Open Hardware Summit

Chris Gerty | | October 24, 2012

NASA’s Open Innovation Program recently participated in the Open Hardware Summit, sponsored by the newly formed Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA).  What we witnessed was a community in its early stages, developing in front of our eyes, tackling technical/legal/cultural challenges with an openness that we have grown to respect and see as an essential part of the way NASA will do business in the future.

There are so many interesting aspects of this growing community – from the power that community platforms have in the design and manufacturing of open hardware (Arduino, Thingiverse, and the newly launched Open Design Engine), to the striking desire of this community to explore – encouraging kits like OpenROV, CubeSat designs, or entire sets of projects like in this space and science-themed issue of Make: magazine.

The event was truly a melting pot of the maker community.  Take for instance the citizen scientists of Public Laboratory. Their mission is to foster a distributed community who specializes in using open technology to investigate environmental concerns. Also represented in force was the emerging open source driven 3D printer market...