I spent last week at EE Live! 2014. I have to say that it was one of the most fun and interesting conferences and exhibitions I've ever attended.
Now, I know I'm a little biased, but I honestly believe that the most unique booth on the exhibit floor was ours (by which I mean the EETimes/UBM booth). Known as The Fantastical Theatre of Engineering Innovation, this was reminiscent of a circus/carnival sideshow circa 1900. The artwork was superb, and the circus atmosphere was enlivened with a constant supply of free popcorn and cotton-candy.
One of the posters adorning the main structure was of yours truly as shown below. When he was a young man, my dear old dad used to be a dancer on the variety hall stage. I have some amazing old billboard posters he collected from his travels around England circa 1935. It's mind-blowing to see the family name up there. I think my dad would have been extremely happy if he could have seen this poster of his eldest son.
The Fantastical Theatre was jam-packed with amazing talks throughout the week. These included three Gadget Smackdown sessions, which involved each of the participants having five minutes to give a presentation on a project they had built or were in the process of constructing. One of the presenters was young Andrew LaVigne, who turned 14 only a few weeks before the conference. The following image -- which was taken by Andrew's proud father, Bruce -- shows Andrew in the middle of his presentation. (It was easy to spot Bruce in the audience. He was the one with the humongous ear-to-ear grin plastered on his face.)
Andrew's presentation of the robot he'd constructed for a local STEM competition was a tremendous success. Everyone commented on how confident he looked and how well he talked. When it came to voting for the winning presentation at the end of the session (based on audience applause as measured using Caleb Kraft's Applause-O-Meter), Andrew won hands-down.
The sponsors of the Gadget Smackdowns -- Allied Electronics -- had kindly furnished a prize for each session, so Andrew is now the proud owner of a state-of-the-art contactless voltage/current detector. Also, for the whipped cream and cherry on top of the cake, I presented Andrew with a framed print of Max and the Cool Beans.
I hope you will note that Andrew was wearing a Hawaiian shirt (as was his father). All I can say is that the boy has extremely good taste. I think he will go far. In fact, I'm hoping Andrew will return to EE Live! 2015 to bring us an update on his experiments with regard to adding voice control to his robot.
— Max Maxfield, Editor of All Things Fun & Interesting