A little different

Maker Faire 2018 was a different experience this year. In the past, the dark room was set up in the larger Fiesta hall.  This year, we were located in Redwood hall.  It’s quite a bit smaller.  The vibe was a little different, but we had a grand time as usual with our interactive exhibits: The Selfie Bike, The Speed Bike, and Draw on the Wheel.

We felt a little caged in with the chain-link, but got along just fine at our booth.  The show got off to a somewhat humorous start when the electrical contractor cut the overhead lights and power.  No big deal though.  Fifteen minutes later, we were back in business.

Selfie Bike

Our Selfie bike was powered by one Monkey Light Pro and a bike on a trainer, and an implementation of our API for the Monkey Light Pro.  We transferred photos from an iPad to a Macbook for image processing and then sent the images over to the Monkey Light Pro via Bluetooth.  We took photos of volunteers in the crowd, and then they got the unique opportunity to see their face lit up on a bike wheel in full-color LEDs.

Our “normal” bike lights

We also put our M204, M210, and M232 on our wheel spinners for full display.  We brought along our new USB rechargeable battery pack, which was funded via Kickstarter, and is now a reality thanks to Kickstarter backers.  We also displayed our newest models, the M204R, M210R, and M232R.

Draw on the wheel

Our Draw on the Wheel exhibit is a great one for kids: They can draw their own art on a paper wheel, and once again, using our API, we put their image into a spinning bike wheel.  We scan the image with a standard flatbed scanner, then do some image processing, and then run a Perl script to send images up to the wheel.

Speed bike

Maker Faire 2018: Speed Bike

Our newest exhibit was the speed bike, which featured the first public debut of a prototype A15 light.  This is one of the lights from our most recent Kickstarter, and is still in its development.  The light turns on automatically when the wheel spins, and can change colors depending on how fast you are riding.  While their kids were pedaling, some parents joked about this being the only way to get them some exercise!  These lights are not available yet.  When they are, Kickstarter backers will get first dibs, and then we’ll make it available to the general public.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for visiting our booth, if you were able!  It’s always great to share our experience with our lights and to share some good conversation with you all!

The MonkeyLectric Selfie Bike in action!

The Selfie Bike in action!

Another Maker Faire is in the books.   If you stopped by, thank you!

Our booth

This year, we showed off our Selfie Bike: a bikey take on a photobooth.  We took photos with an iPad and beamed them to a Monkey Light Pro on our bike wheel.  (Shout-out to Detroit bikes for the gorgeous Made-in-the-USA bike!)  We also brought back our crowd favorite, Draw on the Wheel.   It’s a fun, interactive exhibit for children (and adults!) where we scan their drawings and broadcast them on a wheel for everyone in the exhibition hall to see.

What Maker Faire visitors saw

What Maker Faire visitors saw

We also had on display our M232, M210 and M204, as well as prototypes for our new, automatic A10 A15 and A30s that we Kickstarted last fall.

Another view of the Selfie Bike wheel

Another view of the Selfie Bike wheel

The Amelia Mouse Piano

We got a chance to wander about and see a lot of other DIY projects that Makers were showing off.  The Amelia Mouse Piano by Ramon Yvarra was a smart piano with a giant display that translated MIDI sequences to real songs and key strikes, complete with a giant LCD screen for visualization.

The Amelia Mouse Piano with Ramon YvarraThe Amelia Mouse Piano with Ramon Yvarra

An LED Piano: The Luminescent Grand

William Jerome and Zach Vorhies made this fully interactive LED grand piano.  It’s a beautifully responsive, musical light show.

Ephemeral Sand Painting Poetry

A serial Maker, Gijs Van Bon brought a new project to this year’s Faire.   Called Minuted, his device prints poetry on sand on a slow-moving belt.  The sand eventually falls into a pile, converting the temporary message into a pile of black and white sand.

Minuted Ephemeral Sand Poetry by Gijs Van Bon

Minuted Ephemeral Sand Poetry by Gijs Van Bon

Minuted Ephemeral Sand Poetry by Gijs Van Bon

Minuted Ephemeral Sand Poetry by Gijs Van Bon


It’s a remarkable device and a well-executed concept.

Robot Band

Tetsuji Katsuda made a merry band of charming robots who played songs on real instruments.

Watching Watchmaking

Amazing dexterity was on display at the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute booth.

We’d never seen a lathe so small make chess pieces so small.  It’s one thing to see a piece and appreciate the work that went into it, but watching it happen is on another level.

The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute - Working the lathe

The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute – Working the lathe

The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute - Tiny chess pieces!

The American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute – Tiny chess pieces!



Unusual Cards

As always, we were happy to stop by the Unusual Cards booth!

Thanks for stopping by!

Many awesome folks stopped by our booth – thank you!  We were especially impressed by two folks from SCUL – a set of east-coast-based night riders who decided to fly out to San Francisco, buy bikes on craigslist, and then tour around California for a month through a series of long rides and bike camping.

We’re also thankful to Ritual Coffee for helping us stay caffeinated, our first taste of Mushroom Jerky from Far West Fungi, and the always fun, whimsical inventions of Steven M Johnson.