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Open Source Hardware

Helen Leigh - Watch Now - Duration: 36:45

This talk will explore what open source hardware actually means and how engineers, academics and scientists are using it to work together and share knowledge all over the world. We’ll take a whistlestop tour of the exciting world of open hardware, from DEFCON-inspired PCB badge culture to the instruction sets used in the chips that go on them. We’ll also learn about some inspiring open source hardware engineers, including Twitch streamers, successful independent product designers and the team on a mission to create a computer system that is open source all the way down to the lowest level possible -- the transistor.
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Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Thank you so much for introducing me to eFabless and the chipIgnite process. I'm really excited about sponsoring a number of chips and playing a part in building a community of ASIC makers!

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Brilliant talk. Learnt a lot of new stuff.

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | 1 reply

Any comments about open source platform independent GUI development tools. I keep coming up with proprietary tools when looking for a GUI development API that I want to integrate into a C++ project running on Windows. Seems like GUI development is going backwards, more complicated instead of simpler and open.

Helen LeighSpeaker
Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Afraid I am not knowledgeable enough about GUI on dev tools to answer that question. Not my wheelhouse, sorry!

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | 1 reply

One thing regarding efficiency...I feel the more technology we employ to make our lives "convenient", the more we "dumb down" ourselves. I feel we still need to understand the inner workings of hardware and software vs. "trust the convenience" all the time.

Helen LeighSpeaker
Score: 1 | 2 years ago | no reply

It's not an either/or choice between deep knowledge of individuals and broad education of the masses. The average person is more educated now than at any other point in history. In my opinion, making tools easier to use is always good. It's easy to be dismissive of these simpler tools but remember: if you find them too easy they are probably not designed for you /and that's okay/. There is nothing stopping you programming in Assembly if you want to! Let people have their block code if they want :D

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | 1 reply

Several Open Hardware projects also include a lot of software how do these projects recruit or ask for software help during development?

Helen LeighSpeaker
Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Most big projects have a team of collaborators with different specialties, EE, firmware, etc. For one example the Glasgow board was a collab between Whitequark and Piotr Esden: https://www.crowdsupply.com/1bitsquared/glasgow

In my own personal experience, I have found collaborators at hacker events and on Twitter! Another example is Tim Ansell, who made FOMU boards and gave them away until he found software engineers that were interested in doing the software!

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | 1 reply

Hi Helen. Great talk but I have some doubts:

1) What is gain from free my hardware design as Open Source? if the idea is create a business around it? I haven't clear this point

2) What is the name of your magazine?

3) What projects do you know from build toys open source for babies or kids?

Helen LeighSpeaker
Score: 1 | 2 years ago | 1 reply
  1. There are loads of ways you can make a good living from OS hardware. You can sell your hardware (like https://www.crowdsupply.com/sqfmi/watchy), you can sell services around hardware (like Antmicro) or you can use it to build a giant community with lots of revenue streams (like Arduino).
  2. The magazine I write for is Make Magazine
  3. Have a look at one I made here https://www.adafruit.com/product/4141
Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Thanks a lot Helen!

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | 1 reply

Great talk! With the rise in the availability of open source hardware it's tempting to incorporate such hardware into commercial products. Are there limitations to using open source hardware in commercial applications.

Helen LeighSpeaker
Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Nope! I mean, check the individual license of the thing you're thinking about using, but there should be no non commercial clauses in open source hardware. In terms of etiquette, make sure you attribute clearly and thank the people who did the work :)

Score: 0 | 2 years ago | no reply

Any information on open source systems. For example, a plan for open source food production. Here is a link to article about how tech food production. Would be great to have community based ownership of food instead of Bill owning it.