Highlights From the 2010 North Carolina Maker Faire

A mini Maker Fair in Durham, North Carolina in late April showed what some of the technically creative tinkerers in the Research Triangle Park area are doing with their free hours.  The event included some four dozen exhibitors, including several equipment vendors. For example, ShopBot, the Durham-based maker of computer-numerically controlled router tables that sponsored the event, also showed off it’s new small-scale machine.

Although equipment manufacturers were out in force, the most charming moments came from the display of less technically sophisticated products, including an exercise bike that let’s you explore some of the world’s most attractive the back country—all while being perfectly stationary.

Ideas for things a more technically ambitious hacker might build include a giant touch screen—just in case you ever want try turning your dining room table into a giant iPad. The ingenious strategy makes use a special kind of plastic designed originally for lighting up posters.

One of the more interesting vendors on hand was ioBridge, which sells boards that make it easy to form an Internet of things--perhaps even a Web-based dog-treat dispenser, which if you look carefully is shown in operation as the system is discussed.

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