Archive for the ‘About’ Category

Arduino The Documentary now online

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Arduino The Documentary is finally out. We have been waiting for long, but now you can see it at Vimeo (EN, ES) and download it from (EN, ES). The file is licensed under CC-SA 3.0 and can be redistributed. The makers are working in making a batch of DVDs that will include the full interviews as well as footage of the different locations where the documentary was made (ITP, Parsons, Adafruit, Rockwellgroup, and Makerbot New York; Medialab Prado and IES Miguel Hernandez, Madrid; Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijon). Here the documentary in English:

And here in Spanish (there are subtitles in other languages at

The music is from People Like Us and Ergo Phizmiz, the theme chosen is Ghosts Before Breakfast, feel free to check it out.

Just anticipating any questions about this: no, Arduino has not supported the production of this documentary beyond giving access to our 2010 NYC meeting, donating some footage of the production plan in Ivrea, Italy, and being dead honest about what we think the future of embedded computing will be. Whatever message the documentary transmits is part of the work of its makers. We are just grateful they think the same way we do and that the result turned out this way. We are also thankful to everyone that showed up in the video saying how cool our project is, and to all of you that are making it possible.

All the work was made by Rodrigo (twitt him at @rodhk) and Raul (idea, film, postproduction), Gustavo (@gus_teky, who promoted this in the first place), and the people at Laboral Centro de Arte (financing, and equipment) in Gijon, Spain.

PS. this was the best xmas present I could get for 2010, thanks guys!

Update 2011-01-08:

  • added links for the downloads at,
  • there were 26.000 views in the first 24h of the documentary being online,
  • translators needed visit: and contribute,
  • added links to Rockwellgroup, one of the locations seen in the video
  • added a credit link to Gustavo Valera

Open-source hardware statement of principles and definition.

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Although Arduino has been doing open-source hardware for a while now, we haven’t had a good place to point people to explain what we mean by it. That’s starting to change, thanks to a recent effort I’ve been involved with to write up a statement of principles and definition for open-source hardware. We’ve just posted a new draft and are looking for public feedback. Here’s the statement of principles:

Open source hardware is hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it. Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. Open source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.

What do you think? Please share your comments here or on the Open Hardware Summit forum. We’re hoping to find language that’s specific to what we do, but understandable and acceptable to a broad audience.

How to recognize official Arduino boards.

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Arduino is an open-source project and we’re happy that so many people have created variations on our hardware and software. We realize, however, that it’s sometimes hard to tell which products are part of the Arduino platform itself. The official boards are listed on the hardware page (and pictured above, with the exception of the official shields and Mini-USB adaptor). These are the products that we feel provide the best overall experience and utility to the Arduino community. They include boards from three manufacturers: SmartProjects (in Italy), SparkFun, and Gravitech (both in the US). These companies pay a licensing fee in exchange for support for these products in the Arduino software and documentation.

The official Arduino products are the only ones licensed to use the word “Arduino” in their name. Other products may be labelled as “Arduino-compatible” or “for Arduino”, but these are not a part of the platform itself and don’t fund continuing work on the project. If you’re making a product and wondering what to call it, we’ve added some guidelines to the FAQ. We think that these conventions make it easier for everyone to understand what products they’re buying and who supports them.

Finally, we’d like to thank a few companies that have been particularly good about working with us on these issues: Adafruit Industries, Oomlout, and SparkFun Electronics. Thanks for your cooperation and all the great products!

Arduino Uno Punto Zero Meeting in NYC

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

It was a busy week in NYC for the team last week. We attended an open source hardware meeting, had two days of advisory meetings and several team meetings, an Arduino NYC community meetup, visited NYC Resistor and Adafruit’s offices, and threw in a couple of social events as well. Exhausted by the pace, but energized by the ideas, we came out of it feeling good about the road to Arduino uno punto zero.


Arduino 1.0 Usage Survey

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

On January 1st, we announced that we’re working towards Arduino 1.0 (for details, see this post). Our goal is to stabilize the platform so that it’s supportable and a good foundation for future developments.

We’ve been getting good feedback from experienced developers through our developers list; from many users individually, both in person and in email; and in the Arduino forums. We want to make sure we get input from the whole Arduino community. This means we want to hear from users, teachers, designers, developers, tinkerers, distributors, and anyone else who uses Arduino. This means you.
There are a few ways you can let us know what you think:
* Please fill out the the Arduino Uno Punto Zero survey to let us know what you think of the current features of Arduino. It takes about five minutes. Even if you have nothing else to add, this will help give us a broad picture of Arduino use.  Please share this widely with your friends, students, and anyone else you know who uses Arduino.
For those who want to discuss in more depth, there are a few venues:

And we came on Wall Street Journal for real

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The journalist that featured Arduino as a side-effect while talking about RepRap the other day on Wall Street Journal got very interested in the subject and called all of the team members to put together an article for the online issue of the WSJ. He is focusing in the market generated by Arduino but more specificly in how open source hardware can boost interesting business opportunities.
I like the way it is written, and got happy to see that someone got to interview Gianluca in depth. Arduino is not only about boards, software and education, it is also about the compromise of manufacturers to provide a community of makers with the best tools possible, assuring quality and reliability.

The main producer of the Arduino is Smart Projects Snc, based in the tiny town of Scarmagno, Italy. This year, the two-person firm is on track to sell at least 60,000 of the microcontrollers, which retail for at least $30 a piece, up from 34,000 last year. Owner Gianluca Martino, an electrical engineer, has had to contract out much of the production to keep up with growth.

It’s a peculiar predicament, since the Arduino’s designs are on the Internet for anyone to download and use.While there are clones on the market, the microcontrollers that Mr. Martino produces, with the map of Italy printed on the back of it, are by far the most popular.

“What’s interesting in this kind of open-source project is the feeling of confidence the consumer has,” he says, since people can look up the designs and tailor the Arduino to their needs.

Read the whole article here. Thanks to Justin Lahart (the journalist), some nice investors may read the article and call us back :-)

Arduino Manufacturing and Carbon Neutrality

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Smart Projects, the Italian company that is the manufactures the Arduino Duemilanove, Mega, and Mini,  has signed up with the ZeroImpact/Lifegate project in order  reduce its environmental impact and compensate for the emissions created in manufacturing Arduino boards. The company’s donation to ZeroImpact/Lifegate will go to restore and protect  25 thousand square meters of rainforest in Costa Rica.  This means that for every two Arduino boards manufactured by Smart Projects, one square meter of rainforest will be restored or protected from deforestation. This donation has been in effect from the beginning of production of the Arduino Mega in an effort to make the production of Arduino boards closer to carbon neutral.

And von Hippel talked about Arduino

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Eric von Hippel, at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, was interviewed by Deloitte Review on the subject of open source technologies in the field of innovation, he makes a very nice mention about Arduino:

Open hardware is a set of open platforms and tools to support people who want to design their own hardware. For example, the Arduino board is a basic electronics processing board with open specifications that anyone can copy and use in their own projects. People are proving that profitable firms can be set up around supplying hardware built to open specs.

It seems to be a really good article, you can read the whole thing here.

Arduino in Space

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Jim McGuire of the Stensat Group sent this report on what might be the most exteme environment that an Arduino’s been deployed in yet:

“In addition to the primary ISS construction mission, STS-127 is carrying two 19-inch spherical satellites scheduled for deployment on Mission Day 16. The two spheres, Castor and Pollux [], are part of the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment (ANDE) that studies atmospheric perturbations in the LEO environment. Castor [] contains an ARM processor, while Pollux is running an Atmel ATMega CPU. Pollux [] also contains student payloads developed with Arduino on Atmel AVRs. Both satellites transmit telemetry using the FX.25 FEC format [] developed by the Stensat guys []. Many components are commercial-grade, purchased from Digikey. This is the second ANDE mission, following the successful deployment of MAA and FCal [] on STS-116 (both also flying commercial components.)”

Thanks Jim, for the report!

Life Cycle Assessment of Duemilanove

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Caroline Brown, an ITP student in Jennifer Van der Meer’s class, is trying to do a life cycle assessment on the Duemilanove, to determine its environmental impact.  I think it’s an interesting idea, since I’ve never seen an LCA done on a module like the Arduino. I’ve seen a few on commercial products, but never on development tools.

She’s currently collecting info on how you use your boards and how long they stay in use. If you’re interested, her survey is online here. It’s anonymous.

This is a very short project she’s doing (only a few weeks long), so the results may not be conclusive, but nevertheless, I hope it’ll reveal enough about the environmental impact to delve into more assessment in the future. It’d be great to learn something about how to minimize the impact of what we do.