Dublin Maker 2014

Dublin Maker 2014

Summary

So I went to Dublin Maker this year and saw a lot of awesome things...

Dublin Maker 2014

Last weekend Magnus and I went to Dublin Maker at Trinity College, and there was lots of awesomeness to be seen. There was a variety of cool things people made - we saw a lot of Arduinos, but not everything people showed off involved electronics - for example, these sculptures made out of rolled paper by Eszter Hatala: Sculptures made out of rolled newspaper. There is a shoe and a flower in the front and an elephant in the back.

Or Fiona Harrington's creations of Kenmare lace - a technique that, according to her, only five people in the world still know how to do. It involves a needle, a very fine thread and a whole lot of patience. A piece of lacework in progress She was working on this when we came by her stall - do check out her web site for more of her work, my photos can't possibly do it justice.

At the intersection of traditional crafts and technology, Niki and Cheryl have been playing around with felt and Arduino. I've seen Cheryl's kelp necklace when it was still a work in progress, and this is what it looks like when it's finished: A felt necklace made to look like kelp, with blue LEDs The story is that back in the day, Irish people would lay out dried kelp in front of their houses to serve as an indicator for air humidity, so people knew when it was likely to rain soon. Cheryl decided to recreate that tradition with a humidity sensor and LEDs, and it worked perfectly on the day - it was raining for most of the time we were there, and sure enough the kelp necklace was lit up! I didn't get pictures of everything they made, but they also had a scarf that you cough into and that plays back a voice that sounds like your mum's ("You shouldn't have gone out without your coat!"), and a vest with a motion sensor that warns you when someone is approaching behind you. Cheryl was wearing a hat with a giant felt flower that lit up, but sadly I didn't get a picture of that.

Another "textile arts meet technology" project was done by Tog, the Dublin hackerspace I visit. There is a biweekly craft night, and the regulars decided to do a project together. We ended up making a fabric "cadaver" with removable organs and LEDs that lit up when the respective organ was in the correct place, so kids (and grown-ups) could play with it and learn a little basic anatomy. I was abroad when they put the entire thing together, but I made the lungs ;) A fabric replica of most human organs, attached to a fabric sheet, complete with LEDs that show if the organ is attached in the right place Just in case anyone is wondering, we chose to make a sexless body for simplicity.

Other Tog projects included the Twitter Knitter (which I don't have a picture of, but here it is, with a demo video) - it did not knit tweets this year, as there was no stable Internet connection, but instead someone, probably Tríona, wrote a command-line programme to interact with the Arduino that controls the whole thing. And, since apparently representing Tog without involving ducks is unthinkable, there was a group effort to build a giant duck that Christian drove around in all day. Obviously I got a picture of that one: A giant, mobile yellow duck, with a licence plate that says TOG DUCK The guy standing next to the duck is Magnus, by the way. There was also a self-stirring spoon, a "3D-print your brain waves" project and a robotic arm.

More awesomeness: The "Human Clock", a clock that can be set to a particular location (they had it set to Dublin and Tokyo in the demo) and that displays the time there along with photos from that location which are pulled off Instagram. It was built by the Each & Other team as a side project. The front of the clock with images from Dublin andTokyoThe back of the clock, showing the electronics

Another person is working on 3D-printing a robotic dragon - it's still a work in progress, but he already has a head, a chest, and a working (moving) neck: A 3D-printed dragon neckmounted on a robotic neck

Other than that, one of the young makers at the event was Lauren, who we previously met at a Code for Ireland meetup. She's a 9 years old Coder Dojo graduate (check out her web site which has a bunch of resources for kids and young teens) who brought the loom rubber band bracelets she makes, and her Lego Mindstorms robot: Lauren's Lego Mindstorms robot It's controlled with an app on her phone. Great job, Lauren - keep up the good work!

There are a couple more things that caught my eye but that I didn't get pictures of: A honest-to-goodness forge operated by a sculptor who works with iron, a butter churn that reads out folk stories and superstitions, an Oculus Rift demo that I wanted to try but the stall was too crowded, a portable biotech lab, and musical instruments built out of cigar boxes. Check out the full list of projects at the Dublin Maker web site! I can't list them all, these are just the ones that I kept in mind. I'm definitely looking forward to the next Dublin Maker!

I asked everyone whether I could take a picture of their project, but if I forgot to ask you if I could post it online, and you don't want me to, please drop me a line and I'll remove the picture. Same goes if I forgot to crop you out of a picture and you'd like me to edit you out. Just ping me at nadja at ef dot gy, or on Twitter (@machine_lady).

Last Modified: 2014-07-19T17:25:00Z

Written by Nadja Deininger ().