Science and technology

The tenth edition of "Maker Faire Rome - The European Edition", ended with a record number of 45 thousand attendants last Sunday. The event dedicated to innovation and technology is organised by the Rome Chamber of Commerce every year, with the exception of the last couple of years, which were affected by the pandemic.

This special 10th edition which was held in the area of the Ostiense Gazometro both indoors and outdoors, was specially popular with schools and universities, which were both present as exhibitors and attendees.

Maker Faire is a convention of do it yourself (DIY) enthusiasts first organised by Make magazine in 2006. Participants come from a wide variety of interests, such as robotics, 3D printing, computers, arts and crafts, and hacker culture. Since 2006, several sister events have sprung up in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa.

The classic Rome three-day event (7-9 October) was preceded by other in-depth and sharing events (Common-ground and Opening Conference). The event which is non-profit and free for selected Italian and international exhibitors is financed by sponsors, and ticket sales.

The event presented a wide range of innovations and technologies from agri-tech to food-tech, digital manufacturing, robotics, artificial intelligence, mobility, circular economy, health, IoT, metaverse and augmented reality. Additionally there were dedicated sections for Maker Art and Maker Music.

One of the attractions of the outdoors exhibition area was the One Love Machine Band robot orchestra which performed every 20 minutes for an enthusiastic audience of dozens waiting for the air-pressure-powered metallic band members to come to life. A robot soccer tournament was another popular event occurring every 30 minutes in front of real human fans and “coaches.”

Some other interesting projects presented at the Faire were:


A site-specific installation, which "metaphorically" is built to resemble a fusion reactor prototype - called “Tokamak."  The fusion reactor, aims to reproduce the same form of energy that powers the stars, but on earth and in a confined reactor. The project was carried out together with CRA - Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota.The visitor, after being "attracted" by the external form, is guided along the path towards the installation and inside greeted by a series of introductory videos explaining the technology and its uses

Sustainable Fashion
Riuso Riciclo Rigenero returned to Maker Faire Rome to introduce new talents
of sustainable Made-in-Italy. The profiles, works and collections of four of the Altaroma nursery brands were presented in of one of the most iconic industrial spaces of the capital. On display were the collections of Eleonora Riccio, the clothing brand that creates glasses with garment fibres dyed with pigments extracted from flowers and plants; Ferilli Eyewear, which makes prickly pear blades; ID-EIGHT, which makes shoes with fruit waste and Krocette, a brand of sustainable bags. Innovative processes and materials, care and social responsibility, attention to the environmental impact are just some of the aspects that revolve around the sustainability of fashion, and are the basis of the philosophy of the brands involved.

The immersive room is an interactive environment that envelopes the spectator-actor from all sides, bringing him into the narrative of the story. The artificial environment is built according to the needs of the narration and the availability of space, in which to tell a story which involves and engages the public. The projections are activated through a simple gesture, a movement or a word to tell a story. Motion sensors detect gestures of the visitors and modify the content for them, engaging the person in a virtual story and offering a sensation of discovery, as if one was peering behind the curtain of a theatre before the show starts. The first interaction takes place on the floor when, accompanied by sounds or noises, you can walk on water or on a "paving" typical of Ancient Rome.
The public can experiment with different types of technologies with different levels of interaction (from non-interactive 360 ° video to real video games with a maximum possibility of movement and interaction) and a wide choice of themes.

In addition to the exhibition halls with different themes, there were several roundtables and speeches. The opening ceremony included talks by: Julie Andersen Ceo & Co-Founder of Plastic Oceans; Massimo Banzi, Co-Founder, Chairman & Cmo of Arduino; Tony Fadell Ceo & Founder of Futureshape; Matthias Mayer Europe Director of Ifixit; and Kenneth Mikkelsen Ceo & Founder of Future/Shifts and the co-author of “The Neo-Generalist: Where You Go is Who You Are”.

“Reaching the ten-year milestone with growing success is a source of pride and satisfaction,” said Lorenzo Tagliavanti, the President of the Rome Chamber of Commerce. “The event is now a consolidated point of reference, - at a European level - for the world of innovation in its involvement of makers, businesses, universities, schools, research bodies and institutions. I thank all the numerous partners, public and private, who continue to support us without hesitation. Without them we would never have been able to achieve this important result ”.

Maker Faire Rome is supported by The Italian Trade Agency.

ITA - Italian Trade Agency is the Governmental agency that supports the business development of our companies abroad and promotes the attraction of foreign investment in Italy. With a widespread network of overseas offices, ITA provides information, assistance, consulting, promotion and training to Italian small and medium-sized businesses. Using the most modern multi-channel promotion and communication tools, it acts to assert the excellence of Made in Italy in the world.

For more information see: - # MFR2022; Facebook: @Maker Faire Rome; Twitter: @MakerFaireRome; Instagram: @Maker Faire Rome

Alexis Kouros
Helsinki Times