If you’re in North Carolina—or even a neighboring state—it’s worth a trip to the NC State Fairgrounds this Saturday for Maker Faire: North Carolina, one of the many Mini Maker Faires around the country. This is the fourth year for MF:NC, and I can attest that it only gets better every year.
One of the makers you’ll meet is Dean Segovis, creator of Photon, an autonomous robot that is powered by four drive motors with the main board salvaged from a Roomba vacuum. It uses an Arduino as well and has five cameras on board recording what it sees, which it streams to the internet. Photon also has pre-programmed strings of text that give him a “personality” you can interact with.
“We were once a country of makers,” Segovis says about why he participates in Maker Faire. “We fixed things instead of throwing them away when they stopped working. We made our own tools and devices to get through the challenges of the day. I feel that I am part of the maker movement that is bringing back this mind set.”
You can find more of his projects on hackaweek.com, where he’s been posting projects weekly for more than two years.
A few of the makers and organizations you’ll see at Maker Faire: North Carolina are:
- Splatspace, A Durham hackerspace dedicated to STEM education and outreach
- NC Nearspace, which will be launching
- Firefly Laser (Sarah Redpath)
- ShopBot (Martha Barbour)
You’ll also meet the Whomping Willow team, a group of makers that created an award-winning contraption that hurls pumpkins hundreds of meters.
And if you’re not lucky enough to be in North Carolina this weekend, there’s almost certainly a similar Mini Maker Faire somewhere near you.