Archive for the ‘Related Initiatives’ Category

RepRap chooses Arduino for future developments.

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

The RepRap project just announced the selection of Arduino for the next stage of their efforts to build a self-replicating rapid prototyping machine. We’re flattered and excited to have Arduino playing a part in such a cool project. Kudos to Zach “Hoeken” Smith for persevering through some mysterious bugs to get this working.

The RepRap site has more details about their Arduino-based electronics system.

Libelium launches a hacking contest

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Libelium, open software/hardware company and Arduino distributor located in Zaragoza, Spain, launches a hacking contest. You could win a limited-edition GPRS/GPS module for Arduino if one of your documentation videos gets selected.

As seen on their website:

It is a contest for everyone who believes in Open Hardware and enjoys hacking with Arduino. It is the time to show what you have done and share it with the Community!

poster for the competition

Arduino meets the XO Laptop

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Brian Jepson posted some useful instructions on how to run Arduino on the XO laptop recently. He and Gian Vilamil have both commented on the XO as the ideal Arduino development platform due to its cost and relative simplicity.

Octopart: a search engine for electronic parts.

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Finding the right parts can be a pain, especially when you’re new to electronics (as many Arduino users are). That’s why Octopart is so great: it allows you to search for parts across multiple distributors, telling you the price and quantity available from each one. For example, you can use it to find a replacement ATmega168 for your Arduino board, or a L293D to put in your motor controller shield. You can even find Arduino boards on Octopart, since they index Sparkfun. If you’re not sure what the number is for a part, but you know what it needs to do, you can narrow your search in the parts categories (kind of like how the Yahoo! homepage looked back in the old days, but just for electronic parts).

We’re especially fond of Octopart because it was started by a couple of guys who dropped out of grad school to do it. Plus, their third employee is a friend of mine from high school (don’t worry, though, I’d recommend them anyway). The guys are working like mad to improve the site and add features, so I’m sure they’d love to hear from you if you have any suggestions (

In conclusion, if you’re in need of any electronic parts, try Octopart.

Fritzing: supporting the transition from prototype to product.

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Check out Fritzing: an “open-source initiative to support designers and artists to take the step from physical prototyping to actual product”. Started by Prof. Reto Wettach and André Knörig at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam and funded by MWFK Brandenburg, the project aims to create software that makes it easier to document Arduino-based prototypes and design PCBs for manufacturing. Of course, there’s already a lot of software for this out there (both open-source and proprietary); the Fritzing site contains an excellent analysis of the schematic-editing and PCB-layout software currently available. Still, I think there’s a opportunity here to make something that’s well done and easy-to-use and it’s great to see someone taking up the challenge.

The project is holding a kick-off workshop on the 17th and 18th of September that some members of the Arduino team will be attending along with other well-known figures in physical computing. If you’re interested, you can apply by contacting the Fritzing team. If you have other suggestion or comments, there’s also a general discussion forum for the project.

Finally, we should note that like Arduino, Fritzing takes it name from an old king – in this case Frederick II of Prussia, whom those from Potsdam like to call “Fritz”.