Did you ever want to walk a robot on a leash? Or learn how to make a robotic arm to do your bidding? Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire is excited to welcome back Trossen Robotics, a company committed to helping people learn about robotics and electronics, for a third year!
Trossen Robotics started in the late 2000s selling robot parts, but they’ve grown into designing and even manufacturing their own open source robotic kits, such as crawlers and humanoids. Grounded in a belief that community is critical–people can always use help when building things, experimenting, and sharing their experiences–Trossen wants to foster a community of builders through forums, blogs, and other support networks. And they want people to realize that anyone can learn how to make robots!
You do not have to be an engineer or have millions of dollars to build a robot. The field of robotics has something for everyone–from those interested in electronics and engineering to non-STEM fields like aesthetics and design–and Trossen is committed to helping everyone from the casual hobbyist to the university student working on a robot for their thesis.At this year’s Faire, Trossen will be showing off some of their amazing robots. People will have the opportunity to play with a variety of different robots, and even have fun walking a crawler robot on a leash. They will also be displaying their “voodoo robot,” with a large robotic arm and a smaller one that works like a controller, as well as some autonomous robots that use sensors to navigate the world.
Kyle Granat at Trossen Robotics told us that they are really excited about Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire this year and explained that people often leave the Faire in awe: not the kind of awe you would see at a car show or technology show, but the feeling of awe upon realizing that they can do some of the amazing things that see for themselves. We look forward to seeing them there!
WE’RE BACK! (Admit it, you missed us)
Schurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and local maker Christina Pei return with the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, celebrating teaching and learning for all ages of makers, new and old! For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world. Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done. If this describes you:
Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 2, 2015. We will be accepting applications until April 6. There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend! Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.
Questions? Contact us at ChicagoNorthsideMF@gmail.com
October 20, 2014
We went to a launch party: Chicago’s hardware store for designers, Inventables, presented their cool new 3D tabletop carving machine, aptly named “Carvey.” The next day, they launched their Kickstarter campaign with a funding goal of $50,000, which they reached in about 1 hour. How ’bout them apples, eh?
It was shockingly quiet, waaaay faster than 3D printing, and on Kickstarter for another 30 hours if you want first dibs.
We hope some of our makers are putting 3D carving to good use by the time the fourth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire comes around in May!
The Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire team visited the incredible Henry Ford Museum this weekend, site of the 5th annual Maker Faire Detroit. We played with, among other things, old school tractor engines, Power Wheels, hacked bikes, soldering, lockpicking, 3D printing, oh my! Over 400 makers turned out for this featured Faire. Here’s a little taste of what we saw:
If you missed Maker Faire Detroit, have no fear! It will return in July 2015.
Saturday, August 2nd
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ford City Mall
7601 South Cicero Ave
Chicago, IL 60652
Register HERE for free tickets!
May 3rd, 2014 marked the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, and the largest Chicago Maker Faire yet! 80 exhibiting makers, many of them young makers, and 2,000 attendees made this an amazing event. Thanks to everyone who made this happen!
For those of you who joined the fun, here’s a recap of some of our favorites. And for those of you couldn’t make it this year, here’s a taste of what you missed. Our veteran makers returned with some of the exhibits you’ve come to expect from Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire – lockpicking with TOOOL, soldering with Build-A-Blinkie, tinkering with hackerspaces, DIY projects from Chicago Children’s Museum, Build Your Own Chicago, FIRST Robotics presented by local high schools (Schurz, Lane Tech, Whitney Young), Blast the Nerds from the Schurz National Honors Society, and many more!
When you first entered Maker Faire, did you notice the aerial drones from Mad Lab Industries flying overhead?
Did you hitch a ride in a muffin baked by Oak Park Muffineering?
We grew so much this year that we needed to expand. For the first time, the stunning domed library was open for Maker Faire, housing a planetarium brought by the Adler Planetarium, all three major Chicagoland hackerspaces (Pumping Station: One, Southside Hackerspace, and Workshop 88), the Chicago Public Library, ChiBots, and Schurz’s own Anime Club.
The hallways were packed with student art, 3D printed designs, a Rube Goldberg device in action, a DIY photobooth, and a taste of the neat offerings of Chicago Electronic Distributors.
Of course, the cafeteria was a center of activity. We hope you also checked out the Electric Garden and Colossal Squid just across the hall, all the robots from the FIRST Robotics teams who presented in the Gym, and Schurz Digital Media making images and beats in the surrounding hall.
Did you check out the Shapeoko 2 from Inventables?
Did you make a giant mold, learn to solder, use a cyclic harmonograph, make pictures with fire, craft your own spa products, build your own Chicago, inflate a moon ball, fold some origami, etch an eraser stamp, needle felt a design, construct a hexbug, or build a kit from Brown Dog Gadgets? Whew! We were overwhelmed, too!
Don’t worry, we’re coming back in May, 2015 – more makers, more attendees, more stuff to DIY. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to always be in the know. That’s all folks! Keep on making, and come back for more!
Hello world! Want to make some awesome electronics? Then you definitely have to check out Chicago Electronic Distributors, a sponsor of Mini Maker Faire Northside Chicago. The company distributes electronic kits, preconfigured Raspberry Pis, and many other wonderful electronics. Craig LeMoyne started this internet based company in February 2013 when he started selling preconfigured Raspberry Pi, a credit card sized low cost computer that you can plug into a monitor or TV screen. In time, the company grew and now it sells a variety of products including electronic kits from Adafruit, Arduino, Spikenzie Labs, RaspBMC, Cyntech, and more.
In an interview, Craig LeMoyne said, “My goal is for people to know that building something electronic is a lot easier than you think. Soldering shouldn’t be scary, anyone can do it.” There is lots of information online and that you can learn from online tutorials. Plus, at Maker Faire this Saturday, you can try soldering for yourself with Build-A-Blinkie! If you’re a novice, Craig suggests making a TV B-Gone by Adafruit, which turns off all TVs!
Craig was drawn to the maker world because he feels that people should really try to make more of their own things. Chicago Electronic Distributor is a huge supporter of the maker community and the study of STEM subjects. The company also has a neat blog detailing various projects that people can do. For instance, in honor of the Polar Vortex, he wrote about making a digital thermometer. Sweet. Chicago Electronic Distributors is also looking for people to write blog entries about their projects so if you are interested, you should definitely talk to Craig LeMoyne via email or at Maker Faire.
At Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, Chicago Electronic Distributors is bringing various products like the TV B-Gone, a basic clock, a thermometer, and much more! You’ll get a chance to learn more about these electronic kits and the company. Chicago Electronic Distributors is looking forward to meeting its customers and supporters and learning more about the needs of makers in Chicago. Check out their website to learn more about the products and their projects: http://chicagodist.com/
You have to check out the wondrous machine called the Cyclic Harmonograph. Built by Peter Dalton, this hand-powered wooden machine uses a pulley system to create incredible circular interloping designs on paper. The Cyclic Harmonograph is a bit like a spirograph but it’s much larger and it uses pulleys instead of gears. The designs can be changed by five principle variables, such as changing the ratios between drawing arm and the paper, the rate of the movement of the drawing arm, and more. You can also change the paper and the pens to get different effects. But it’s not all about the pretty pictures. The machine is a wonder of mechanics. You can learn a lot about how rotary motion converts into lateral motion and much more.
The first Cyclic Harmonograph came about several years ago when Peter decided to try to put it together as a proof of concept. And it worked! Last year, his neighbor Katherine Edwards remembered the device as a kid and asked him to make one for a Tedx conference at University of Michigan. They collaborated and he built a larger Cyclic Harmonograph. It was a hit! Peter also showcases the machine on special days at the school where he works as a substitute teacher.
When I asked Peter what he wanted people to get out of his Cyclic Harmonograph, he told me that he wants you to know that you can take an idea, put it down on paper as a rough sketch, and figure a way to actually make it. It’s important to continue that process of discovery. Peter also advises that kids watch their family and friends to learn new things, like woodworking and sewing. So come on by to see the marriage of art and mechanics in the Cyclic Harmonograph and get your own design made before your very eyes!
This week, Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside took a field trip to South Side Hackerspace (SSH) at their headquarter in Bridgeport. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a hackerspace is a collective space where people interested in computers, electronics, and more can experiment and learn with other like-minded individuals. The hackerspace may also have equipment like saws, 3D printers, drills, and soldering guns, available for people to use on their projects. Classes are also held at SSH to teach various skills, like soldering.
South Side Hackerspace is a pretty happening place. Members join at various levels and have access to the space and its tools (with appropriate training and approval of board members). There is not one but two 3D printers in addition to lots of other machine tools for your projects. It’s an open learning environment. Right now, there is a weekly Machine learning meet up. But it’s not all about work; it’s a social space too. They just had their 2 year anniversary party!
One of the big focuses of SSH is education, especially for the youth. They want to provide a safe place for younger people to learn about science and technology. They’ve done several workshops partnering with Chicago Public Library (CPL). Right now, you have to be 18+ to become a member of the space (with possible options for 16-18) but they want to continue outreach as a resource for younger people in Chicago. They are currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds to make their space even cooler.
South Side Hackerspace is very excited to be coming out to Mini-Maker Faire for the third year! They can’t wait to meet people and share with them about SSH. They are going to show off one of their 3D printers. They’ll explain how it works and print out prototypes. So be sure to check them out and learn more!
Daley College’s Manufacturing Technology department is coming to Mini Maker Faire Northside Chicago! If you ever considered a career in robotics, computer integrated manufacturing, or factory automation or just think creating objects is neat, you should definitely check them out!
When we asked Ray Prendergast, Dean of College to Careers at Chicago City Colleges and former Director of Manufacturing Technology programs, about his hopes for Mini Maker Faire, he said that he wants people to be excited and manufacturing objects. Daley College is looking for people who are interested in creating and problem solving in the field of manufacturing. There are exciting possibilities in a career in manufacturing technology! Dean Prendergast stressed that all students learn both computer skills, like how to use a computerized lathe and a 3D printer, and traditional manufacturing skills, like welding and milling. In addition, students will learn quality assurance and business skills like lean manufacturing. Students also learn about green technology since that is essential in today’s business world. In a 2013 Chicago Tribune profile, Dean Prendergast said, “Companies want people with a technical background, but also with a good sense of business and organizational skills.”
For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Daley College will bring a computerized lathe and more. A lathe is a machine that works materials by rotating them; it can cut, sand, drill, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to design a part and watch the lathe make it before their eyes! Attendees can also learn more about the educational offerings of Daley College.
Chibots is coming to Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside! Based in Schaumburg, IL, Chibots has been committed to making robotics accessible to everyone for about fourteen years. Back in 2000, many people thought that robotics was too complex to anyone to get involved in, but that’s not true! even 8 year olds can, just look at these toys for 9 year old boys. Thankfully, some forward-thinking individuals thought otherwise and founded Chibots to make robotics accessible to everyone. And there is nothing like working on your robot and then getting see the immediate results when it starts working (or not working). The excitement is tangible.
Chibots continues fulfilling its mission today through a variety of venues: monthly meetings, an online forum/group, and various events in the Chicago region. Chibots showcases its robots at libraries and Science Nights at middle and high schools. In addition to these events, they hold their own competitions. Previously, they’ve held events like Mini-Sumo, a form of sumo style fighting, and Line Maze, where robots try to complete mazes. Recently, they’ve been hosting a larger competition called SRS RoboMagellan. SRS RoboMagellan is a competition where robots have to navigate to three traffic cones, avoiding obstacles. People can use GPS, sensors and much more to try to accomplish the task. The contestants are graded on speed and accuracy. Chibots’ next SRS RoboMagellan is coming up soon so you should definitely check it out. Or better yet, you should build a robot to compete!
For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Chibots will be showing off a selection their robots in action. They’ll also bring some video of old competitions, like Mini-Sumo! ChiBots wants you to get excited about learning more about robotics and wants to help kids to get more involved in STEM related activities. ChiBots want you to know: “We are here. We are willing. We are able. All we need is your interest in robotics!”