Author Archives: alicia

White House’s Maker to Manufacturer Event

via Open Source Hardware Association

Open Source Hardware Breakout Session

Open Source Hardware Breakout Session

I was honored to lead a breakout session for the Maker to Manufacturer event hosted by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology. As the Executive Director of OSHWA, my break out session was on Open Source Hardware innovation. This is my take away from the individual viewpoints expressed by the group, highlighting what we can do as a community, as an industry, and from government and university perspectives. Below are the unedited notes from this breakout session. These ideas came from the collective participants in the breakout session and the views and ideas do not reflect those of the White House.

Our group discussed innovation through open source hardware through cross pollination in the open hardware community, industries, granting organizations, universities, and other institutions. In this way we can change what innovation looks like.

As a community, open source hardware needs to better explain the value proposition to the above listed institutions. We need to clarify the licensing around open source hardware, which OSHWA hopes to take a step toward with our certification process launching in Oct. With help, there could also be a database that grows out of the certification process with a space for contributing back and tracking changes. We need to offer educational experiences for policy makers and illustrate the social change and rapid innovation happening around open source hardware.

Within the government, the open source hardware community would like to be part of any process that might create limits though broad regulation around IP and hardware. We would like to see rethinking the standards and create scalable standards and taxonomies for open source hardware. We think it’s best for conversations in this space to strategically chose particular hardware fields to introduce, educate and change with open source hardware. Tax incentives for people to share their source publicly for the good of rapid innovation, foregoing a monopoly, would be well received in the community. Finally, we need the attention of the USPTO to alter the landscape of IP and be aware of open source prior art.

From a university perspective, a change must happen in the tech transfer offices for innovation to move forward at a university. Too often universities have IP constraints stemming from the Bayh-Dole Act which prohibits other inventions coming out of tax payer funded research and can even prohibit the inventor from continuing to innovate.

From an industry perspective, having a standard business case, such as royalties for creating a copy or derivative, would create a mutual respect. An understanding that risk adverse IP practices such as patents has a trickle down effect on innovation. In particular, open chipsets would be more useable. Industries could benefit from an open toolbox of the first 1,000 common pieces needed for any project, or a ‘simple things’ database containing source for the building blocks would be useful. In some industries also sharing test results with the source would be helpful.

At OSHWA we are reaching out to these four areas, community, government, university, and industry to assist in the changes reflected at this meeting.

Notes from the day, taken by Stephanie Santoso:

How do you innovate with open source hardware?

Moderated By Alicia Gibb, OSHWA

 October is open source hardware month

 We’re primed to create value with the public- we have lots of things that we can do.

Open source hardware is more of an IP concept. What policies currently stand in the

way of open innovation?

 University ownership of IP is a big one.

 Open source software- you know what the license is, you understand what it takes; but

with Creative Commons- you don’t even know what that means. It’s not clear what it is.

Hardware is weird because you can’t license it unless you have a patent. In October,

OSHWA will announce a certification (a trademark) to help Makers and entrepreneurs

understand the steps that they need to take to make sure their products are open

source based on OSHWA’s specific definitions.

 Matt: What does this do for the feedback loop for users? Ex. Bizzy box (sp?)- users

weren’t contributing content back to the community. What is the feedback loop which

incentivizes people to contribute the modifications back to the community?

 It would be great to have a clearly defined record system where you can track changes-

like a Github for hardware. When we look at open source hardware- we should look at

components- and what components you can open source too. Would be great to have

representatives from the semiconductor industry present at future conversations around

Maker to manufacturer. If they were repurposed to be reusable, this would be great.

Schematics for semiconductors are already available. Autodesk is creating a platform

where you can take modular components of your hardware design using an Autodesk

software platform and make them more openly accessible.

 Venkat: Would be great to have a database of open source hardware that makers in

makerspaces can use, so people know what’s already out there and available.

 Think about Texas Instruments- what’s the business case for a company to do open

source hardware? Why would TI or Intel care? You’d need to shift their mindset of how

they measure value- often its patents, but what about getting institutions to value

people who either develop open source hardware or contribute to open source hardware

projects in a similar manner?

 Frank Gayle: Should talk to NIST about how we think about standards. Michelle: we

should talk about taxonomy and how open source hardware fits.

 Fernando: I come from the pharma sector, which is different because it’s harder to

make a product mature. What’s the conceptual framework that moves us in this

direction? We don’t even have material property databases.

 What about procedural processes? It’s hard to divide these processes into specific

pieces. There may be interest in small scale manufacturing, but for large scale

manufacturing, we need to rethink this.

 Open source community- benefits will come for makers who are producing smaller scale

products. We are seeing that individuals are contributing to the open source hardware

community as a way to create a personal brand in some sense- open source represents

a certain set of values. Ex. We are seeing this on Hackaday’s open source project

platform

How might we screw this up?

1) Not explaining the value proposition well

2) Speed to market trumps the IP value proposition- we should remember this. Sometimes

patenting isn’t the best use of your time because things are happening so fast and you

want to make it to market.

3) Regulations- be careful of this- regulations aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but we should

have an active role in providing input and engage with regulators very early on.

4) Not being about to create an effective cost model. If there’s an acknowledgement that

there is a publicly available use of technology for the process, then you can better justify

this to the organization.

5) Failing to recognize that huge social change may be required in order for organizations

to embrace open source hardware. Ex. Navy can be generally hesistant and risk averse.

If you want create something new, it can be an incredibly long approval process. In

some cases, it makes sense to acquire something from outside of the organization than

try to create something in-house.

Announcing October as Open Source Hardware Month!

via Open Source Hardware Association

OSHWA would like to announce Open Source Hardware Month for the month of October 2016. OSHWA is inviting you to participate in events that will add clarity to the open source hardware definition, invite more people to contribute to the movement, and provide education around how to publish a project or product as open source hardware.

Some of OSHWA’s events are highlighted in the White House’s FACT SHEET on page 18: New Commitments in Support of the President’s Nation of Makers Initiative to Kick Off 2016 National Week of Making

Documentation Days

Throughout the month of October, OSHWA will be hosting several documentation days for anyone, individual or company to participate. Documentation Days will be free, community organized events to document your most recent open source hardware project following the OSHW definition and guidelines. This is the perfect time to document that project you just haven’t gotten around to open sourcing. Look for documentation days from OSHWA’s board members and branches in their communities throughout October. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay tuned and for dates and locations of our events and look for updates on our blog.

OSHW Certification

OSHWA will launch the first version of the open source hardware certification. This is an open source hardware certifications administered by OSHWA. This certification is designed to benefit at least two parts of the open source hardware community.

First, it benefits purchasers of open source hardware by making it easy to identify truly open source hardware in the marketplace.  Projects and products obtaining certification and displaying the certification logo clearly communicate a commonly agreed upon definition of openness with customers and users.  While certification is not a condition for openness, obtaining certification is a way to make it clear to others that a given project is open source hardware.

Second, the certification benefits creators of open source hardware.  By giving creators specific guidelines, certification allows open source hardware creators to confidently declare their projects and products as open source hardware.  Certification also allows creators to defend that declaration by pointing to compliance with specific criteria defined in the certification process.

Users will self-certify compliance in order to use the certification logos.  Self-certification will give creators the right to use the OSHWA open source hardware certification logo.  As part of the self-certification process, creators will agree to subject themselves to penalties for non-compliance.  OSHWA will be responsible for enforcing those penalties.

Open Hardware Summit

In addition to the documentation days and certification, as always OSHWA will be hosting our annual Open Hardware Summit in Portland, OR on October 7th. Tickets to the Summit are available and we’re currently looking for speakers and sponsors.

Join OSHWA Today!

The Open Source Hardware Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to being the voice of the open hardware community, ensuring that technological knowledge is accessible to everyone, and encouraging the collaborative development of technology that serves education, environmental sustainability, and human welfare. Become a member of OSHWA today!

Mach 30 Reimagines The Martian with Open Source

via Open Source Hardware Association

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by

Spoiler Alert: This post discusses several key details of The Martian.  If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, you have been warned.

It might be argued that Rich Purnell, “steely-eyed missile man“, is the true hero of The Martian. But you know what else could have helped save Mark Watney (in a much smarter, more efficient way)? Open sourcing.

Let’s back the story up a bit before we get into the details. Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is an astronaut stranded on Mars after a dust storm forces his crew to leave him behind. As he does his best to signal to Earth for help and stay alive, NASA and a team of scientists work together to bring him home.

Read More on Mach 30’s Blog.

OHSWA Board Nominees

via Open Source Hardware Association

Become a member to vote on board members today! The vote will go out by email 9/29 and be open for 48 hours. Here are your nominees in no particular order.

Joel Murphy

My career and work have been supported by open-source hardware. I have benefitted greatly from the smart, creative products and tools made by open hardwarians. I would not be in the position that I am in today without the community. I am already giving back by offering two well received open hardware tools, and I would like to be more involved in helping Open Source Hardware organization build on its successes.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I have had a close relationship with Open Source hardware for the past 10 years. I taught Physical Computing from 2006 to 2014, and saw the exponential rise in open-source hardware use and availability. I built a successful consulting company, Solutions Design, by providing design services to artists and inventors with open-source hardware products, and I am co-founder and owner of two open-source hardware startups: World Famous Electronics, LLC, maker of Pulse Sensor, and optical heart rate monitor for Arduino, and OpenBCI, Inc., a low cost, high quality EEG system. My experience as a teacher and evangelizer as well as an open hardware entrepreneur gives me multiple perspectives on the challenges and opportunities that the open source hardware community faces.
I have been to every summit, and have watched the organization grow toward a definition, and I’m excited to see and be a part of a successful implementation of the new certification.

I do not serve on any other boards at this time.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

Katherine Scott

I believe Open Source Hardware can rapidly accelerate the development of art, science and technology, improve the education of engineers and lay people, and empower individuals to solve the world’s most pressing issues. We are quickly approaching the point where Open Source hardware designs are becoming much like their software counterparts; this is to say that smaller Open Source hardware projects often become the building blocks of much grander systems. I believe that the free, easy, and repeatable exchange of these designs, along with a distributed means of production, can dramatically improve the life of every person on the planet.

I believe these goals are ambitious, important, and revolutionary. I want to get into the nuts and bolts of making them happen; and I want to do it in a way that is bigger than what I can achieve on my own. In particular, I want to figure out how to make Open Source hardware projects, developers, and manufacturing easier to find and use. I also want to develop a pool of financial, legal, and practical resources that directly and actively promote the creation of great Open Source hardware. Finally, I want to work with a bunch of other awesome people who want to do the same thing.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

* I started an electronics manufacturing company / contractor manufacturer called Tempo Automation that uses both Open Source hardware and software. This means I am intimately involved with a large number of hardware projects (both open and closed). I have a pretty good view of where Open Source hardware presently fits in the world, and what strategic actions OSHWA can take to encourage wider adoption.

* In the course of my life I’ve been been a student, an autodidact, a researcher, a business woman, and an educator. I believe I can be an advocate for all of these groups and effectively articulate their needs.

* I’ve taken a few start-ups from nascent ideas on the back of a napkin to working businesses rather quickly. I want to use these same skills to increase OSHWA’s budget and further the adoption of Open Source hardware.

* I used to run a pacifist co-op while working as a research engineer for a defense contractor. I have a great deal of experience mediating between disparate views to find consensus.

* I’ve reached the point in my personal growth where I feel my time is best used helping others realize their own projects rather than working on my own.

I do not serve on any other boards at this time.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

Dan Grigsby

If the messages at this year’s Open Hardware Summit from Joshua Pearce on making open hardware the new standard in science and Tom Igoe on expanding open hardware from “for us by us” to the mainstream are themes you’d worked on by the Association then I’m the board member for you.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

Making open hardware the new standard is science is largely a matter of policy. My work to influence public policy includes Federal issues such as defeating SOPA/PIPA, patent reform and net neutrality. At the state level, I was appointed to terms on the E-Government Advisory Council by the Speaker of the Minnesota House and to the Advisory Commission to the Minnesota Science and Technology Authority by the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Mainstreaming open hardware is an initiative for businesses. I have a twenty-year track record of building successful businesses using — and having those businesses contributing to — Open Source Software. I’m a business guy that shares your values.

What’s more, I’ve given back to my communities as a mentor and advisor; by teaching a tech-startup class that I authored at the University of Minnesota; and by co-founding what’s become a thousand member strong community of developers and entrepreneurs with Minnesota’s BarCamp and DemoCamp.

Plus, I sent a balloon with my kids picture to the edge of space and retrieved it. A selfie in space! How cool is that? Picture or it didn’t happen: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3jcdyvdn3x8h1qh/IMG_3731.jpg?dl=0

I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota High Tech Association.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

Tim Shepherd

To make sure that Open Source hardware gets the recognition that it deserves. I’m passionate about hardware development and feel lucky to be able to try and be apart of the Open Source Hardware community.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

 

Years of hardware development experience, both in industry and at home. This will be a key issue in making sure we all can access open source hardware.

I do not serve on any other boards at this time.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

Alex (acme) D’Elia

To provide support for discussions, organisation, proposals and development of new Open Standards regarding Hardware.
Specially in relation to Future Internet Technologies and IoT arguments,
and in particular related to the layers of Network and Energy Infrastructures. We have started a Technical Table on IoT and we are open to suggestions and exchange of knowledge and work: http://www.cetri-tires.org/press/technical-tables/r-i-o-t-rifkins-internet-of-things/?lang=en

What qualifies you to be a board member?

The work I am doing every day, the projects I’ve started and the partners I am working with and which are involved in the projects are also really operative in the Open Hardware and Open Source Initiatives, in some cases, the groups are already actively working since decades for FLOSS. We are all actively involved in promoting an Open IoT Infrastructure to protect freedom and knowledge sharing, specially in respect to our future generation taking the burden of developing a more open society. For a short BIO consider http://root.acme.com

Regarding the commitment I believe I can devote 10+ hours from January 2016, while at the moment I don’t know how much time I have, depending on the tasks requested I can get organized, but now I select NO to the following box.

I am “Smart Grid director” for the CETRI-TIRES No-Profit Organisation and member of the IoT Council.

No, I will not be able to commit 10 hours a month to being on the board.

Michael Knowles

In my personal life I’m a “maker” and sculptor and frequently making use of open hardware to create new works, many of which simply wouldn’t be possible without some of the great open source works I’ve been able to leverage.

Professionally, I’m the IT Director of Fulcrum Technologies, an enterprise software company based in Seattle. I continue to see the IT industry being transformed by the advances of open source, both hardware and software, and find it genuinely exciting to be a part of.

Joining the board of OSHWA is an opportunity to take my twenty years of IT experience and use it to give back to an organization that is poised to advance an underutilized piece of the larger open source movement.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I feel specifically qualified to be a successful board member of OSHWA for three main reasons:

* Having served on non-profit boards in the past, I understand the varied responsibilities that board membership requires in addition to having experience organizing, advocating and fund-raising.

* Working in the IT industry with both open and closed source products for more than 20 years, I understand the business impact that open source platforms can provide.

* I have personally benefitted from open source hardware in my art and feel I can appreciate the difference in advocating benefits between what works well for a business and what works well for non-business work. Being able to work with both of those audiences is a strength.

I served two years on the board of the Seattle Fringe Theater Festival, and participated on both their outreach and volunteer organizing committees.

Later I served two years on the board of Circus Contraption, and worked with their fund-raising committee though I am not participating on the boards of any organizations currently.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

 

Jeffrey Warren

I’ve involved in many discussions at OSHWA about the open hardware community and open hardware intellectual property and legal matters — most recently in the discussions around an Open Hardware Certification model. I feel that my perspective on open source hardware strikes a balance between the functional argument that open hardware is a better way to create hardware, and the ethical position that we should have the right to examine/copy/modify/distribute designs — that open collaboration is a better model for our society. I believe deeply in community-driven processes, while also believing that for-profit organizations can — and stand to benefit greatly from — being “good open hardware citizens.”

Most of all, I believe strongly that the key to a healthy open source hardware movement is culture. We must continue and improve upon our open, discursive approach to open hardware, and to build strong norms to guide our work, so that we can continue to invent, collaborate, and benefit from one anothers’ work. This spans from good documentation to standards of design file publication, to refining the pace and practices of the actual collaboration in online forums, publication platforms, and even in-person meetings.

What qualifies you to be a board member?

I’ve served on the OSHWA board for 2 years, and have been deeply interested in open hardware both through my work at Public Lab, and as part of the broader free/libre/open source movement. Public Lab, a community of thousands of people engaged in collaboratively developing affordable and accessible environmental testing techniques and equipment, has been using the CERN Open Hardware License for several years, and I participated in the discussions and comment period which led to version 1.2 of that license. I am a producer and consumer of open source hardware and free/libre/open source software, notably as a lead developer of Public Lab’s DIY Spectrometer and associated SpectralWorkbench.org software suite (http://publiclab.org/wiki/spectrometer), as well as the Infragram multispectral camera (http://publiclab.org/wiki/infragram) and associated Infragram.org image compositing system. Since 2011, using our published designs and kits, over six thousand people have constructed their own spectrometers, and many have contributed back their refinements and additions. The size and scope of this project gives me key insight into how a diverse community of contributors can collaboratively tackle complex hardware design, and into the challenges of scaling such a model.

I’ve also served as the secretary of OSHWA, taking minutes on board meetings, and have missed almost none of the meetings over the past two years — making mine one of the best attendance records among current board members. I would be excited to continue to represent the interests of community-based open hardware contributors everywhere during an additional two years of service.

I am on the board of Parts & Crafts, a makerspace for kids in Somerville, MA, and on the advisory board of Personal Democracy Media’s WeGov project.

I will you be able to commit at least 10 hours a month to being on the board.

 

Members, please be on the lookout for the link to vote in your inbox today!

 

Nominations for OSHWA board member positions

via Open Source Hardware Association

OSHWA is looking for 5 new faces to join the board of directors for the Open Source Hardware Association. This form is for self-nominations only. Please fill out this form to become a nominee or forward the link to the person you wish to nominate for them to fill out. The purpose of this form will be to tell voting members a bit about yourself. We will be publish the nominees and their answers on Sept. 26th. Board members hold a 2-year position. Once board members have been chosen by the community, the board will appoint a President, VP, and Secretary. Board responsibilities include fundraising, advising on goals and direction and carry out compliance with the organizations purposes and bylaws. Board members are expected to attend all board meetings and come prepared having read the board packet. Board members are expected to spend 10 hours of time per month on OSHWA. Nominees can meet current board members who are present at the Summit during lunch on Sept. 19th. Board members Michael Weinberg, Toni Klopfenstein, Rose Swan Meacham and Addie Wagenknecht will remain on the board. Nominations will be open until Sept. 25th.

Nominee form.

Member voting will take place Sept 29-30. Want to vote in the election? Become a member if you’re not already! Please note that only individuals can vote, corporate members cannot.