I never had a chance to go to Maker Faire before, so when MIT’s Electronic Research Society (MITERS) announced a trip, I was very excited. We had our very own booth with the other hacker spaces and could show off our projects. We had many electric vehicles, educational robots, Tesla coils, and two entries into the Power Racing Series.
At the time, I was working on my own electric vehicle, a tricycle made out of aluminum big enough for me to ride on. I had made good progress on it so far and planned on having it ready for Maker Faire. Unfortunately, the week before ended up being very busy with schoolwork and an exam, so I couldn’t make it to the workshop often enough. The day before the Faire was an MIT Holiday, and I woke up thinking, “If I work really really hard today, I can get my vehicle done before 9PM and still get some sleep before the trip!”
At 9PM, I was nowhere near done. Luckily, MITERS is active 24/7.
So I kept working later and later through the night. In a rush, I designed a very sketchy steering system. The handlebars had so much free play that the wheels would jerk violently in random directions under speed. I eventually gave up around 2AM and decided that if I wanted a nice product I would have to invest more time in it later on.
We planned to start leaving MITERS at 4AM and drive through the early morning and reach Long Island before 9AM, which was the cut-off time for setting up at Maker Faire. We had three cars, including Charles’s Mitsubishi Mikuvan and my rented Ford Transit big van. We were able to carry a large amount of equipment, projects, and people.