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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

Innovation

Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire, a carnival of kid-friendly innovation and mind-bending robotics

The Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire, a family-friendly carnival of spectacular innovation, brings its impressive mix of new crafts and old world technologies to the North Side this weekend.
 
There’s even some high-tech mind reading art to make.
 
More than 65 regional makers will be on hand on Sunday, Aug. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Buhl Community Park at Allegheny Square by the Children’s Museum.
 
Displays and hands-on activities abound, spanning the gamut from 3D technology to robotic exhibits, Indie crafts, power wheel car races, floating origami, SparkTruck and LED wearables.
 
The Girls of Steel Robotics Team, a winning high school science team, will demo their Frisbee shooting, pyramid-climbing robot Eve.
 
It’s not your every day walk in the park, to say the least.
 
Pittsburgh startup Beyond Theory Robotics is one example of just how high the bar is set at this third annual Faire. Shane Adams and Chase Dudley, co-founders, are offering a hands-on experience of the raw power of the human mind.
 
Beyond Theory is developing a robotic prosthesis for arms and hands that is controlled by human thought. Seeing it is believing it, they say. Those on hand will witness their brainwaves in action as signals are transmitted to a smartphone where they will create an abstract work of art.  
 
“People will really enjoy having a piece of artwork derived from their brain waves,” says Adams.
 
The startup plans to enroll in AlphaLab Gear this year, Innovation Works’ new hardware accelerator.
 
“We hope to be inspirational to other makers in the community. Children don’t always get this kind of exposure in their schools,” Adams adds.
 
The Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire is a collaboration of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and HackPittsburgh and primary event sponsor MAKE magazine.
 
The day is made possible with the support of The Spark Fund, The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, Pepsi, Agora Cyber Charter School and pairNetworks.
 
Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Pittsburgh Mini Maker Faire; Beyond Robotics
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