The Crafty Robot at Maker Faire Rome
Ross Atkin the creator of Fizzbits writes from Maker Faire Rome: "The Crafty Robot packed up his Fizzbits and paper cutter and flew to Rome to join 2500 other makers at the official Maker Faire Europe. Now in it’s second year, Maker Faire Rome took place in a new venue, the Parco della Musica, in a series of tents scattered across the grounds and welcomed 90,000 visitors over three days.


My neighbours, tucked away in the ‘Fibonachi’ area, were the lovely guys from Bitcraze, who were showing version 2.0 of their impressive open-source quadcopter, the Crazyfly. Aside from robots, drones are more or less my favorite thing, so a collaboration was inevitable. Sunday morning saw the launch of the first Crafty Robot + Bitrcraze ‘Dragon Drone’. It was an instant hit with the visitors many of whom were very keen to buy it.  

  Another highlight of the Fair was getting to try out the new Arduino Tre, and a prototype of the forthcoming, browser based, Arduino development environment, all under expert tutelage of Alessandro Contini. The Tre looks like combining the ease of use of Arduino with the power of Linux based systems like Raspberry Pi. After a series of heart-in-mouth moments over the last few weeks working with Pis in my day job, I am very excited about moving over to the Tre for Internet of Things projects, at least where I can squeeze in its enormous footprint. The Fizzbots themselves won over the Italian crowd in much the same way as they did a month earlier at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire. It is a fantastic feeling to be showing something that has appeal both for very young children and highly technically-literate adults. The former watched in amazement as the parade of different characters danced around in front of them (the new Lego Minifig Dodgems proved particularly popular). The latter poured appreciatively over Andy Bakin’s beautifully executed engineering on the Fizzbit. Communication with both parties was aided by an Italian-speaking giant card Fizzbit, powered by Bare Conductive’s Touchboard and expertly voiced by Francesca Guidali, the long-suffering administrator at Crafty HQ.

The best moment was when a pair of cherub like eight year old boys looked at the Fizzbits, blew a kiss and said simply ‘belissima!’. Apparently that does actually happen in Italy. I’m excited to see if any videos or vines of Fizzbits created by visitors who bought Fizzbits at the Faire appear over the next few weeks. I’m already looking forward to Maker Faire Rome 2015 but the next opportunity to see the Fizzbits in action will be the Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire on November the 15th in London."

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