Maker Faire Oslo: Maker Tech

I learned the Norwegian word for maker, “skaper” at Maker Faire Oslo, a “Festivalen for Skapere.”

Here are some of the tech-related highlights that I came across at Maker Faire Oslo:

  • MicroFlo  This is an experimental open-source project to provide a visual flow-based programming environment for microcontrollers. Jon Nordby (@jonnor) is heading up the project. Jon is part of Bitraf, an Oslo makerspace that was well represented at the event.

  • Polarworks This solid 3D printer from Bengler is still in development. It is made from machined parts made in Italy but it’s a Norwegian invention. Its most distinctive feature is that the bed moves, and the extruder is stationary. Bengler claims that it will be the quietest 3D printer.

  • TerraFab “Own a piece of Norway”, which is one of the most incredible terrains on earth, says the TerraFab website, which is also part of Bengler. The free service allows you to select from topographical map and build a 3D model. You can send the model directly to a 3D printer service such as Shapeways, selecting small, medium or large sizes that range in price from $50 to $2,500. You can also download the 3D model to print on your own. However, the colorized model requires a high-end 3D printer.

  • Evolutionary Robotics Kyrre Glette presented a project on Evolutionary Robotics from the University of Oslo. He was controlling a multi-limbed robot. The project is described as “artificial evolution, a method inspired by natural evolution, for designing robot walking patterns as well as shape. We use 3D printing and physics simulators for computer games in the process.” What Kyrre told me is that it creates programs that generate new ways, say, for a robot to walk and then selects the ways that seem best.evo-robotics
  • PancakeBoIf there were a category for kid-magnet technology, PancakeBot would win, spatulas down. Miguel has been at Maker Faire NYC but now he was able to show his work in his own hometown of Oslo. I am of fan of PancakeBot, which is built out of Legos, and it has definitely improved over time. I asked Miguel if he saw others building pancakebots and he said he had shared his instructions with others, but the build is difficult. Sure would be a fun open-source project to create a family-friendly pancake bot for weekend mornings.

  • Handmade Work Fedor had a number of interesting creatures he made from plasticine clay. He made one of the more insightful comments I heard at Maker Faire Oslo.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

View more articles by Dale Dougherty


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