Exciting things are happening for Protei, an amazing open hardware oil spill cleaning Sailing Robot Drone by Cesar Harada, which was funded through Kickstarter. The team in Rotterdam are nearing completion on their prototype build and getting ready for test.
The project is amazing and, from working with Cesar and the team, I know that those involved in this effort are top notch. The technology they are working on will always be open source and available for other uses (one of which I am working with them on - a side project of mine) with no interest in profiting off environmental remediation.
The Papilio FPGA Shield (P/Shield) is the next, evolutionary step for the family of easy to use and Open Source Papilio FPGA boards. The P/Shield builds on the proven Papilio One design and packs in more I/O, speedy SRAM, and the ever popular Arduino footprint. When paired with an Arduino, the ease of the Arduino and the power of an FPGA form a potent combination that allows makers of all skill levels to create things only imagined before. When used without an Arduino, the P/Shield continues the strong Papilio tradition as a beginner friendly FPGA board with unlimited potential for expansion and growth. Finally, users of all skill levels will appreciate the Arduino inspired FPGA community at Papilio.cc. Experts and beginners alike can come together to discover answers to questions, to share tutorials, and to share their work on the Papilio Playground.
For the good of all of us: CERN launches open source hardware effort
Open source software is used extensively by CERN, the particle physics lab behind the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments. In fact, the organization even maintains its very own Linux distribution—based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux—called Scientific Linux CERN. Inspired by the productivity of Linux development, a group of CERN engineers have decided to bring the advantages of the open source software development model to the world of hardware.
CERN has launched a new community-centric effort called the Open Hardware Repository (OHR) with the aim of encouraging collaborative electronics design. CERN has also developed a new license, called the Open Hardware License (OHL), to govern the distribution of open hardware designs.
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.
Not directly CNC related — but interesting in the bigger open source / DIY Hacking scheme of things.
fragmentedsector: Sony vs Microsoft: Engaging the Hacker Community
I believe, in many respects, that most companies do a piss poor job of handling the hacker community. When hackers get involved with technology, they begin to use products differently than their original intended use. Normally they push the product to do far more than what was originally designed for, but in order to do this they break a few mechanics and open things up that were closed down.
I can understand why a company would be upset about tampering with their product, but given todays society and the way the world works, bad public relations (PR) is really not worth the hassle. If only Sony agreed with me…
Public hacker George Hotz (aka geohot) is being sued right now by Sony for his recent hacks on the PS3. Geohot was successful in opening up the PS3 and making it play homebrew games and do PS2 emulation. He also released the Metldr key for the PS3, the metldr key cannot be updated, so the PS3 is basically hacked for good. Sony didn’t like this at all, and is now suing geohot. It’s a shame too, this terrific hacker showed interest in working for a company like Sony and this is how they react to his skill. Geohot has gone on the offensive, making a rap song against Sony and even asking for money for lawyers against the titans (I’ll probably be donating to the cause).
Microsoft, surprisingly has taken a much different stance on the matter. With the XBox 360 Kinect, Microsoft has been surprisingly accepting of the hacker community, releasing the software development kit (SDK) within the coming week. Originally it was thought that Microsoft would lock down the device, but it seems they are happy with the recent stunts of playing Angry Birds and World of Warcraft.
As progress in today’s modern world, I feel it is necessary to acknowledge the power of the hacker community and the loyalists that are among them. Geohot could have been a prized gem for Sony, but this is what happens when companies make bad decisions, like threatening to ban all users of the exploits Geohot found and what not. It’s a shame that more companies aren’t open to the idea of the hacker community taking interest in their products.