There’s no denying that we at Misty Robotics love Maker Faires.
We come away inspired by the creativity and skills of our colleagues and the incredible things they create. Where else can you walk 50 feet and see everything from 3d-printed fully functional models of engines and transmissions, to the original 1979 version of VisiCalc on an Apple ][ (and get to play with it), to a quantum computer, as well as seeing more PCBs than there are transistors on a silicon wafer. Almost everything that we’ve read about, talked about, or played with in our younger years (and want to purchase today) is floating around somewhere at Maker Faire. Our goal is to add to this creative symphony, making it possible for others to create the next cool thing.
Normally in these posts I’d talk about the conversations we as a team had, the great ideas we heard from people who stopped by the booth, and general shenanigans that we got into. All of these things happened, of course. But I was most influenced by Adam Savage’s Keynote talk about knowledge sharing and community, so I wanted to highlight a few things.
“Shutting out the voices of other humans has never been a path to achieve greatness”
That quote of Adam’s really resonates for us. At Misty, the idea of community being critical to success is embedded in our culture. We build things and get them in peoples’ hands as early in the development cycle as possible. This causes every engineer heartburn, long nights, and frustration that “if we only had more time it would be better.” It’s crazy, right? Don’t we want people to think our products are absolutely perfect? Actually… no; what we want is feedback. We push the edges of our comfort, in order to build better and more capable robots for actual human needs.
Adam really articulated this part of our ethos: that we’re all participants in creation and not passive observers. And we want YOU to be part of this by being active in our forums, communicating, and working with us to build something great. In return, we’ll be open about our trials and tribulations, and we’ll work hard to conquer them. Together.
To support that goal, we did talk with a lot of folks. With 90,000 people coming through, all of us ended up having quite a few great conversations (and nearly lost our voices). We gathered a ton of feedback on our current model, had discussions on the future of robots, conversations on industrial design and why we made the choices we did, and articulated the necessity for broad participation for us, and the industry at large, to succeed.
In an incredible weekend, the most enjoyable thing was showing Misty to the community. We had a blast bringing Misty to dinner and seeing people so actively interested in what we’re working on, attending the Hackaday + Tindie Maker Faire party, and introducing Misty to her robot peers. If you haven’t watched the video at top yet, it’s worth it to get a taste of the fun.