Last saturday, Arte tvl aired a short documentary in french language about Arduino. The video was created by FUTURE magazine and featuring Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles and Arduino users: children and young electronics enthusiasts:
Tinkering in a garage on a drone, playing with a set of lights with LEDs or even build a robotic arm worthy of a science fiction movie … Today, even when one is a novice in electronics all this is possible through Arduino, a real flexible technology.
Once again this year Arduino will make a donation ( for a total of 30,000 USD) to promote open source culture and innovation.
This year, Arduino is also soliciting suggestions: througout 2014, we are asking our community to highlight the 10 organizations which would best benefit from Arduino support.
Arduino is based on the contribution of many other open source projects and wants to support these and other initiatives sharing our approach and philosophy, through yearly donations.
We thought it could be a great idea to involve the community for selecting the projects to support by suggesting us how they could benefit from Arduino donations.
The Arduino community is invited to suggest beneficiaries – associations, foundations, institutions – according to one or more of the following cornerstones:
– it brings innovations in the open electronic and making ecosystem
– it’s an open source project
– it facilitates the exchange of knowledge
– it has an impact on open source ecosystem
– it is a non commercial project
The first call is open during May: anyone can fill this form to send a suggestion based on the cornerstones explained above by the 30th of May. At the end of June we’ll announce 5 finalists receiving a donation of $2000 each.
The second call for submissions will happen during September.
At Maker Faire Rome in October 2014, Arduino will announce the remaining 5 finalists receiving a donation of $2000 each.
The final selection will be at the discretion of the Arduino team.
Arduino user Geotechbd wrote us from Bangladesh to share his experience:
Our company here in Bangladesh owns a quite old concrete batch plant, which had full manual control requiring an operator to control 14+ switched and observe 3 mechanical scales (dial gauges). I was successful to upgrade this plant to an automated unit requiring minimal operator input using custom made Arduino Uno compatible board and LIFA. Wiring is still messy which I shall take care in the near future. (more…)
Jon Brodkin of Ars Technica conducts a Q&A with Massimo Banzi as Arduino’s rise continues.
Most of the technology world is familiar with open source software and the reasons why, in some eyes, it’s more appealing than proprietary software. When software’s source code is available for anyone to inspect, it can be examined for security flaws, altered to suit user wishes, or used as the basis for a new product.
Less well-known is the concept behind open source hardware, such as Arduino. Massimo Banzi, co-creator of Arduino, spoke with Ars this month about the importance of open hardware and a variety of other topics related to Arduino. As an “open source electronic prototyping platform,” Arduino releases all of its hardware design files under a Creative Commons license, and the software needed to run Arduino systems is released under an open source software license. That includes an Arduino development environment that helps users create robots or any other sort of electronics project they can dream up.
So just like with open source software, people can and do make derivatives of Arduino boards or entirely new products powered by Arduino technology.
Why is openness important in hardware? “Because open hardware platforms become the platform where people start to develop their own products,” Banzi told Ars. “For us, it’s important that people can prototype on the BeagleBone [a similar product] or the Arduino, and if they decide to make a product out of it, they can go and buy the processors and use our design as a starting point and make their own product out of it.”
Arti Ahluwalia (Professor of Bioengineering), Daniele Mazzei and Carmelo De Maria (Biomedical Engineers, co-founders of FabLab Pisa and researchers at the Center) are now back in Italy and I interviewed them as this project raised interest from the open source community. (more…)
Some people call it the “Etsy for hardware”, some other “the indie marketplace for open source hardware”, even if being open is not a requirement. Tindie’s mission consists of connecting the world’s small, hardware businesses with customers all over the world and today starts a cool initiative called Open Designs and Kickbacks. When sellers create a new product, they will be able to select a project the product is a derivative from, and enter the % of sales that will go to the open hardware project.
“Businesses can manufacture the open design as is, or create products derived from it. Those sellers can then kickback a portion of their sales back to the designer. Tindie will handle the disbursement of funds so it’s absolutely painless. For designers, there are no fees, no hosting costs, just a simple way to reap the benefits of their hard work”
Our goal is to arrive at a better understanding of who we are as a community, why and how we use/make open-source hardware, and how our practices and numbers are changing over time. For this purpose, we are asking all those who use and/or develop open-source hardware to please respond. The aggregate results will be made publicly available after the survey closes. By publishing your responses, we hope to provide the public with insights into the practices and experiences of the people involved in open-source hardware.
Most of the projects we’ve been featuring on this blog are happen to be focused on diy approaches around music, design, art. We are noticing that more and more people are starting to realize the benefits of using Arduino also in industrial settings.
Today I’m going to highlight a project posted by Paul M Furley on his blog and describing how back in 2009 he worked in a family firm, producing the user operator software for their new digital printing machine and decided to use Arduino in high-tech manufacturing:
I’d been hacking around with Arduino since my masters project and it came along at a perfect time for JF Machines. They had just developed their new ink circulation system: a serious affair with 5 separate ink bottles rising and falling to alter pressure along with precise temperature control. They needed a way to drive the bottle lifting motors, read in alarm signals and switch inputs as well as output various flashing sequences for the benefit of the operator. Although a PLC would have been suitable, Arduino seemed like a great option.
Since then he realized why he made the right choice and lists a number of the reasons useful to explore.
Supply security – even if Arduino stopped supplying boards tomorrow, other manufacturers are making clones, and the hardware design lives on. If Arduino changed their physical design, it wouldn’t be much trouble to make a converter to adapt the new and old sockets – in fact, someone would probably release it was an off-the-shelf project as soon as the announcement was made! In the worst case scenario, JF Machines could manufacture the whole Arduino board from the designs for as long as the a compatible microcontroller remained available.
Low cost – I often hear the opposite argument when discussing Arduino with the hobby and hacker scene. I agree that for integrating into a consumer product, the Arduino’s off-the-shelf price is fairly expensive (although good luck designing and making a small batch yourself for cheaper…). However when integrated in a five-figure industrial printing machine, the cost comes close to zero, especially when considering the PLC alternative and the support benefits. If JF Machines were ever to mass-produce their machines, reducing the price of the Arduino would be fairly low on the list of priorities!