Monday, August 02, 2010

Maker Faire Shows Off Quirky Tech

GLITR, Local News,Technology

Thousands of do-it-yourselfers, inventors, musicians, crafters, and assorted technology nerds gathered at the Henry Ford in Dearborn Saturday for the first-ever Maker Faire Detroit.

The event’s displays, from more than 260 “makers,” ranged from advanced electric vehicles to homemade electronic musical instruments to arts and crafts.

And then there were some things that simply defy description, like the life-sized Mouse Trap game. Or the giant air compressor with hundreds of air horns and whistles attached. Or the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir, an old Volvo covered by hundreds of mechanical lobsters and fish — that move in unison to music.

There’s a baker’s dozen of videos on the Maker Faire at the GreatLakes Innovation and Technology Report’s YouTube page at

There were carnival style rides as well, but with a twist — a huge swing that passed its riders under streams of water, a set of bicycles that spun around like a top under human power.

Several companies also offered displays on high-tech 3D printing, computer-aided engineering, soldering and metalworking.

There were also displays of what happens when you mix Coke and Mentos, a race of children’s toy cars, and several robotics displays, from FIRST Robotics to military robots from the University of Michigan.

Model rocketry hobbyists also launched dozens of rockets in the front lawn of the Henry Ford Museum.

Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, said the event was a natural for the American history museum and attraction to host, because The Henry Ford “is all about innovation.”

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