Monday, 24 November 2014

Toronto Mini Maker Faire


Toronto Mini Maker Faire was held at the Reference Library on 22nd and 23rd of November. Maker Faire was started by Make magazine in 2006 to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset". Independently organized small scale local events are called Mini Maker Faire. Dozens of such events are now hosted every year across the developed world. Here Individuals, start-ups and small companies bring their projects for recognition, to display their expertise and to win customers.

Children loved R2D2
3D Printers at work
This year's emphasis was on 3D printing and Robotics. Especially, the variety and extent of 3D printers was astonishing. Multi-color and Multi-print material printers are now becoming a standard. This field is attracting so much attention from the companies, inventors and youngsters that 3D printer might become household appliance within a decade.

Papa drone and baby drone
One other product that I really liked was about micro drones. This small quad-rotor can fit in the palm of your hand and is still capable of a top speed of 40 Km per hour, 300 feet range and real-time video recording. Its bigger pro version can easily be adopted for remote sensing of crop data in agriculture besides numerous other uses.

Youngsters busy in designing models for 3D printing.
There were also 3D Printing, Soldering, Silk screening and Origami workshops for children. Encouraging creativity at a younger age is key to a nation’s innovative edge. Standing there and watching those children with spark in their eyes and intense absorption in tasks was mesmerizing. Who knows that how many of the future inventors, creators, designers and entrepreneurs were being fashioned at that point in time? I thought that no one can see the future but certainly a bright one is being created here. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Toronto the Third

There was definitely some snowfall.

Third time is supposed to be a charm but on this occasion it went little rough contrary to the common belief. First off, PIA’s flight was late due to some undisclosed reason. During flight, seat was uncomfortable, footrest was broken and video was non functional. Then on arrival, baggage arrived very late. When I came out of the airport it was well into the evening and it was raining hard. Dragging my luggage through bus stops and subway stations, I was tired, soaked and miserable.

Next morning, I went out for breakfast to a nearby Tim Horton. It is cloudy and chilly outside but everything seemed fine. The place was cozy and coffee and muffins were great. By the time I turned back, the wind picked up and it started to snow. Soon it turned into a blizzard (according to my perception). My clothing was not adequate for this kind of weather and the distance of less than a kilometer started to seem like a journey into a void. When I reached house, I realized that I don’t have keys for the front door. Then the latch of the backdoor got stuck. A number of scary scenarios flashed before my eyes (after all it was Halloween just a day before). Although situation was rather quickly resolved but my house mates were not impressed. I heard comments like “Come on, don't be dramatic. It was not even a proper snowfall, these were just flurries. You haven’t seen anything yet. Last year it was like….” and so on.

One can say that honest stories always lack a dramatic flair but it is these little incidents that makes life interesting and I am looking forward to interesting times.