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Maker Faire Rome – Oct 2018

Maker Faire Rome – Oct 2018

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Maker Faire Rome: My 3-day Exhibition

On the 11th of October, I flew all the way to Rome (Italy) to exhibit my Voice ‘O’ Tronik robot at ‘Maker Faire Rome’ in ‘Fiera di Roma’! (it is an international showcase of projects by makers, crafters, artists, technologists, and startups).

This was my first Maker Faire, I felt excited about what people would think of my Voice ‘O’ Tronik Robot.  I made it earlier this year and I entered it for the Coolest projects UK competition. To my amazement, it won first place in the hardware category. It uses a Raspberry Pi 3 with the Google Cloud Speech API and was programmed using Python. The Voice ‘O’tronik Bot responds to 4 voice commands, “roll eyes”, “open mouth”, “move arms” & “wave arms”.

At Maker Faire Rome, there was a range of different exhibition halls (with a total of 700 stalls) and an average of 115,000 people in attendance. The Event lasted three days, from the 12 to 14 of October. People from all over the world attended and they came from 61 countries! This is very impressive!

There was a lot to see, there were 7 different halls to visit!:

Hall 4: Design/ life

Hall 5: Makers for space/ research

Hall 6: Circular Economy

Hall 7: Drones/ kids & education

Hall 8: Electronics/ fabrication

Hall 9: Young makers

Hall 10: Makers on stage

 On the first day, I walked into hall number 7 ( the building in which I was exhibiting my robot) and looked for the stand B6 which was my stand. Eventually, I found B6 and it had a display with my name and robot’s name on the wall. To me, it looked really cool! I felt very proud! I could not be there for the setup on Thursday the 11th because we arrived late that evening from London. On Friday morning, after a nice breakfast, I only had half an hour to set up before the public arrival at 9:00. On one side of the table, I installed my robot and on the other side, I had some business cards in case anyone wanted to find out a little more about what I do.

Once everything was set up, I was ready to start! My mum was there and my dad joined us on Saturday. I had a fantastic start and my robot received a great amount of attention from the public. They asked me questions and happily interacted with the Voice ‘O’ Tronik. Language was not a barrier and many Italian people wanted to give the robot the 4 commands in English.  My instruction diagram of the robot helped to guide them as well. As it approached 2:00 pm, one of the arms of the robot fell off and a wire came undone. No worries though, I had all of the equipment with me just in case something like this happened. I am actually glad this happened because I got to test my soldering skills! I fixed everything and continued.

On day two, it was pretty much the same drill and buzz but this time I also explored other halls to see what was going on. I saw a band of robots playing music and they were all made out of scrap metal. Furthermore, I really loved what was in hall 6 because it was all about recycled and upcycled materials.  Building 8 was also great because I saw so many things about 3D printing, which was perfect for me, seeing that we recently got one and I got some tips and tricks.

Before I knew it, day three had already come! Unfortunately, I had to pack away slightly earlier because I wanted to look around some more and I was flying back to London that evening. Guess who I stumbled into? Josef Prusa who happens to be the founder of the 3D printing company ‘Prusa’. This was a cool surprise too because the 3D printer we recently bought is by Prusa. I took a selfie with him because you don’t meet the founder of a company every day!

During the three days, I met and chatted with so many people! I was glad to see some familiar faces such as Rachel (@itsAll_Geek2Me), Lorraine (@LMcUnderwood). I was also pleased to meet some people from the tech community that my mum follows on Twitter: Les Pounder (@biglesp), Benjamin Gray (@benbobgray). Tom Evans (@TomEvans92) from Raspberry Pi. They all came and see me at my booth. That was pretty cool! I was also interviewed by journalist Melanie Boylan (@STOMPSMTraining) from the Irish Tech News! Thank you all for visiting me!

It was a really inspiring  3 days at the fair. Overall, I really enjoyed my stay in Rome, even if I didn’t really see anything else outside of Fiera di Roma. Hopefully, I can go next year and see what new cool things Maker fair Rome has to offer!

 

Avye

Hi, my name is Avye and I love making, coding, designing, exploring new technology and swimming! This site is about the things I get to experience, discover and enjoy. Welcome to my world!

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