Sydney Mini Maker Faire

Maker Faires are nothing new, they have been occuring in the US and other places for quite a while now, but this is the first for Sydney.

For those who don’t know they are place for people to share their interest in just making things – usually with a leaning towards the usage of technology in the mix.

The first maker faire in Sydney was held last Sunday at the Powerhouse museum. I was a bit concerned if they would:

  • Get sufficient people turning up, and,
  • Be able to host the event without it being crowded.

I shouldn’t have been worried, we arrived dead on 10am and encountered a queue to get in!

There were stands literally on every floor in little groups, so you had a nice mix of being able to look at the exhibits and then dig into some deep tech.

Myself I was mostly interested in the electrical/robotic side of things. My youngest quickly found the freetronics stand and went to work trying to work out which Arduino boards he wanted for his money (I got him the Freetronics Ardunio Experimenter Kit for his birthday). I managed to have a interesting chat with Jonathan Oxer over everything Arduino and how things have progressed over the years. Jonathan even signed an Arduino book for my youngest to encourage him to write more clearly – top bloke!

There was even a stand demonstrating a DNA replication device (or something akin to that) – got into an interesting chat about DNA and how its not just only way we adapt or encode information in our cells… Darwins Radio indeed..

I was most impressed by the range of stands and technologies. There was even an Edge of Space balloon project (Loki-1 part of a Scout group) which again my youngest took intense interest in questioning to find out what animals theoretically could be launched into space… I’m going to keep an eye out for high flying chickens…

There was also a decidedly robot centric set of stands, a mix of home made robots and some stands demonstrating how Lego Mindstroms could be used to teach robotics and programming skills.

Also managed to bump into David Jones of EEVblog fame and say hi, included below is the video from his blog of the day, he managed to spend the whole day there (I had a deck which required attention before it rained unfortunately).

So if you are into technology and ‘hacking’ stuff together – keep your eye out for the next Sydney Maker Faire. Great to see so much local talent and drive for this.