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!
The Open Hardware Summit is the world’s first comprehensive conference on open hardware; a venue to discuss and draw attention to the rapidly growing Open Source Hardware movement. The Open Hardware Summit is a venue to present, discuss, and learn about open hardware of all kinds. The summit examines open hardware and its relation to other issues, such as software, design, business, law, and education.
We were invited by Eric Pan from Seeedstudio (thanks Eric for the good time!). The Maker Faire has been a priceless experience to get in touch with the chinese maker community, as well as networking with different Chinese and Chinese-based maker companies creating interesting contents & products.
iKazoo is a prototype for an open source platform using Arduino and recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. It’s a multifunctional device assistant for entertainment with a touch and shock sensitive surface. It can easily record or alter your voice but also play many types of instrument. You can use it as a optical game controller and even as a brush on your pad. The hardware contains sensors that can monitor all body movements and become a step counter. Here’s the video presentation:
Bleuette project is hexapod robot equipped with 6 legs that can be operated without any external guidance.
The french project is fully open hardware (made entirely with an Ultimaker 3D printer) / opensource and operates on a Arduino Leonardo board with a custom shield developed for it and available on Hugo’s website, the author of the project. It is used mostly to control the 12 servos (+ 2 optional) for the legs, measure voltage and current.
Take a look at the robot’s first steps!
Hugo is also thinking about future developments for Bleuette, like equipping it with a Bluetooth connection, a magnetic sensor to keep an edge when walking and finally a mobile turret with an ultrasonic sensor to detect obstacles in front of it.
Interested in the code? you can find it on Github: