Generator’s Birthday Bash

gen1 by Giuseppe Liquori

On Saturday, March 28, Generator celebrated its first birthday! Partnered with the EMC’s MakerLab, Generator has grown from a “pop-up” into a dedicated makerspace with a community of over 130 makers and growing. Saturday was a celebration of this success and brought together this community to recognize this milestone.

The Emergent Media Center brought some of their projects to the bash to show others. One project, being developed by the Sandbox team, is Icarus. Aptly named, the project involves combining the Oculus Rift with physical hardware to create an immersive flying experience. The Oculus displays an aerial environment and the user navigates it using a pair of wings. Alex Beauchasne, a programmer, explained that like most sandbox projects, this is an experiment to see what is possible by combining old and new technology. There was also Graffiniti, an interactive art project usually on display in the EMC. Users interact with the display using a Microsoft Kinect. The right hand controls a node that paints – the size dependant on their distance from the Kinect, and the left hand can change the color. The last project on display was Project Variation. A cooperative game built using arduinos, it requires three players that each control an axis of movement (X, Y, or Z) using potentiometers in a 3D environment.

The EMC was far from the only booth at the party. For kids, there was the Brush Bot table. Dan, a Generator board member, explained the idea for the booth came out of the desire to encourage making among children, expose them to circuits and batteries, and give them something fun to do at the bash. A brush bot is made using a toothbrush head, a battery, and a phone motor (the one that makes it vibrate). It’s simple and fun. Kids loved it; the table was consistently full.

A brush bot made at Generator

A brush bot made at Generator

The bash was great celebration of what Generator accomplished the past year. The food was delicious and the people were friendly. I had fun while I was there. Let’s hope for another great year for Generator.