Inventor's Heaven: 9th Annual Maker Faire Hits San Mateo, Includes An Electric Giraffe

By Lisa Fernandez and Bob Redell
|  Friday, May 16, 2014  |  Updated 2:05 PM PDT
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If an inventor died and went to heaven, it would likely look a lot like the Maker Faire, billed as the

If an inventor died and went to heaven, it would likely look a lot like the Maker Faire, billed as the "Greatest Show and Tell on Earth."

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Science Enthusiasts Gear Up for Maker Faire

The Maker Faire kicks off this weekend in San Mateo. Bob Redell reports.
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If an inventor died and went to heaven, it would likely look a lot like the Maker Faire, billed as the "Greatest Show and Tell on Earth."

Art made of recycled garbage cans, robotic warship fights with lookalike WWII-era ships, a giant mousetrap show and a talking electric giraffe are just some of the highlights of this do-it-yourself bonanza, which plays into the "Maker movement" sweeping from Silicon Valley to Europe and beyond.

One of the displays, Russell the electric giraffe, is nine years old and was originally built for Burning Man. He can say things like, "it tickles." Russell's inventors are planning to come up with an articulated neck that will mimic the neck of an actual giraffe. Kids will get to touch Russell at the 9th annual fair Saturday and Sunday at the San Mateo Event Center.

The Maker Faire is now one of 100 around the world.

"We knew it was special," Maker Faire co-founder Sherry Huss said Friday. "But we just didn't know how it was going to grow."

She said she produces the fairs in the Bay Area, New York and London, but there are 93 other fairs across the globe.

The Who's Who of tinkerers and imagination are all expected to show off their wares at the fair, including Meccano toys, Burning Man "community activators," Kickstarter funders and more. Their wares include prosthetic arms made from 3D printers, RainCloud garden hoses, one-wheeled skateboards and drone-flying combat toys.

For the full schedule and ticket information.

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