The hashtag for Foire de Paris (or in French "mot-dièse)
Accessibility,  Events,  Life in Paris & France

Best of Foire de Paris 2015

The hashtag for Foire de Paris (or in French "mot-dièse)
The hashtag for Foire de Paris (or in French “mot-dièse)

For me, the annual Foire de Paris is more than a home show. This year instead of concentrating on the furniture, home decor and renovations, I concentrated on the innovations and inventions: The “Maker Fair” (exploration of new forms and new technologies), which made its first appearance at the Foire; the Grand Prize in Innovations (Grand Prix de l’Innovations – new for 2015); and the annual inventions competition, Concours Lépine (read more about Concours Lépine). The Lépine competition is its 114th appearance with about 600 inventions. Those who have won before can have a stand but not compete again.

My favorite finds this year at Foire de Paris were the gyropod (Segway-style) wheel chair, the Maker Fair, the vacuum cleaner without a cord that follows your movement with motion technology, without being pulled, and the telephone chargers. Practical information for Foire de Paris

Inventions and Innovations
On Sunday, I wondered what all the red, white and blue was decorating the building. Inside the Maker Fair pavilion

Gyropod wheel chair by Nino Robotics at Foire de Paris in Concours Lépine pavilion
Gyropod (Segway-style) wheel chair (Nino Robotics), intuitive to use, connects to iOS/Android for settings, mounts itself into a car using a ramp, easy-to-remove handle, etc.

were robots speaking and moving their fingers and one turned its eyes to hearts if you hugged it. I tried on a goggles to control at a distance a drone with a camera and LED lighting. The 3-D art machine was making a statue, the young girls were soldering circuit boards. This was the fair’s second Paris appearance in as many years, and their first at the Foire de Paris.

At the Innovations stand, I saw the “gyropode assis“; a wheel chair version of the Segway. The gyropod moves forward and back with your movement, spins on a dime, and a finger pushing either side of the handle turns the chair. To get in and out, lift the steering mechanism. I couldn’t believe they did not win the gold medal. The chair will be released on the market in July 2015.

So excited about this and thinking of my mother-in-law and others I know with mobility difficulties, I made a YouTube video “Nino Robotics Foire de Paris“. Since they took their chance entering the Innovations competition, Ninobot could not enter the Concours Lépine.

The most unique invention this year in the Concours Lépine, (Pavilion 1) was Fabrice Cruette’s WC Aquarium. The water tank is a transparent aquarium that not only replaces the fresh toilet water, but evacuates the impurities of the fish tank — you never have to clean it!

Every year the home show has a theme. The theme for 2015 is Summer Festival – Tropiques en Fêtes (Tropical Festival).  Sunday was a day of music and dancing through the alleys of the show and on stage: the dancing dragon, the drums, and the colorful costumes. This year there were about 400 dancers, percussionists and musicians representing France’s outlying areas of Polynesia, La Réunion, Guyana, etc.

One of my plans this year was to eat at one of the Village of food trucks, which were located near Pavilion 2. I had to try the latest Parisian craze: the hamburger! There were three or four food trucks highlighting hamburgers. Mine was good (very filling), but I guess I will have to try another food truck next time so I can begin the burger dégustation (tasting) with another Dr. Pepper! Yep! Orangina lost out to an American classic.

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Gyropod (Segway-style) wheel chair (Nino Robotics), intuitive to use, connects to iOS/Android for settings, mounts itself into a car using a ramp, easy-to-remove handle, etc.

This Web site and and its blog articles are for travelers to Paris who are looking for advice from someone who lives in Paris. These tips are "for Parisians at heart". Many people would like to visit, some can and some cannot - so I will help you enjoy a glimpse of the city and its surroundings. This project has been ongoing since 2002. Prior to living in Paris (since 1992) my European history began in the early 70s with three years in Wiesbaden, Germany. My next foray onto the Continent was in the mid-80s after graduation from the University of Florida (where I met Erik): traveling around Europe and UK with my friend, Margie, hitchhiking around and working in Ireland. After living and working as a journalist in Sweden for four years, traveling on boats, the Trans-Siberian Railway, local trains and planes took Erik and I around the world. I began working as a flight attendant in 1990 for American Airlines, based in Chicago. We moved to Paris, France in 1992 where I commuted between Paris and Chicago for my flight attendant/stewardess job. Finally my inner voice said "Stop!" and I left American Airlines six weeks shy of 20 years January 1, 2010. Now that is over and I am back working as a journalist and photographer full time on - My videos are posted on YouTube on the colleensparis youtube channel. and I am active in Toastmasters 75. Enjoy!