Monash Tech School hosted the 2022 Maker Faire, a festival of innovation, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Each year the Maker fair travels to a different international location to bring focus to makers worldwide. The mascot for the Maker Faire, Makey the Robot, travels around each year and is re-erected at every destination.
For Monash’s Maker Faire, Monash Tech tasked Giant Inflatables with creating a five-meter-high inflatable version of the Makey mascot to be displayed at the fair. The inflatable needed to be portable so it could be moved around to different locations but large enough to make an impact at the fair. Furthermore, the inflatable was required to be very simple to set up, so it could be set up by volunteering students.
We used a lightweight polyester material for the five-meter-high Makey robot to ensure the weight of the inflatable was kept as low as possible. Weighing in at only 28 kg, the robot could be easily manoeuvred into position.
We used the Pantone Matching System (PMS) to ensure we had the perfect red to correspond with the Makey Brand and opted for internal fans, and the Makey was created to be as quickly set up as possible. Once unrolled and plugged in, the robot inflates, and the setup is complete after tying it down to an appropriate anchorage. The robot has very flat surfaces, so the decision was taken to hide the baffles with a colour-matched over-skin, creating a flat-looking surface.
The mascot is re-designed every year, so Giant Inflatables was given creative licence to develop a streamlined modern design based on images of previous years’ Makey’s. The design team finally decided on an animated structure, making it look playful while ensuring the robot could stand independently. After a few alterations to incorporate internal fans, the Monash Tech team enthusiastically approved the final design.
The images speak for themselves. With a buzz of attendees around the fair, the inflatable Makey took centre stage and “certainly had great presence in the room!”. Monash Tech school plans on using the Makey at orientation and event days throughout the year, wherever possible.
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