On Saturday of the Detroit Maker Faire, I caught an impressive project on the Make Demo Stage. Eric Merril gave a talk on his DIY RC QuadCopter:
The i3 Detroit hackerspace member based the design for his QuadCopter on the AeroQuad project. The rotor motors are controlled by software running on the on-board Arduino embedded system and responds to the wireless input from the RC controller:
One local blog covering the event, the urban life, further described the exhibit:
Merrill, a programmer at Oakland University and member of Ferndale’s I3 Detroit, an art and technology collective, will be showing his QuadCopter at Maker Faire this year. He’s still in the “software-tuning stages” but his remote-controlled device can be used to take aerial photographs. The event inspired him to make one, something he’d been wanting to do for some time.
After the talk, Eric moved the crowd outside the MakerShed tent for a demo flight:
Merrill limited the maneuvering for crowd safety, but the QuadCopter was still impressive to see take flight:
element14 will be sponsoring the Open Hardware Summit in NYC. The Summit occurs on September 23rd which is the Thursday just before World Maker Faire New York weekend (where element14 will have a booth!). If you are coming to Maker Faire, then be sure to arrive a couple days early and attend!
The schedule is packed with leaders from the Open Source & DIY community such as:
Limor Fried - Adafruit Industries
Phil Torrone - Adafruit & Make Magazine
Bruce Perens - Open Source Initiative
Chris Anderson - DIYdrones & Wired Editor-in-Chief
Massimo Banzi - Arduino
Leah Buechley - MIT Media Lab & Lilypad wearable Arduino
Gerald Coley - Texas Instruments & Beagle Board
Anyone else planning to attend on the Open Hardware Summit or Maker Faire? I hope to put some element14 usernames to faces!
Maker Faire Detroit was filled with clever gadgets and wonderful creations. Looking back on the event, one exhibit pops to the front of my mind - the Sashimi Tabernacle Choir. I first caught of glimpse of it in between performances and wondered to myself what the heck it was:
However, upon my second time passing the car, the delightful assortment of electromechnical sea creatures sprung to life and danced about in rhythm with the B-52's "Lobster Rock" playing through the car stereo system. To quote the Maker Faire info card on the vehicle:
This award winning art car from Houston has 250 electromechnical lobster and fish, 300 pounds of batteries, 2 Linux computers to coordinate all the singers, and more than 5 miles of wire in the control system. "Quiet please, this is serious."
Richard Carter has more information on his wonderful, scaly choir on wheels at: