open hardware projects

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Mainstream Academia Embraces Open Source Hardware

Twenty years ago, even staunch proponents of free and open source software like Richard Stallman questioned the social imperative for free hardware designs. Academics had barely started to consider the concept; the number of papers coming out annually on the topic were less than could be counted on someone's fingers. Not anymore! Not only has the ethical authority of Stallman embraced free hardware and free hardware design, but so has the academic community. Consider the graph below, which shows the number of articles on open source hardware indexed by Google Scholar each year from 2000 to 2017. In the last 17 years, the concept of open source hardware has erupted in ivory towers throughout the world. Now more than 1,000 articles are written on the topic every year.

OpenBionics Makes Low-Cost Open Source Robotic Hands Available to Amputees Around the World

Doing good for the world is often the nature of an open source software or hardware project. Offering code and schematics to others free of charge and with a license that allows for reuse and modification is often done to help others. Knowing this, I was still surprised to learn about an incredible project that combines robotics and prosthetics. This Instagram video of a robotic hand stopped me in my tracks. Further investigation revealed that the hand is the creation of OpenBionics...

The Future of Devices for Health is not Wearables

Dozens of new self-tracking wearable devices appear every month. They target health and quality of life applications, from sleep to physical activity. And, they are packaged as smart watches or as standalone pieces, launched under the umbrella of startups and industry leaders alike. Currently, there is no shortage of thoughtfully designed wearable devices promising to improve our health and quality of life, but amidst the ongoing technological deluge—do you think the future will be wearable or anti-wearable?...

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The Story of Ultimaker: 3D Printers with Open Source DNA

Today we're seeing open hardware projects and businesses succeed for the first time in history. Why, and what do they look like? The story of the Ultimaker and its user community proves that being open is in fact sustainable and may even go a step further to say that that sharing and collaboration are genuine routes to innovation. Let's go back several years to a makerspace in Utrecht, a big city in the Netherlands. The founders of Ultimaker, a premium 3D printer manufacturer, were inspired by the potential of 3D printing, and experimenting with the open source designs of the RepRap project...