Denver Mini Maker Faire 2016 recap in pictures

SSD members turned out in force the the mini maker fair held at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the crowd was fantastic.

Jim’s Drawbot was a huge draw — one girl adored it and was thrilled when he gave her the drawing it had just made!

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Terry’s soccer scoring system got the most interest and kids loved rolling tennis balls through the goalposts and watching it mark their point.  Pictured behind is the mini version of John English’s Soundpuddle, set up by Tijlon.


Jennifer’s automatic dog play system also entertains kids pretty well!


Dan’s remote car had lots of kids mugging for its camera.


I had lots of fun walking around with my video T-shirt and explaining how it worked.  Mostly though, kids just stared at it, mesmerized.




Turnout was excellent for other booths, with the return of many popular exhibits and new ones, too.

One of my all-time favorites is a group that deconstructs old pinball machine mechanisms and explain how they work. Very hands-on, it’s much easier to see how a mechanical score counter works than an electronic one.

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Denhac had a lockpicking workshop, where kids could try to escape from handcuffs. They also had some great lights in the darker area of the Faire

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Zoe Doubleday’s Haptika series of therapy gloves were a hit —

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I didn’t get the guy who made these beautiful electronic quilts — he was one of many participants who also did amazing things:

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Human foosball, of course!


I fell in love with these hacked furby skeletons!


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Looking forward to future Mini Maker Faires!

Gone Fishing

A few of our members created an interactive digital installation called “Gone Fishing”, now on display at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder. As you enter the museum you will be greeted by a school of virtual fish swimming on the floor. Step onto their virtual pond and the fish will swim away from you.

How it works:

Directly above the fish display attached to the ceiling is an XBox Kinect next to a projector. The Kinect is essentially a motion sensing webcam. The Kinect is calibrated to detect where you are within the 2-D fish matrix. The system is constantly updating as you move, and the virtual fish are programmed to avoid your virtual “shadow” within the system (the Kinect sees you, not your shadow that is cast by the projector). The projector projects the image of the fish onto the floor, with the magical result that the fish flee from you as you move.

The installation opened on Friday April 27th 2012 at the CU Museum of Natural History in Boulder and was spawned by the imagination of CU students / CU Hackerspace Club members Todd Bernhard, Jess Garrett, Peter Klipfel and Anne Gatchell. (Todd, Jess and Peter are members of Solid State Depot.) You can drop in and see the fish swimming in their virtual aquarium through the summer and beyond.

Watch it in action: