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100,000 Visitors Expected For Maker Faire Expo

Event showcases presentations and interactive exhibits by dozens of innovators and inventors from a range of fields.

Holistic hula-hoops, robotic dogs, science geeks and craft enthusiasts are all descending on San Mateo this weekend for the 2012 Maker Faire at the San Mateo County Event Center.

More than 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the Faire, which showcases presentations and interactive exhibits by dozens of innovators and inventors from a range of fields, including electronic arts, robot technology, computer science and creative engineering.

Massimo Banzi is the cofounder of Arduino, a company that makes "micro-controller boards" used in electronically-powered inventions and interactive experiments.

"It's huge, people all over the world use Arduino to make robots and power scientific experiments," Banzi said.

Banzi and the Arduino team will be giving a presentation at the Maker Faire on Saturday to instruct people on how to get started on their own inventions, and also to unveil a couple of new Arduino hardware products.

"We like to launch new products at the Maker Faire," Banzi said. "This is the first time people will be able to put their hands on the new hardware."

In addition to presentations from inventors and DIY industry experts, the Maker Faire will feature hundreds of new inventions, everything from electric-powered cupcake cars you can get in and drive, interactive light sculptures, robots from scrap metal, and a make-your-own cardboard arcade workshop.

There will also be lessons on farming, educational booths for kids of all ages at the Maker Kids Market, and "death-defying" pedal-car racing on a figure-8 racecourse.

The Maker Faire will be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The San Mateo County Event Center is located at 1346 Saratoga Drive.

Information on tickets, exhibits and presentations can be found online at www.makerfaire.com.

--Bay City News

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