U.S. ARMY DETROIT ARSENAL, WARREN, Mich. -- Following years of successful events in California, Makers -- enthusiasts who combine technology know-how in creative ways to solve problems and discover opportunities -- are converging in Michigan this week for the inaugural Maker Faire Detroit July 31-Aug. 1.

Maker Faire Detroit is a two-day festival being held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn where Makers from all over the country will participate in displays of creativity and discovery.

To kick-off Maker Faire Detroit, organizers are holding the first-ever "Detroit Can-Do Camp" Thursday, July 29, and the U.S. Army is playing a key role. The Can-Do Camp is a full-day affair at Detroit's Eastern Market, a special day for Makers to explore the do-it-yourself mindset and its ability to re-invent the way things are done.

At the Detroit Can Do Camp, Makers will connect with each other and learn more about their own tech and creative communities. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., the U.S. Army will host a panel discussion for Makers entitled "Makers and Military Merge."

Southeast Michigan boasts a deep talent pool of scientists, researchers and engineers, and their forefathers are the people that put the world on wheels and armed the Arsenal of Democracy during World War II.

Today, the U.S. military, businesses and academic institutions are working together on a new economic future for the country -- and Makers can play a key role. U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command is the only defense-related government organization participating in Maker Faire Detroit.

The "Military and Makers Merge" panel includes:

Aca,!Ac Moderator Paul Skalny - U.S. Army Tank, Automotive Research Development and Engineering Center, National Automotive Center

Aca,!Ac Dr. Gerhard Schmidt, Ford Motor Co.

Aca,!Ac Aaron Crumm, Adaptive Materials

Aca,!Ac Ken Rogers, Automation Alley

Aca,!Ac Dr. Subrata Sengupta

Aca,!Ac Dr. Grace Bochenek, U.S. Army TARDEC

RDECOM will bring a cross-section of new and emerging technologies to the Army Technology Zone. Several RDECOM research, development and engineering centers will support the event with research technology, including: visual training and multi-touch enabled technologies, armor materials, exothermic reactions and the latest in Soldier rations.

TARDEC, headquartered in Warren, Mich., will display the next generation of military vehicles, advances in energy storage devices, the latest robotics, and will conduct an interactive robotics competition for Maker Faire participants.