Walking in a Maker Wonderland: Makerland Day 3

Walking in a Maker Wonderland: Makerland Day 3


Day 3 of Makerlanda new European maker conference, was a whirlwind of maker activity. More than 300 makers formed teams and set out to complete a project for the hackathon in only one day.

The parts from the workshops were all made available which included LEGO, SumoBot Jr. kits, tons of servos, and controllers like the Spark Core, the Raspberry Pi, and the Arduino Uno and Arduino Yun. Over thirty 3D printers were active making custom parts for teams, and participants scavenged raw materials such as cardboard, coffee cups, forks, and discarded drink cans and bottles. Duct tape, hot glue, and Sugru were all in high demand.

Hackathon materials

At the end of the hackathon, 27 teams demonstrated their projects to great applause and cheers from the audience. Check out the slideshow to see some of the projects, including the winners of the hackathon.

With so many projects completing at the same time, it was challenging to get pictures of all of them. Luckily, attendees actively shared project demos using the #makerland hashtag – here are a few of my favorites:

Bag light used a proximity sensor to know when to illuminate the inside of a large bag. After seeing a demonstration, I heard one attendee loudly exclaim – “I WANT ONE!”

Each attendee was given a Spark Core, so many attendees used the hackathon to learn how to use the Spark Core for their project.

Mobile Vikings sponsored the event (and provided each attendee with a local SIM card + 2gigs of data which was amazingly helpful for those of us that were not from Poland!). They had a bunch of these plastic viking helmets which were then hacked to indicate status of a remote server or a development build process.

This robot walker, inspired by RHEX from Boston Dynamics,  is built from 3D printed Bitbeam and is controlled by the Spark Core.

I sat next to Jon & Swift as they built “Flipper”, their SumoBot designed to flip other robots. While I struggled to concentrate in such a busy environment, they seemed to effortlessly create a robot that not only worked, it worked well.

It always amazes me how talented people can go from idea to functional project in a day, and the Makerland hackathon left me (and LOTS of others) energized and ready to go home to make new things.

This is just one of the successful outcomes of a maker conference like Makerland. Later this week, I’ll post an interview with an attendee to share her reactions to her first maker conference, and my thoughts on why you should attend a maker conference like Makerland. Stay Tuned!

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Ian is a co-founder of The Maker Effect Foundation, a non-profit group organized to amplify the effects of makers within their communities. The Maker Effect Foundation's programs include Maker Faire Orlando, and MakerFX makerspace in Orlando. Ian is also a board member of Nation of Makers, and a member of FamiLAB, Orlando's Hackerspace.

View more articles by Ian Cole


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