Episode V: The Inquisitive Tykes Back
In this episode Princess Abigail returns to the Denver Mini Maker Faire. She hunts desperately for R2-D2. As our intrepid young princess enters the faire she finds R2 serving drinks again. It appears astromech droids make for good bartenders, who knew? The work done on this conversion is… stunning. This IS the droid she’s looking for.
Princess Abigail has been looking forward to this Maker’s Faire since she attended her first one, THE first one in Denver last year. You can see the record of her adventures here. She was excited to build a project at the SparkFun booth. When we found it, she was disappointed to see that there was no Simon or watch project to speak of. Her Jedi guardian informed her this was likely due to a lack of space for such an undertaking, and potentially a reality of the economics of this side of the galaxy. She enjoyed the FLIR demonstration, the “printed” circuits, and digital synthesizer.
The Nerdy Derby was exciting to watch, but the impatience associated with being four prevented the princess from committing the time necessary to enjoy the derby itself. Her Jedi escort informed her that he would be able to acquire the vehicle blanks and 3D print the parts needed on his prntrbot. They could have their own nerdy derby, and the parts could be whatever colors she liked (and even made to look like My Little Pony).
Next she would be afforded the opportunity to make a “musical instrument.” After assembling it from hanging file folder bits, some paper wrap, masking tape, and rubber bands, she was able to reproduce… the mating call of a bantha? Well, it made noise, and at her age, noise was acceptable.
The synthesizer petting zoo was delightful. Many times she asked if she could acquire such goods to take back to her star system. Her Jedi escort reminded her that they were there to experience the entire Faire, and not just loiter at one particular location.
DenHack was the next booth that gave her and her Jedi escort pause. To understand the engineer there (identified as Radio Shack), this demonstration was one of using cheap stuff to produce an expensive simulation. There was an entire ships bridge constructed from inexpensive tablet computers, connected to an inexpensive laptop, producing an amazingly realistic view of a starship in space. The unique component of this demonstration was that the different positions were required to work together to accomplish tasks.