Maker Faire 2007: Robots, fire, music & more

A peek at the 2007 Maker Faire in San Mateo, CA.

Donald Bell Senior Editor / How To
Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.
Donald Bell
Photo of Maker Faire fire-shooting cannons.
Who doesn't enjoy fire-shooting cannons? Donald Bell
Photo of Sparkfun NES controller.
Sparkfun Electronics designed a monstrous vintage NES controller. Donald Bell

I've just returned from an amazing weekend at the second annual Maker Faire held in San Mateo, CA. The event is packed with booths featuring hundreds of inventors and crafters showing off their latest and greatest projects. We're still collecting our notes and getting our photos together, but here are a few projects we really enjoyed.

Jeremy Boyle constructed an amazing MIDI-controlled music kit called the Trio1 that used dozens of pneumatic pistons to play a drum kit and electric guitar.

Roboticist Crabfu had his steam-powered R2S2 robot on display. I've seen his robots on video before, but seeing them up-close I was amazed at all the intricate details he puts into his work.

The folks at Sparkfun brought out both their full-size picture frame Tetris and my favorite item of the whole day--a gigantic (working) vintage Nintendo controller that requires at least two people to play. Not only did using the controller give you a great workout, but it made even basic games like Super Mario Bros. infinitely more challenging.

More photos and videos to come...