Smart Robots And A Fire Breathing Dragon At Maker Faire Detroit 2013

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(Photo; Christy Strawser/CBS Detroit)

(Photo; Christy Strawser/CBS Detroit)

DEARBORN (CBS Detroit)- Ever wanted to play with a robot, make your phone solar powered or play on a giant steel dragon? Then Maker Faire was the place for you.

One of Detroit’s most popular tourist destinations — The Henry Ford — partnered with maker media to bring the Maker Faire to Dearborn this weekend — and thousands of people poured in, packing the main parking lot and overflowing the overflow lots along Oakwood and Michigan Avenue. Maker Faire, held on the grounds of Greenfield Village, is a place where art meets science and everything was hands on.

One of the first things visitors noticed upon visiting Maker Faire was the giant steel, fire-breathing dragon. Its name was GonKiRin and it was a found art car created by Teddy Lo and Ryan C. Doyle. It’s a piece of art people were meant to touch and play on — carefully.

The car portion was fully functioning so the dragon could both move around — as well as breath fire — via a massive propane cannon powered by two accumulators.

For those who were looking to make something of their own The Robot Garage brought buckets of LEGOs and small NXT robots for attendees of all ages  to play with. They were even presented with “The Henry Ford Hands-On Learning Award” for all the work they do in the area to inspire people to “emagine, design, and build.”

If you were looking for robots of a bigger size there was full sized FIRST robotics field set up with several local teams performing demos and playing each other in short matches.

There were many vendors providing everything from art to LEGOs and open source robot kits. Small solar panels were sold as “life hacks” to make common objects like cell phones solar powered.

Let’s just say, Maker Faire was a great place for a different kind of fun. See more of Maker Faire in our photo gallery and learn more about Maker Faire Detroit.

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