This past weekend LVL1 traveled north en masse to The Henry Ford for 2011's Maker Faire: Detroit. LVL1 would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the staff and organizers who made this event possible. Great work!
We'd like to thank OmniCorp Detroit and i3 Detroit for their hospitality. Your members put in a lot of work to welcome spacers from all over the Midwest. A thousand thanks and in case you are wondering, we burned those pants.
Thank you to all the other spaces that we met and hung out with. Our spacer community is strong and is overflowing with goodwill. We love you all. If you find yourself in Louisville, our door is open and we'll keep a soldering iron warmed up for you.
This was our first time there as a hackerspace (we're only a year old), but we were well represented. LVL1 managed to spread ourselves out to 4 different exhibition areas! There was the LVL1 table with ongoing hackerspace projects. White Star Balloon, our Pow-Pow-Powerwheels car "Steve" and Butterscotch: the fire-breathing robotic pony.
LVL1 was honored with the Maker Faire Editors Choice Awards for 3 entries.
White Star Balloon: It's the little robotic balloon taking flight for a record-setting voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Talk with this team for 5 minutes and your jaw will drop in awe when you hear how ambitious this project is. These intrepid hackers have worked tirelessly to overcome the challenges of an unmanned flight through the upper reaches of the jet stream. Automated ballast systems, cryogenic chambers, weather simulations, satellite communications, Mission Control, FAA comms and the list goes on and on. The team gets special props for designing a new dry ballast system from scratch, with only a week's notice! Good hustle people! White Star Balloon is a triumph of citizen science, dogged engineering and flow charts. Congratulations, and we'll see you on the other side of the Atlantic. Edit: WSB won 2 Editor's Choice Awards.
Plasma Arc Speaker: It's a speaker with a spark gap tweeter and it's name is Thor. There's nothing quite like the fidelity of a 6000V arc of plasma. Paul performed a tremendous week-long rush to get a new speaker housing built with upgraded contacts and high-voltage transformer. It was more trigonometry than he signed up for, but he pushed it through. Many visitors to the LVL1 table came by to rock out, see how it works and burn paper in the plasma arc. They had no idea how much danger they were in.
Butterscotch: 20% macabre skinned robotic pony child's toy, 10% Wii nunchuck I2C debugging, 10% flame-thrower, and 60% safety afterthoughts. Your video was posted on BoingBoing with a representative sample of LVL1 membership. It deserves a Venn diagram of utilikilts, mohawks, and pink attire. Overlord Butterscotch is a fire-breathing pony who captured the hearts of thousands of makers, but only singed a few. Better luck next year! Edit: Butterscotch also received 2 Editor's Choice Awards.
Again, thank you to everyone that made Detroit Maker Faire possible. See you in 2012!