Thursday, June 4, 2009

Maker Faire 2009

W and I went to the Maker Faire this past Sunday. This is our first time back since the second one in 2007. Let me tell you: it is a lot more organized than it was back then, although my fear of things randomly catching on fire hasn't abated.

I'm not sure if this was a steady evolution or an all-at-once change, but this year's fair seemed to lean more heavily into Burning Man/steampunk elements than before. They still had lots of great robot demos. W kept getting exasperated with me, I think, because I have a very pedestrian idea of robotics, and he has an engineer's understanding of them (which is to say, "realistic"). We had about 5 conversations like these:
Me: (watching a robot catch a ball thrown at it) You can build that, right?
W: Um, not really.
Me: But you built a robot that can follow a black line across the floor.
W: Yeah, but that like one sensor that look for and track a binary signal, whereas this robot needs to not only track in 3D, but also predict the velocity of a moving object and other reasonable things.
Me: (silently judging Stanford Engineering for substandard robot curriculum)

So yeah, more organization, more corsets, equal amount of firepower, more precocious children (one wearily corrected another child over a misidentified Coke: "It's a PELLEGRINO...can't you read?")

No comments: