LET’S CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF MFR WITH AN OVERVIEW OF THE PREVIOUS EDITIONS MOST INTERESTING PROJECTS
Looking forward to meet this year’s protagonists, let’s have a walk back to discover the most surprising projects of the past decade
Maker Faire Rome, among the most important events dedicated to innovation, is finally back to Rome’s Gazometro Ostiense from October 7th to 9th. This year’s edition marks the tenth anniversary of an event that in the years showed the ability to evolve and grow, becoming a reference point for all the protagonist of the innovation sector.
As a matter of fact, Maker Faire Rome is much more than a simple faire: it is a place that facilitates and narrates innovation and a fruitful appointment to create networking and business opportunities in which knowledge, competencies and experiences merge to give shape to concrete projects.
Looking forward to meet the protagonist of the 2022 edition, come with us in a journey along the most successful projects we met in this 10-year long path.
Let’s start with some stories of maker that “play at home”, since these project have been designed in Rome.
Freya, the AI that creates ice cream recipes
Freya is an artificial intelligence inspired by Natural Computing, able to create ice cream recipes from a database of around 200 raw materials, to self-learn and to solve the most complex situations in total autonomy. Quoting the inventors Fabio and Aldo Pasquarella “it is just like having an experienced ice cream maker to confront with, anytime and anywhere”.
Freya was presented at the Maker Faire Rome 2021 edition which, after years of research and experimentation, represented the decisive turning point for the two creators in order to make their product known to the world, giving it, in just a few days, a visibility that it would otherwise have struggled to achieve. But it is not only that: the stimulating environment that the creators of Freya found at Maker Faire Rome and the possibility of meeting passionate colleagues, institutions and major international players was the decisive encouragement that allowed Fabio and Aldo Pasquarella to realize their project. To date, their idea has turned into a real innovative start-up in constant evolution.
Horgonic: the object that communicates with emotions
Horgonic is the first model of a series of emotional and morphochromatic amplifiers with thermo-ionic valves for reproducing music in digital or analog format, aimed at listening and as a design object. The nature of the project is therefore twofold: on the one hand it communicates with the emotions of the spectators and allows a multi-sensory musical experience, which combines visual, tactile and acoustic sensations, on the other it acts as a piece of furniture for different types of environments.
Horgonic’s is another of those projects born almost for fun which then, thanks to Maker Faire Rome, has become a concrete entrepreneurial activity with still ample room for growth and development. Presented in the 2018 edition by Fabio Romoli, it is an example of how dreams can become reality thanks to tenacity, perseverance and the right launch pad.
Officine robotiche, a project to unite robotics enthusiasts
Some projects have grown together with Maker Faire Rome. One of them is Officine Robotiche, which participated in 8 editions, from 2014 to 2021.
Officine Robotiche is a social promotion association that was born from a group of friends passionate about robotics. It is a varied, complex and still ongoing project, which mainly deals with Amateur Robotics and its dissemination.
It was precisely between the stands of Maker Faire Rome that skills and knowledge intertwined and new relationships were born, such as those with Alessandro Ranellucci and Massimo Banzi, historical figures of the Dair. For the creators of Officine Robotiche, Maker Faire Rome is an indispensable showcase and has become an unmissable annual appointment for making new acquaintances, establishing partnerships and finding ideas and inspiration to continue to grow their ambitious project.
Filo: the first italian tech atelier
With 7 active editions, from 2015 to 2021, we can say that Filo Track is also a veteran of Maker Faire Rome. In fact, the Filo team has seen its company grow together with the event.
Filo is the first Italian tech atelier that produces IoT products that are useful for everyday life, such as the smart keychain that finds objects that, thanks to an app, can be made to ring, making it easy to find the object on which it was hung. Or Tata, an anti-abandonment cushion for cars with 3 different alarm levels: an audible and visual notification on the smartphone, an automatic call and finally the sending of SMS to emergency contacts. The company’s future goals? Expand internationally and make Filo a recognized brand in their reference sector.
Furthermore, for Filo, Maker Faire Rome has become an integral part of the testing model of the market and potential customers when they have to launch a new product, as well as being an excellent platform for maintaining high visibility and building new connections.
Maker Faire Rome is also the ideal opportunity to bring specific issues to the attention of the general public. This is the case of the creators of the “The Corrupted Body” project, presented in 2021, whose intention is to make people reflect on the connection between man and machine.
The Corrupted Body, new perspectives on man-machine interfaces
The idea behind the “The Corrupted Body” project is the creation of 3D printed body parts covered with biological fabrics obtained through the cultivation of kombucha, a coating material of biological and sustainable origin similar to human skin in texture and aesthetic rendering.
For the creators of the project, the Fair was a very important showcase to make visitors reflect on the possibility that in the future there could be a deeper incorporation of biomaterials, also to take care of the aspect of humanoid robots, increasingly autonomous, distant from the imaginary cyborgs and closer to the “augmented” model of human being.
Over the years, Maker Faire Rome has also given the possibility to many projects to become a real business idea or to expand the boundaries of one’s corporate reality. Let’s see some examples.
PowerMeter: for a bettere awarenss of the home energy consumption, and much more
The project, born from the desire to always be aware of energy consumptions and the environmental impact in terms of CO2 emitted, was presented for the first time by Flavio Astori at Maker Faire Rome 2014. This was a fundamental step because the interest aroused during the days of the fair prompted the creator to take the project beyond the hobbyist level, transforming it into a real product to be sold. Thus PowerMeter began to take shape: a system capable of providing quality data in real time on domestic self-consumption, to which is added a version dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises that need to better understand their energy usage with the possibility to optimize them.
The decisive push then came in 2019, when Flavio Astorino and his partners decided to participate again in Maker Faire Rome. The enthusiasm and interest received from potential partners and customers convinced and motivated the group to continue with the project up to founding the company Powermeter Srl in 2020.
Rifò: the brand that combines circular economy, craftsmanship and sustainable fashion
Rifò is a project born in 2017 with a precise mission: to create a line of quality clothing and accessories produced entirely in Prato and its surroundings with 100% regenerated and regenerable fibers.
The name Rifò derives from a Tuscan inflection of the verb “to redo”. The name chosen fully represents the Tuscan spirit and the typical way of speaking of the craftsmen who invented, more than a hundred years ago, the method of regenerating old garments to produce a new yarn: the so-called “Cenciaioli”. Furthermore, Rifò refers to the concept of “remaking” a traditional craft which in recent years was disappearing but which, thanks to the idea of the founder Daniele Ceni, has been reborn.
Daniele Ceni, as a good native of Prato, began his career as a fabric designer to continue as a freelancer developing and managing collections of clothing, shoes and bags for important stylists and companies in Europe, Japan, the USA and China. The possibility of coming into contact with many markets and different mentalities made him understand the importance and uniqueness of what the city does and has always done: the recycling of clothing to create new quality textile products. From the desire to enhance this unique peculiarity and from the awareness that this had to be done in an innovative way, he brings his own experience to the Rifò project.
What we have told you so far are all Italian stories, but Maker Faire Rome is a point of reference not only for the Bel Paese but for the whole world, as demonstrated by the story of the Brazilian professor Sandro Costa Mesquita and his project that helps blind people in the prevention of contagion from Covid19:
Eyewear for the Visually Impaired: glasses that help sightless people to protect themselves from Covid
These glasses can detect if the people you meet are wearing a mask, if they are at least 2 meters away or if they have a fever. The idea starts from the desire to make the lives of blind or visually impaired people safer.
At Maker Faire Rome Sandro Costa Mesquita had the opportunity to build new relationships – like the one with Massimo Banzi and Fabio Violante, founders of Arduino – as well as the possibility of giving international visibility to his idea.
After participating in 2019, Sandro Costa Mesquita obtained approval to start a master’s degree based on the project presented in Rome. In the next few years he intends to continue with his training activity and strengthen the relationships with Arduino and Maker Faire Rome, a place very dear to him because that’s where it all began.
Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition has been committed since its very first edition to make innovation accessible, usable and profitable for all. This blog is always updated and full of opportunities and inspiration for makers, makers, SMEs and all the curious ones who wish to enrich their knowledge and expand their business, in Italy, in Europe and beyond.
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