I don’t usually make a big deal of my upcoming weekends, but when I get the chance to hang out in a human-size mouse trap, buzz around a giant Hand of Man robot, or get my code on competitively in a variety of hacker races, it’s worth talking up a bit.
Before you wonder whether I’ve managed to contract an unhealthy dose of hallucinogenic corporate cube fever, don’t panic! I’m referring to the upcoming Maker Faire, to be held at the San Mateo County Fairgrounds on the 18/19 of May.
Maker Faire, created by Make magazine back in 2006, stitches together the arts and crafts with engineering and science.
It’s a huge science fair for the general public, where Do-It-Yourselfers are free to roam around unleashed (usually on their segways) wearing propeller beanies and flashy LED pins without anybody judging them. Much.
Tinkerers little and large take center stage at Maker Faire, showing the world their zany contraptions and electrifying experiments, while trading tips and tricks for others who want to follow in their low power footsteps.
And Atmel, I’m proud to say, is all over it.
Why? Because in many ways, Atmel powers the maker movement, with its tech at the heart of so many maker designs. It helps, of course, that Atmel microprocessors are the chips of choice for the Arduino platform, both in their AVR flavor and ARM varieties.
Arduino has democratized hardware in a way that allows anyone – young or old, engineer or not, rich or poor – to scratch their own itch and create anything they can imagine.
As Arduino’s founder, Massimo Banzi, puts it, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to create something great.”
Indeed, with Arduino even finding its way into every single MakerBot 3D printer, creativity now really knows no bounds.
At Maker Faire, Atmel will be right across from our friends and partners at Arduino (Booth #625 and #619 for the location sticklers) and along with a pretty slick booth design made up entirely of cardboard furniture (Chairigami!!), we’ll have quite a bit going on.
For starters, we’ll have some MakerBot demos and an “IoTorium” (which I’m assuming is an emporium of awesome Internet of Things devices).
Speaking of awesome “things”, the folks from PuzzleBox will be pitching up in Atmel’s booth with their brain-controlled helicopters, alongside the cool riders from Faraday Bikes who will be peddling their electric bicycle wares.
We’ll also have some cute hackable Hexbugs crawling around and for those keeping an eye on the time, some smart watches from Secret Labs (shhhh!).
The Maker movement is a passionate one, and Atmel’s pretty passionate about being a part of it. If you can’t make it to Maker Faire, no sweat. You can follow all the goings on via Twitter. Just look for the hashtags @makerfaire, @atmel, @arduino.
Hope to see you there!