In this series of posts we’ll be featuring the Australian hackerspaces that will be exhibiting at the Faire. Hackerspaces, for the uninitiated, are communal working areas for like-minded enthusiasts to gather and work on group projects or use facilities and equipment made available to members (Wikipedia). Hackerspaces can be found in many cities around the world and Australia is no exception. Each hackerspace is unique and serves as an essential grounding point for the local maker community. This first post will focus on Sydney-based Robots and Dinosaurs.
What deceptively appears as a regular house in South Sydney’s Rockdale is in fact a place “where geeks and artists brainstorm ideas, play games, work on collaborative projects, and share the cost of some great tools.” Themed rooms cater for different needs of the Robots and Dinosaur members including Miriam’s Room with a collection fabrics and patterns, the Laser Room with CNC machines and lathes, Main Room with soldering irons, projectors and computers and even a shed with drill presses, saws, hammers, electric kiln and even a gas furnace. Robodino has all the tools for creative magic to occur.
So what sort of people are the members of the Robots and Dinosaurs hackerspace? “We’ve got people interested in all sorts of projects from pretty much every field. Just last week we had people working on lasercut RC cars, making engraved Japanese ‘go’ boards, building 3D printers, crocheting things, making their own flying quadcopters and more,” said Robodino chief Gavin Smith. One of Gavin’s own projects is the LightScythe, a device which writes glowing text in mid-air, while another Robodino project is iZac the Android bartender. Make mine a double iZac!
“Rarely when you’re working on something do you get it exactly right the first time. Being in an environment where you can bounce ideas off each other and get inspiration and advice from others people is invaluable,” Gavin said.
Robots and Dinosaurs is a vibrant part of the Australia maker scene and one of several of hackerspaces that will be taking part in the Faire. Be sure to stop by their stand and see what other amazing stuff goes on at Sydney’s buzzing hackerspace.