Maker Faire Rome 2020: Where Innovation Is A Way Of Life

Maker News
Maker Faire Rome 2020: Where Innovation Is A Way Of Life

You can tune into the #MFR2020 LIVESTREAM content on the Maker Faire Rome You Tube channel!

Each year Maker Faire Rome brings something fresh to the event—new technology and design for interactive experiences or a commitment to be carbon neutral, as they did in 2019. This year is no exception. For 2020, the Maker Faire Rome production team Innova Camera, based out of the city’s Camera di Commercio Roma, has created a unique immersive platform through which participants can explore the 9 thematic pavilions, 300+ maker exhibits, and an ongoing livestream that brings content and collaboration together across four days—from anywhere in the world.

YouTube player


The event kicks off with a conference that aims to put the challenges and rewards of this unprecedented year into perspective. As has become tradition, Arduino founder Massimo Banzi introduces a series of talks that bring together global innovators who look at what makers have achieved this year and frame how we can Re-Make the World Together. The two-hour trip from California to Kenya will move from robotics to artificial intelligence, from fashion and design to the circular economy and sustainability. Oussama Khatib and Bernie Roth from Stanford University bring the world of robotics, making, and design into focus. Anouk Wipprecht (her recent work below – a prosthetic arm for dancer Angelina Bruno and photographer Harry Boeki) and who worked with Cirque du Soleil in 2019) will delve into fashion tech and wearable technologies, and Barbara Caputo will detail the themes of artificial intelligence.


A focus on “Maker Response” shares the pandemic experiences of Italian, African, and American makers combating  disease and improving health and safety systems. Gui Cavalcanti, founder of Open Source Medical Supplies, and Cristian Fracassi of Isinnova, who touched off a world wide mobilization from makers by 3D printing Venturi valves for ventilators (see Charlotte valve video below) in Italy’s pandemic ravaged hospitals in March are among the speakers. The conference will be held for free, online, Thursday, December 10th @ 18-20 hr CET (9am PT / 12pm ET). See the full list of speakers HERE.

YouTube player


This year Make Faire Rome will also feature the 2020 edition of Data Driven Innovation (DDI) on December 10th. DDI, from University of Roma Tre and “Piero Calamandrei” Foundation, is where data scientists and application specialists explain how the culture of data is changing our society and economy. DDI2020 will take place on the MFR digital platform and will discuss Biomedicine, Marketing; Predictive Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Government, Mobility, Tourism, Industrial Processes, Big Data Analytics and any other sector where data has (and will have) a disruptive impact.


This year Maker Faire Rome can be accessed on a unique, interactive platform divided into thematic channels alongside a Live Main channel where many stories of innovation will be told during the days of the event. A real television studio will be operational in the spaces of the former Gasometer in Rome and from there will be live links to innovators right where they are working or experimenting. University labs are participating by offering tours and participants can meet inventors where they are working and experimenting, furthering the MFR team’s goal of keeping education at the forefront of the event.


Two unmissable live streams will take viewers to Antarctica and the Arctic thanks to the CNR (Italy’s National Research Council) and the new Institute of Polar Sciences on the theme of climate change and the scientific research that is carried there. Image from INTERACT.


This year, you will not have to come to Rome: they will bring you the future wherever you are, for free, on your phone, tablet or PC. Participants can access the platform December 10-14th with a simple registration portal on the Maker Faire Rome website. To improve your experience, you can profile yourself by expressing preferences on the themes and activities that you expect to find during the event. You will receive suggestions and notifications in line with your interests. While browsing, you can assign likes, share content, chat with makers and exhibitors, ask questions or participate in the “Meet the Exhibitor” live meetings to learn more about the projects on display. In addition, there is calendar of live events, talks, webinars, workshops and conferences on the main themes of innovation, and new topics that the pandemic has presented. WATCH the LIVESTREAM on YOUTUBE or FACEBOOK.


Given its scope, Maker Faire Rome always provides participants the opportunity to explore and connect a wide range of topics and to experience that eye-opening moment of surprise which Maker Faire’s around the world are renown: agritech, foodtech, digital manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence, mobility, circular economy, health (especially robotic surgical techniques), IoT, recycling, data science, sport tech, and fashion are all represented in the curation. Dedicated sections of Maker Art and Maker Music will explore the intersection between arts, music, science and technology. Here are a few highlights to mark on your calendar:

First stop, the events calendar…there’s something for everyone. See all events HERE.


In collaboration with Riders AI and Officine Robotiche, Riders has created three unique competitions including a Drone Flying Race and a beginner and advanced Line Follower Race for attendees to participate in. The competitions cater to both beginner and advanced programmers. The goal behind the Drone Flying Race and the Line Follower Race is for competitors to use their coding skills to design an algorithm that navigates a course and achieves a score. The winner is the person who achieves the highest score, and the winners of all three competitions will be awarded valuable prizes.


A rapper in front of a chat screen, an aspiring rapper in front of a cell phone in chat ready to perform his freestyle as soon as the rapper in front of the screen, randomly, will choose him and allow him to enter the chat. One minute is the maximum time before the rapper / judge decides to move on to the next candidate. (12/11 @ 21:30 CET)

Alex is a bilateral exoskeleton for upper limb neuro-rehabilitation based on a innovative design that makes use of a new tendon actuated transmission to grant patients extreme wearability, low weight and high transparency during use. ALEx is a CE certified medical device.

Negev Innovation

Explore the Negev Desert on December 11th and 13th through live sessions which will let you travel across it, accompanied by the words of entrepreneurs, professors and researchers that are dramatically changing the Negev area. The Negev Desert represents 60% of Israel’s landmass but is home to just 8% of the country’s population—a “living laboratory,” and many research projects are making the desert bloom in areas such as desert agriculture, solar power, off-grid technology and water research.

YouTube player

SuperflatMath is a video game made to guide children, boys and girls into the amazing world of Mathematics. In a sandbox environment you will gather, create and destroy blocks of numbers to solve puzzles of any kind. Live 12/11.


YAPE (Your Autonomous Pony Express) is a terrestrial drone designed to perform autonomous last mile deliveries. Watch it HERE.

Social farming: the MOBI.RU.D. project for sustainable rural mobility and disability

Construction, development and fine-tuning of a self-propelled vehicle with electric traction to facilitate the mobility of disabled people with reduced mobility in rural environments, at the same time giving the possibility to carry out agricultural work. Maker: Dr. Mauro Pagano Ph.D.

Raspberry FLUSHHH

An add-on board for Raspberry Pi with PWM controlled fan, WS2812b RGB led and power on/off/reboot switch. Maker: THINKEDINTHESEA.


Documenting Cultural Heritage through the extraction of 3D measures with photogrammetry is fundamental for conservation. The aim of this project is to experiment with new ways to search for architectural heritage in video material. Deep Learning to find suitable images to process with photogrammetry for its 3D virtual reconstruction. Learn more about how to preserve your art using photogrammetry. Makers: Francesca Condorelli, Roberto Russo, Antonia Magkafosi.


CoderMarz is the only board game and STEM toy, that teaches about Mars facts, Coding and Artificial Intelligence concepts using a fun gameplay. Created by Samaira Mehta, who has held over 160 workshops that spotlight her board game, and taught over 5,000 kids to code.


UV light sanitizes the soles of your shoes with a motion activated UV lamp! Maker: Fab Lab Algeri Marino


From Waste To Wind is a start-up that builds open-source windturbines from plastic waste, elaborating on the work of Precious Plastics, Scoraig Wind, Otherpower, and others from the DIY- and maker community. Our wind turbines are designed for off-grid living—low voltage output en can very easily be used for battery charging.


The project consists of printing and assembling the necessary parts to make an ice cream machine. A project that not only employs new technologies, but also uses physics to freeze the mixture and thus make ice cream. A project that can be printed at home using a 3d printer and delight the whole family with good homemade ice cream.


These hybrids – part animal, part machine – are musings on the consequences of progress, a cyborg possibility. They are assembled from 3D printed, machined and laser-cut parts so that they appear cold and high-tech, in direct contrast to the organic forms that they animate.


Making Electric Vehicles 2020 is a course where 40 students between 9- and 16-years old build 14 karts starting from a wooden board. The newly designed karts are completely green, thanks to the wooden chassis and the electric propulsion. This translates into a two-meter-long vehicle with 44 km/h top speed ready for our Xavier Grand Prix. Maker: Making Open, Instituto M. Massimo


The new Zeno AUV is a new concept AUV, designed by the Italian company MDM TEAM srl. The vehicle, characterized by hovering capability, is equipped with 8 thrusters with an high level of isotropy allowing not only to perform survey but also to hover counteracting current from many direction. It is a light, 2 person portable vehicle characterized by high transportability and maneuverability.


In 2019, Maker Faire Rome’s curators highlighted “MakerArt” as a new section of the event, dedicated to exploring and furthering the relationship between contemporary art and new technologies. The number of artists participating has grown to over 40 from all over the world with new, experimental and engaging projects including: Juan Cortes, Ken Goldberg, Claudia Hart, Steve Lambert, Miltos Manetas, MASBEDO, Donato Piccolo, Signe Pierce, Quayola,  Michel Reilhac, Jakob Kudsk Steensen,  Celine Tricart, Lev Manovich, and Christiane Paul.

In collaboration with the startup AR Market, a unique project of its kind has been developed. Three artists—Rä di Martino, Elena Bellantoni, and Antoni Abad—will offer the public a representation of their concepts through augmented reality, through the app developed by AR Market and customized for MakerArt. Using a tablet or smartphone, people will be transported to a new dimension where reality merges with digital images. Likewise, the Rai Cinema application, will let participants experience projects in 3D / 360 / and for those with VR goggles bringing new opportunities for live events to explore the different boundaries of hybrid presentation. One of the awesome VR projects on offer:

AQUAPHOBIA uses VR to connect inner psychological landscapes with exterior eco-systems. The work is inspired by psychological studies of the treatment of aqua phobia – fear of water- as an entry point to transform perceptions of our relationship to future water levels and climates. You follow a water microbe guiding you through five stages of a breakup story, mixed with references to five steps patients treated for fear of water go through, and five parts of a virtual replica of Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in Redhook, Brooklyn, from subterranean mud tunnels to a bridge extending over future rising waters.

And it is not only the content, but the networks—as for makers everywhere and as Maker Faire’s around the world have evidenced—that drive creativity and cutting edge, cross disciplinary innovation. Asher Remy Toledo, director of Hyphen Hub, a New York-based non-profit organization that explores new visions of the future by integrating of art and emerging technologies, will give a talk about promoting new forms of art integrated with technology.


Art also includes a special focus on sound and music for the first time this year. Alex Braga, a conceptual and eclectic artist committed to creating a new type of organic sound, capable of enhancing human talent with the help of a new revolutionary instrument: A-MINT (Artificial Music Intelligence), created together with professors Francesco Riganti Fulginei and Antonino Laudani of the University of RomaTre.

YouTube player


The producers give thanks to the precious contribution of the many innovators who answered their calls: “for Makers”, “for Schools”, “for Universities and Research Institutes”. Thanks also goes to the numerous partners, public and private, who once again recognized the potential of the event and elected Maker Faire Rome as the ideal space for discussing the most innovative present and the future we are planning.

Featured photo: Apnea. This project documents the shipwreck that occurred in Lampedusa on October 3, 2013 and explores the emotional dimension of migrants crossing the sea. Maker: Vanessa Vozzo

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee