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The best of Maker Faire Bay Area 2012

By A M
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Over the weekend, I got the chance to check out the Maker Faire in San Mateo, California. (If you’ve never been to Maker Faire, I’d recommend you find the festival nearest you, and make a point to go!)

The two-day long festival is a mecca for makers and traditionally attracts an array of innovative electronic gadgets, art sculptures made of re-purposed materials, fun science exhibits and kid-friendly contraptions that often go on to festivals like Burning Man.

This year was no exception. From “Face Forward,” a 12-foot tall aluminum face with full expression to an army of giant cardboard robots—I was thoroughly impressed by all the creativity and craftsmanship on display.

Here are some of my favorite attractions. 

Highlights from Bay Area Maker Faire 2012

This umbrella tree looks calm, but watch out for the random shooting flames out the side! 

Umbrella Tree Maker Faire 2012

Over 12 joysticks manipulated the lips, eyes and eyebrows of “Face Forward”—an interactive 12-foot tall aluminum face by Christian Ristow.

Face Forward Maker Faire 2012

The fire shooting out the top of this interactive piece is activated with the push of a button.

Maker Faire 2012

With malleable, water-squirting robots on display, even the kids got in on the action.

kids at maker faire 2012

And of course, at Maker Faire, a pile of bikes doubles as a giant clock. 

Bike clock maker faire

Getting around in the Maker Faire

At one of the world’s largest maker festivals, it’s not surprising that there were lots of creative alternatives to walking.

biker at maker faire

Why walk when you can ride a giant green snake with a smile? Not only does this contraption get you around, but it uses see-saw momentum to move you and another rider forward. Where can I get one of these? 

see-saw snake

The ‘cyclecide’ was one of the last attractions on the way out of the festival, and a great way to expend your last bit of energy. 

Cyclecide at maker faire

What was your favorite part of Maker Faire 2012? Share your favorite experience in the comments section below!