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PPPRS Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

This is no time to relax! It’s time to see the photos from The Power Racing Series event at Maker Faire Detroit, which happened back in July, that I’m posting in October. Better late than not at all!

Want more? You can see the whole album on Flickr, and scroll down for a video!

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Power Racing Series - Detroit 2015

Oh, there’s also a video, because Jim finally got around to editing my footage. I shot the DSLR stuff from the ground, and others got the aerial stuff. I also managed about a half dozen GoPro cameras during the event.

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Maker Faire Milwaukee

Maker Faire Milwaukee

While I’ve been posting a lot lately about plastic and other odd things, pretty much all of my time these days has been filled with planning Maker Faire Milwaukee.

If you’re not familiar with what a Maker Faire is, here’s a quick description from the history page of makerfaire.com

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

What I love about Maker Faires (I’ve attended about eight of them in various cities the past few years) is that the people who share their work (or play) are passionate about what they do, and they love sharing it with others. I find this inspiring, and I usually leave excited about what I saw, and eager to learn new skills and make new things.

I’m planning to do a talk about The Power Racing Series, and help out showing off tiny electric vehicles built for under $500, but most of my time will probably be spent working with the folks from Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and Milwaukee Makerspace just making sure everything runs smoothly. (The two organizations are co-hosting the event, and I’m an employee and member of them both, respectively.)

I hope to see you at Maker Faire. If you’ve got kids, it may inspire them, and if you’re a kid at heart, you’ll love it too. (Don’t get me wrong, adults are welcome too!) And, Maker Faire Milwaukee is FREE to attend, thanks to our great sponsors! (And yes, there are still sponsorship opportunities, so get in touch with me if interested!)

If you want a preview of what you’ll see, check out some of the blog posts I’ve been writing.

(Oh, Maker Faire Milwaukee takes place at State Fair Park on September 26th & 27th, 2015, and Harvest Faire is also happening at that time, and also free, so really, there’s something for everyone… Come on down!)

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PPPRS KC 2015 Cars

Moxie Board

Hello Racing Fans! I thought it might be appropriate to show you the cars that raced at Maker Faire Kansas City for the 2015 Power Racing Series

Mutt Cutts

Mutt Cutts was one of the cute cars. You may know it from the “Dumb And Dumber” films. Well, here’s a tiny replica. It wasn’t the fastest, but it was the furriest. This was one of those cars that we worried would tip over in every turn. It didn’t.

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth, built by Collin Royster, a prop-maker in Kentucky, was a damn impressive build. The clown head and forks were for decoration only, and got removed for the races.

Phantom 48

Phantom 48 returned once again! These guys just keep refining their already fast and reliable car. The rat rod impressed us with its looks in 2013 and hasn’t changed much cosmetically, but from what I understand they’re constantly tweaking the code running on their controller.

Cartastrophe Jeep

The Cartastrophe Jeep also returned in 2015, and just like Phantom 48, their car looks about the same, and performs about the same. Fast and reliable, most of the time, except when it breaks.

KITT

KITT from OMG is the car from Knightrider, and it did good, not too fast, and not too much breaking down. A good mid-fielder.

Huminator

The Humninator, the only in the series with a full suspension system! The Humninator is a take on The Terminator theme, and a Hummer. A pretty fast car, though it suffered a bad failure in KC, Scott is fixing it up for Detroit!

Herbie

Herbie (The Love Bug) is just adorable, and is the work of Chris Lee (from Nashville’s Kessel Runners Racing) super-star Wars Nerd and prop-builder.

Minecart (Steve)

The Minecart (also known as “Steve” was a big wooden box that surprised us all with its speed and agility. There’s some great reasons to build your car as a big wooden box. An unexpected surprise with this one!

Dangermouse Mark III

The second car from the Cartastrophe was the Mark III from Danger Mouse. I am unfamiliar with the series, but the car is a wedge of cheese. It did well for the first showing.

Jurassic Rover

Jurassic Rover is another really nice build from our friends from the south. I can’t remember which state they were from, but the car was beautifully done.

Duct Tape & Zip Ties

Duct Tape & Zip Ties car is an old classic, build mostly from old bikes. It’s not fast, but it is (somewhat) reliable and goes for the “slow and steady wins the race” idea.

FUBAR Truck

FUBAR brought their old green truck all the way from New Jersey! Bill and his team keep fixing it and breaking it and racing it and having a good time. That’s what it’s all about!

LEGO Car

LEGO Car (as we called it) was built by a team of high school kids. The body was foam and kept breaking, there was a Razor scooter underneath for steering, they used 6 motors, of which between 1 and 3 worked, they blew their controller and used a relay, and they were known as a “rolling chicane” but they had fun and were a crowd favorite. Awesome.

Bigger photos? See them on Flickr. More will be added over time…

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Museums and Making and Work (and Fun!)

BBCM

Since the semester wrapped up at UWM and left me with a summer of no work or classes, I thought it best to get a job and return to the “normal” world of work. (I know, supposedly academics take summers off and don’t do anything. Kidding!)

I’ve accepted a position as “Technology Project Manager” at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. I’ll be working on developing a number of exhibits as well as a few other things, not the least of which is helping plan Maker Faire Milwaukee coming up on September 26th & 27th, 2015. This is pretty darn exciting for me. I attended my first Maker Faire just a few years ago and now I’m helping organize the largest Free Featured Maker Faire in the world. I’m passionate about people showing off the amazing things they create, so helping make that possible is pretty amazing. (Also, I’m now dealing with some of the folks I’ve known for years at Make in a day-to-day capacity. Neat!)

MakeShift MKE

I’m also helping out with things like MakeShift MKE, which is an adults-only event we have at the museum once a month which involves things like fire, drinking, making, and hacking. This takes place in BAM Space the “Be A Maker” Space within the museum. (Web site coming soon!) It’s basically a mini-makerspace that does programming for kids, but also caters to adults and families. It’s still in development, but it’s going to be awesome.

Oh, and because I never finished the multiple posts I started writing, this all came about due to some work I did with the museum last fall to develop a part of their Word Headquarters exhibit. At some point I will post more about that. I promise. Also, I’m working with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and doing all sorts of prototyping, at work, and they pay me. I think. (I’ll find out next week. Kidding again!)

Basically, it’s gonna be a great summer!

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World Maker Faire NY 2014

wmf2014t

Did I mention I’ll be at Maker Faire New York on Sept. 20th & 21st, 2014? Well, I will! (Actually, I’ll be arriving on Friday the 19th, to be exact.)

I’ll mainly be covering the action for the Power Racing Series with multiple cameras and multiple roles. Chances are good you’ll see me running around the track and lying on the ground during the races. I may do a bit of driving as well on Sunday.

I also hope to catch a lot of the fair, as there will be much to see, and so little time to see it all…

If you’ll be there too and want to meet up, look for me at the racetrack, or get in touch with me through the various methods that seem to work for such things.

wmf2014b