Meet Romibo: Making & Social Robot Enhanced Learning

Fourth 2015 3

Romibo is a social therapy robot developed by Carnegie Mellon University and utilized by Fine Art Miracles (FAM) – a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization offering art and music therapy and social robot enhanced learning. Using emerging technology, Romibo can move, speak and ask questions, and even track the eye movements of whomever is engaging with him. Finding that challenged and neuro-typical children have an easier time focusing for long periods of time when engaged with a robot, he has proven to be a valuable aid in the classroom, especially for children on the autism spectrum who have difficulty feeling comfortable interacting with people. Great improvements in social behavior have been attributed to interactions with this furry and friendly robot.

Continue reading

Pre-Sale Tickets are Now Available!

Save time in line the day of the event by purchasing your tickets in advance! Entry to Buffalo Mini Maker Faire is included with Museum admission and free for BMS members. Buy Now!

To ensure that sufficient general admission tickets are available at the door the day of the event, pre-purchase tickets are limited. Member discounts on admission will be applied at checkout once you login using the email address associated with your member record. While Buffalo Mini Maker Faire is included with Museum admission and free for members, members are still required to order tickets to benefit from using the pre-sale ticket only line at the event however no fee will be applied. Learn more about attending Buffalo Mini Maker Faire.

Not a Museum member? Add a membership to your cart before checkout and receive free event admission for everyone covered under your membership level.

Museum Exhibits: Roofing Nails, Improvised Mounts

Recently the museum opened Biodiversity, a new science studio highlighting the museum’s animal specimens.  With such a diverse cast of characters we needed an effective way to inform our guests of what they were looking at.  The answer was a tried-and-true numbering system.  The challenge we faced was how do we mount hexagonal numbers in a cost effective way?  We needed a wire like material with a broad mounting surface.  After some brainstorming we decided on roofing nails.

box_of_nails

We went with roofing nails for a few reasons.  First, they have large heads which gave us a nice surface area to mount the numbers to.  Second, they’re really easy to bend.  Lastly, they’re quite inexpensive.

The process was pretty straight forward.

We clamped the nails down in a vice, resting them on scrap bar stock for a uniform height where the bend would be.

Then, using a piece of pipe we had lying around, bent the nails to a ninety degree angle.  The leverage created from the length of pipe made the bending a piece of cake.  We repeated this step a whole bunch of times.

primed_nails

Once we had all our nails bent we arranged them in foam blocks for mass priming and a coat of paint to match the exhibit space.

Next we marked the locations of where the heads would sit on the hexagons and attached them.

All that was left do was install them.

A simple solution and all told the mounts cost us under forty dollars.

Carmine’s Throne

The other day, we happened upon a young Maker in the midst of creating right here at the Museum. According to dad, four (and 3/4) year-old Carmine set out to build what was originally going to be a huge castle.

As he started telling me where the blocks should go, he saw a perfect spot to put a king’s chair – a “throne”. And Carmine’s throne became reality, complete with a moat in front! Everything had to be perfectly balanced and we had to use EVERY block in the room or the project wouldn’t be complete.

Of course dad helped with some of the heavy lifting, but Carmine was the brains and Maker behind the project!

Dissecting Visual Art with featured Maker, Mark Snyder

Mark Snyder is a visual artist whose work investigates themes of danger and masculinity. Frequently Snyder dissects icons from the world of auto-racing, such as sports cars and dragsters, and reconstructs them into sculptural objects that challenge our understanding of the machine, its inner workings, and its effects on the social psyche. Continue reading

The call for Makers is NOW OPEN!

We are now accepting applications for creative makers of all kinds to be part of our third annual event! We are looking to showcase a diverse mix of makers, ranging from tech enthusiasts to crafters, homesteaders, scientists, garage tinkerers and inventors.

Makers may include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:

  • Robotics, builders & clubs
  • 3D printing enthusiasts
  • Woodworkers, machinists & welders
  • Mobile app designers
  • Food makers, growers & foragers
  • Drone enthusiasts & builders
  • Knitters, weavers & yarn bombers
  • Solar engineers
  • Artists & sculptors
  • Fashion designers
  • Performers & musicians
  • Costume makers & cosplayers
  • Art car designers & art bike builders
  • Musical instrument makers
  • Lego, K’Nex & other builders
  • Puppeteers
  • Inventors and tinkerers

Makers who apply and are accepted by February 15, 2016 will receive two (2) free general admission passes to the Museum valid on the day of the event. The last day to submit Buffalo Mini Maker Faire ’16 applications is Monday, March 14, 2016. There is no minimum age restriction – young makers are encouraged to apply. APPLY NOW!

Buffalo Mini Maker Faire 2016

Save the date… Saturday, MAY 7th, 2016, Buffalo Museum of Science

Get the word out… the 3rd annual Buffalo Mini Maker Faire is coming together. Check back for weekly posts about some of our new Maker friends. Follow along as this year’s Faire develops.

Thank you!

A big thank you for all of our Makers and guest from the 2015 Buffalo Mini Maker Faire. Moving the date to early June allowed us to expand outdoors and take advantage of our beautiful WNY spring weather.  Our 50+ Makers came through and we had a great Faire with thousands of visitors.  Thank you for your support and stay tuned as we build towards the 2016 Buffalo Mini Maker Faire (May 7, 2016)!