Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Maater of Invention; Meet the Life-Size Philip K. Dick Android, as He's Unveiled to the World, or Have Your Needles at the Ready to Take on Agnes the Knitting Robot ... Jenny Chambers Uncovers the Latest Maker Faire Surprises

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Maater of Invention; Meet the Life-Size Philip K. Dick Android, as He's Unveiled to the World, or Have Your Needles at the Ready to Take on Agnes the Knitting Robot ... Jenny Chambers Uncovers the Latest Maker Faire Surprises

Article excerpt

Roll up for what's being billed as the Greatest 'Show and Tell' on Earth - the Maker Faire UK is heading back to town with a whole new display of attractions ranging from the big to the, well, probably even bigger.

Crowds of around 10,000, including visitors from across the world, are expected to hotfoot it to Life Science Centre, Newcastle, where those who have experienced a past Maker Faire event (and an experience it certainly is) will know to expect the unexpected in a grand showcase of new inventions built around a big weekend celebration of the weird, wonderful and decidedly wacky. s s

Life is the UK's official home to the American-born event which is basically a coming together of enthusiasts who make stuff and take ss the opportunity to show it off, and the venue, as well as the square outside, comes alive with everything from hi-tech wizardry and feats of engineering to crafty hobbies and enthusiastic tinkering.

So what is likely to stop people in their tracks this time around when the Maker Faire makes its return from April 26-27? Well, for one thing, there's to be the UK premiere of what's said to be one of the most advanced Artificial Intelligence projects in the world: the Philip K. Dick Android.

This is a life-like replica of the science fiction author whose books inspired Ridley Scott's hit film Blade Runner and who died in 1982. Built by US-based Hanson Robotics, the android contains all kinds of knowledge which enables it to engage in conversation, raise an eyebrow and smile.

Another crowd-pleaser is set be a giant robotic hand which crushes cars. But the hydraulically-powered RoboHand will have to contend with the attractions of robotic rivals such as Mr Recycle More which, at four metres high, would tower over a double-decker bus.

Also known as Binbot, it is made from 33 pink wheelie bins and will be churning out environmentally-friendly green messages. Much of what's on display at a Maker Faire is difficult to describe: far better, then, just to go and be surprised.

Its emphasis is on hands-on learning and visitors this year can try their hand at workshops including soldering, kit-building (how about creating a Lie Detector or a musical Theremin? …

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