists off the cap, and pours you a cold glass of soda.

BreadBoard Baking

Okay, so a robot didn’t make these sweet treats, but we had to include BreadBoard Baking because they’re so awesome. Come see their unique offerings of cracker oscillators, circuit diagram icing cookies, and drum cupcakes!

Image-Recognition Projects

There’s quite an assortment of projects this year that employ deep learning, “part of a broader family of machine learning methods based on learning data representations, as opposed to task-specific algorithms.” In that realm, here are a few of the projects that use image recognition to sort cucumbers, birds, pineapples, and more.

Cucumber-Sorting Assistance System

Makoto Koike (Workpile) is a cucumber farmer in Kosai, Shizuoka. When he’s not busy growing cucumbers, he makes helpful devices, like his Cucumber-Sorting Assistance System, which garnered a great deal of attention at last year’s Maker Faire Tokyo. The system sorts according to size, blemishes, and shape. Koike will be displaying the latest, most efficient version yet this year.

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Automated Wild Bird Observation System

F Craft Circle‘s Automated Wild Bird Observation System recognizes birds from the camera viewfinder and photographs them automatically, classifies them, and compiles the data. Using a web camera and a compact PC (NVIDIA Jetson TX1) the system identifies camera images on the spot and stores only bird images. Users can access image data and summary results via wireless LAN.


Eunoi‘s whimsical PPAP box is a device that recognizes pens, pineapples, and apples by deep learning. Because why not? His QR code puzzles will also be on exhibit.

Small Soccer Robots of RoboCup

RoboCup teams OP-AmP and Roots join forces to bring you the small but mighty team of fully automatic soccer-playing bots. The robots will demonstrate how they cooperate with each other and attack with passes and shoots, defending against the opponent!

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And Much More

These projects are just the tip of the big, beautiful maker iceberg. Kicking off with a keynote address by Maker Media and Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty, Maker Faire Tokyo offers a full lineup of presentations throughout the weekend. Browse through the 450+ maker exhibits to look for areas of interest, or just enjoy the process of discovery by wandering around the Faire. There’s even a special Maker Classroom schedule of education-focused activities for kids. Here are some of the featured exhibits.

Crowd favorite Nerdy Derby will be prepared to host many smiles and good times. Last year, 600 kids participated in creating little cars to race on the tracks.

The homemade musical instrument event DIY Music has been revived for the first time in several years. Come listen to unique music made by instruments like a desk-sized pipe organ, short wave radio, toy train, DigiLog’s Octa synthesizer (below), and more.

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The Olympic Games come to Tokyo in 2020, and Maker Faire Tokyo sends a nod to the event by incorporating electronics and sports. In the Make: Sports Challenge, three competitions are prepared using Sony’s new MESH tool.

This year’s Maker Faire Tokyo will also showcase new, innovative product launches. New functions for makers/hackers will be announced at the Faire for Toio, Sony’s new toy.

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In addition, the Japanese pre-release of the British-born microcontroller micro: bit will also be launched.

Tamiya’s Cam Program Robot Kit, with features that can load Arduino, Raspberry Pi and HTML, will also be available at the Faire.

This is definitely one event you don’t want to miss! Head to the Maker Faire Tokyo for all the information you need to attend. Even the R2 Builder’s Club and 501st Legion Japanese Troops will be there. 


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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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