Excuse the pun, but this really is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth. This weekend the New York Hall of Science will host its fifth annual Maker Faire, which has been described as “the ultimate geek fest,” but is actually a family-friendly celebration of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness. More than 750 makers — including tech enthusiasts, crafters, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubbers, and artists — will be at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park venue, showing off their DIY creations and hands-on activities. Expect everything from personal drones to humanoid robots that can take blood pressure and dispense medications. Cupcake cars, Swap-O-Rama-Rama, and smart lamps are possible.
More photos and a partial list of inventions that will be on display after the jump.
Some highlights planned for this year’s weekend include:
- BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Cereal: Puffed cereal, a breakfast staple, debuted at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The Puffing Gun (above) is a traveling 3,200-pound, historically accurate, and custom-made cereal-puffing gun, recreated from a 1939 patent that explodes ingredients into crispy puffs.
- Plastic Storm Sculpture: Created by artist George Sabra, the Plastic Storm sculpture is a 14-foot high storm funnel made out of reclaimed plastic bottles, cups, jars, and caps which represents the massive ”storm” of plastic waste humans generate on a daily basis. This project intends to raise worldwide awareness among citizens regarding the waste and hazards of the use of plastic and its environmental impact.
- Help is at Hand: Created by young maker and robotics enthusiast Ananya Cleetus, Help is at Hand is a robotic prosthetic hand for leprosy victims that includes a 3D printed robotic hand using InMoov CAD files and a flex sensor glove that controls servos for the robotic hand using an Arduino.
- Thompson & Dundy’s Luna Park, 3D Printed: Entirely 3D printed, this is a 1:13 scale replica of Coney Island’s famed Luna Park as it stood 100 years ago, populated with 3D scanned portraits of Coney Island’s most interesting characters.
- Paper Worlds – Transforming Books: Paper engineering artist Natalia Draz creates books that bend, unfold, reveal and stretch into a multiple forms. Her creations are the ultimate in pop-up books and experiential storytelling. Attendees will be able to see how geometric shapes change flat paper into amazing spaces and even take on making something themselves.
- LUM: This smart lamp delivers an optimal and consistent sleeping pattern and environment for children by allowing kids to set the self-regulating light to their own bedtime routine and controlling it via their favorite stuffed animals. Attendees can set up the time to see how the sleep environment is created and control the night lamp with a teddy bear.
- ALAIR (Assisted Living Autonomous Internet Robot): From Ben Hylak, teen maker and robotics enthusiast, ALAIR is an autonomous robot that aims to help elderly people take care of themselves. This robot can take blood pressure, pulse ox, body temp, and even dispense medications. With the goal of helping baby boomers age gracefully, ALAIR can make it possible for the elderly to live independently, longer, and with good care.
- PicassoBot: PicassoBot is an open source drawing arm robot that can take pictures from the computer or an Android camera and sketch them on paper. USB-powered and Arduino-compatible, this robot kit is perfect for learning at all ages. The kit was developed to help teach students simple robotic concepts and use their imagination to create.
- 3D Printing Village: Last year’s 3D Printing Village took the topic to new heights, showcasing the possibilities that abound with 3D printers. This year, the Village is back and bigger than ever with more makers showcasing the advancements, innovations, and potential of 3D printing.
Details: World Maker Faire New York 2014, New York Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street, Corona, September 20th, 10 am to 7 pm, and September 21st, 10 am to 6 pm. Rain or shine. Prices vary and requires purchase of a Maker Faire ticket.
Photos: Maker Faire