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article imageRobots, quadcopters, and electric skateboards shown at IEMMF Special

By Matt Terndrup     Oct 8, 2014 in Technology
Riverside - Vocademy is a 15,000 square-foot makerspace that contains high-tech tools where anyone can create just about anything. With their 1st year anniversary a few days away, they held an event that brought together makers of all kinds.
As expected, a 17-foot electric giraffe was the star of the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire. Kids would jump on the back of it and travel around the parking lot like a robotics hay ride. The eyes of the metal giraffe were made out of blank CD’s and its horns were created with sparkly lava lamps. Music played from speakers attached while tons of photos were taken as families posed with the ginormous robotic creature.
Another exhibitor was the Los Angeles based company known as Two Bit Circus who was getting people excited about their upcoming STEAM carnival. Their event at the end of October will have laser arcade games, fire spitting performances, and virtual reality displays. Being at the Maker Faire gave them the necessary outlet to get the word out.
In the middle of the lot was an unassuming table with the 23b logo, which is a hackerspace in Fullerton. One of the members of the space was teaching people about the inner mechanisms of lock picking.
The 23b table attracted hackers from all around
The 23b table attracted hackers from all around
Urban Workshop showed off laser engraved drinking glasses that were custom made with themes from popular TV shows and movies like Breaking Bad, Dexter, and Anchorman. They have a similar facility to Vocademy, located in Orange County, that also gives people access to cutting-edge tools like 3D printers, laser cutters, CNC machines and industrial metal lathes and welders.
Having other makerspace communities at the Maker Faire showed that there is cross-pollination happening between cities in Southern California.
Not only did the Maker Faire have local businesses and student projects, they also had local government entities there too. The Riverside Police, for example, were present at the event and demoed their bomb dismantling robot. This life saving machine had the ability to locate and remove dangerous explosives.
The Riverside Police show off their weapons detecting robot
The Riverside Police show off their weapons detecting robot
A group of local artists and musicians from the Inland Empire named Chiptunes had a booth too. Their interactive display allowed people to play music with old school gaming consoles. One of the pseudo-instruments utilized a Nintendo Gameboy to create electronic tracks that were synced together with classic arcade sounds.
There was even a real-life Batmobile that was modeled after the vehicle in the popular Batman movies. Throughout the entire day, the retro-fitted car always had a crowd gathered around it. At the same time, people were zipping around on a custom, homemade electric skateboard with all-terrain wheels. Quadcopters, or RC hover crafts, were being shown off nearby as well.
The Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire helped raise awareness of the maker movement in Southern California. Approximately 1,000 people showed up; and there was a general sense of excitement from attendees who were learning about all the wondrous things that can be made at places like Vocademy, Urban Workshop, and 23b.
For more information about the projects that were seen at the Inland Empire Mini Maker Faire, check out their website:
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