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3 Nov 2016, 13:34

Maker Faire Rome October 2016

On October 16th at 9.55am local time DesignSpark landed in Rome to attend the Maker Faire. Today was a big day for RS, in just a little over six hours the much anticipated IOT2020 gateway from Siemens was launching, an exclusive to RS. More later on this.

The scale of the maker movement in Italy is something to behold, with six main halls to explore and plenty going on outside, it's just as well we had our comfortable shoes on, because this was going to take some walking.

Looks so much smaller on paper

After a quick rendezvous to wish our colleagues from RS luck with the pre mentioned launch, we had just enough time to check out Heiko's new beard before we're off to explore.

My buddy, as ever in recent travels, Robbie, and I took on the might of six halls in six hours, a feat that we failed miserably.

Now this is the thing with a Rome Maker Faire, there is just too much to see, new old faithful's like 3D Printing a plenty, Robotics everywhere, Open Source on every corner and Arduino at every turn, you get absorbed easily and lose track of time.

Anyway for much of our trip out to Rome I was boring Robbie with my review of the Level 42 concert I attended on the Tuesday prior. It makes you feel old when a 28 year old has no knowledge of Level 42. The reason I mention them will become clear if you read on,... their bass player Mark King is a hero of mine, and in my opinion the best player ever.

Now by comparison we were side tracked by a drum and bass combo unlike anything I'd seen before. This really was a unique experience, not quite Mark King but nonetheless just as impressive as the great man himself.

Enter - Afrenkin, bass player with the One Love Machine Band

Twenty minutes in and Robbie and I are still watching the live set, really impressive stuff considering these machines are all controlled via pneumatic cylinders and valves. Meanwhile the roadies backstage were making sure the compressors are giving the band enough air for the funky bass lines and drum fills. This is heavy metal in the true sense, just take a look at the anchor blocks, no moon walking for these guys. 

Check out our exclusive video of the band running through their pre gig sound check

This got me thinking, what creative things could our DesignSpark community do with the RS range of pneumatic cylinders valves, fittings and compressors. Perhaps develop the next Super Group comprising of SMC, Festo, Norgren and Parker, move over Emmerson Lake and Palmer, who?... at this point our younger readers have no idea who i'm talking about. 

The inspiration behind the One Love Machine Band is Kolja Kugler a Berlin based artist, below you can hear him discuss how he started the band and what he's planning for the future.

If you want to find out more about Kolja check his facebook page


Anyway more on this and other Maker Faire standouts coming soon. I actually need to get back to the main event of Day 1, the launch of IOT2020, in honour of which Heiko grew his beard.

At precisely 4pm local time in the press room, a trio of distinguished people took the stage to unveil the SIMATIC IOT2020, a gateway device that provides an IoT platform for the engineers of tomorrow, giving them the simplest way to get started with industrial IoT and allowing them to meet the challenges of an increasingly connected world.

Above left, Paolo Carnovale head of Industrial Marketing at RS Components, centre, Raffaella Menconi of the Siemens SCE program and Massimo Banzi co-founder of Arduino gather to discuss the new product, a product which will allow for a whole host of new and existing engineers to enjoy the benefits of a purely open source platform enabled for educational development as well as a gateway to discovering and implementing Industrial IoT. 

The product was well received within the press room and from a personal point of view it was great to witness the first application of IOT2020 using the Arduino open source platform, controlling the robotic arm feeder in a conveyor system. I'm sure this product is going to be successful it's perfect for young and established engineers alike. The flexible platform is ideal for prototyping and providing a link from educational to industrial environments. It really should appeal to the Maker movement, it will be interesting to see how many will be used at the next Rome faire.

For more information and details of how order to order, hop over to the IOT2020 Tech Hub

RS Stock No.124-4037

Favourite things are Family, Music and Judo. Also, I have the ability to retain and quote useless facts, something that pleases me but can annoy others. My engineering hero - Isambard Kingdom Brunel

3 Nov 2016, 13:34