The Pittsburgh Maker Faire is a convention where makers of all age ranges, backgrounds, and talents come together to form “The greatest Show and Tell on Earth!” Pittsburgh Natives and non-residents travel from their workshops to the Pittsburgh Maker Faire to display their works and to try and change the world through the next great invention.
Hosted on Pittsburgh’s North Side, the massive two-day event expo showcases more than 250 different Do It Yourself workshops. The workshops can range from anywhere to a simple way to reconfigure your lighting with a “Switcheroo,” or learning how to build synthesizers out of simple “Makey Makey” tools and some wire. The Makers at the Pittsburgh Maker Faire never ceased to amaze the crowd, changing just how others viewed the power of technology.
While there were many different inventions that catered to the more technologically advanced crowd, there were still inventions that even small children could pick up and understand in an instant. “Draper and Dots” was a music education tool that gave basic sampling and mixing techniques to children. This was an invention that not only made something intimidating like sampling seem unchallenging, but it also made learning and creating music engaging and entertaining.
The entire basis of the Maker Faire was making clean and affordable changes to already known household items, or completely making new inventions. The “Pedal Powered Main Stage” presented by Green Mountain Energy was a clean and energy efficient way to power up a main stage without using any outside electricity. The people would ride the bikes which were conveniently the Healthy Ride bikes, to produce kinetic energy to power the stage. Seeing people of all ages, both men, women, and children all pedaling as fast as they could to let speakers play, or to even produce clean drinkable water was certainly an interesting idea that used the Healthy Ride bicycles in a unique way.
There was also a “Drone Zone” where the regions best pilots would pilot their drones and answer any possible questions as well. The constant tinkering that occurred and the dozens of different drone types both for flight and maneuverability gave attendees a glance at how outstanding drones could become for daily life. Drones are no longer used for just entertainment. There are drones that can work for others, making daily life a thing of ease. The Maker Faire showcased what seemed to be a future that was not so far away.
Lastly, the Pittsburgh Maker Faire showcased the “Power Racing Series” which is a blend of Derby Races from the Boy scouts and the “craziness that occurs during Mario Kart.” A different description could not have been any better at letting people understand just how intense the races truly were. The engineering, mathematical, and creative properties that went into each of these cars was truly magnificent. From the DeLorean of the “Back to the Future” series, to the “Ghostbusters” van, the limits on the types of autonomous cars were endless.
If by chance the Makers or people attending The Faire would become hungry, more than a dozen food trucks were there for consumption. Anything from Bar-Ba-Cones from South Side Barbecue Company, which is mac & cheese, pulled pork, and coleslaw all topped off in a waffle cone, to the delicious Franktuary hot dogs, to the Mediterranean gyros and rice from Pittsburgh Halal Truck. If inventions were not your thing, then the food was surely enough to keep The Maker Faire a must attend event for the future. The Maker Faire answers many of the the questions of tomorrow, today.