Maker Faire Brings Giant Human-Controlled Robot to Bay Area - NBC Bay Area

Maker Faire Brings Giant Human-Controlled Robot to Bay Area

The 3-day event is expected to draw over 125,000 enthusiasts who are there for over 1,200 curated projects of art, robotics and science

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Mateo Maker Faire Features Awesome, Weird Creations

    If you want to know what makes the billionaires of Silicon Valley tick, you can get a pretty good idea this weekend at the Maker Faire in San Mateo. All sorts of awesome and weird creations will be on display. NBC Bay Area Business and Tech Reporter Scott Budman reports.

    (Published Friday, May 18, 2018)

    Maybe a world where humans pilot a giant robot and race for sports and entertainment isn't too far away.

    One of those 13-foot tall and 7,500 pounds robots made its debut at Maker Faire Bay Area this weekend at the San Mateo County Event Center.

    The machine, "Prosthesis," is the world's first racing mech and it has no autonomy, requiring a human pilot, according to the Faire's spokesperson. Prosthesis is a creation by Jonathan Tippet and his team at the Vancouver-based eatART Foundation.

    The four-legged steel giant is powered by "a cutting edge, modular, expandable hybrid-electric power plant," the foundation said.

    Photo credit: NBC Bay Area

    The Maker Faire is a self-proclaimed world's biggest celebration of invention and creativity. The 3-day event is expected to draw over 125,000 enthusiasts who are there for over 1,200 curated projects of art, robotics and science. 

    "In some ways, this exhibition is a celebration of the community that allowed a crazy dream like this to become something real," Tippett said.

    Beside Prosthesis, a creation by famed sculptor Duane Flatmo of Humboldt County is on display.

    "Rabid Transit" by Flatmo is a kinetic sculpture of a pirate ship rabid animals on board that are animated and shoot sails of fire. It's made from recycled metal and aluminum scrap metal.

    "It seems like we all gather round fire since the beginning of time. Fire brings us together, and my mom always told me I couldn't play with matches, so," Flatmo, who has been making sculptures for Burning Man for a decade, told NBC Bay Area.

    Maker Faire also features projects from other countries like China, Taiwan, Nepal, Japan, Guatemala, India, South Korea, Austria, Turkey, Belgium, Belarus and Mexico.

    "This is the origin story of this kind of creative culture, a culture that appreciates work across technololgy, craft, science," said Managing Director of Maker Faire, Sabrina Merlo.

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