Open Source Hardware (Limor Fried & Philip Torrone) – ETech08

Hardware is much easier to copy now. Hardware & software is blurring – ex: firmware updates.
Speed of hardware hacking is remarkable.

Why open source hardware? Contribute to the pool of knowledge; freedom to pursue software/hardware creativity; community development and quality; excitement about building things; education;

Layers:
– Hardware/mechanical diagrams: 2D models, vector, DXF or AI (KiCAD)
– Scematics & circuit diagrams: PDF, BMP, GIF, PNG
– Parts list (Bill of Materials): data sheets (x0xb0x TB303)
– Layout diagrams: physical map of parts
– Core/Firmware: on-board source code
– Software/API
Like most developers, they don’t mention the human interface layer.

Roomba has an open API. Companies that release open platforms find much greater value (and mindshare) from user mods.
Ambient Orb publishes schematics and parts list. Neuros OSD publishes schematics (semi-open but falls short).
Hardware is mostly based on patents, not copyright. Licensing: CC, GPL, BSD, MIT
Chumby: programmable data portal.

Other open source hardware resources (business models): Fab@Home, Daisy MP3 player, Adafruit, Arduino open-source electronics prototyping platform. See also Make magazine & the Maker Fair.

Cool stuff: Twittering plants with Arduino – plants that call you and say they need to be watered (Twitter as SMS bridge); Open prosthetics; Minty Boost open source USB charger;

Ed note: Imagine an online repository of mechanical diagrams for DIY desktop fab/rep…

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