Tag Archives: CentreforCreativeCollaboration

Wireless (Hacking Commodity Wireless, Practical Wireless, Contiki OS, CWIG)

via OSHUG

At the fifteenth OSHUG meeting we'll be taking a look at wireless technologies. We will hear how you can repurpose low cost commodity equipment, we will be given an introduction to RF basics, we will learn about the Contiki operating system, and we will be introduced to Ciseco's new Wireless Internet Gateway.

Hacking Commodity Wireless

Many people build their hacks from the ground up, but those short of time sometimes prefer to repurpose cheap off-the-shelf components that can be made to fit the bill. A good example being a wireless thermometer for external use, where an off-the-shelf device provides an inexpensive option complete with the requisite weatherproof packaging. However, such devices typically use proprietary protocols and good documentation is rarely available. This talk will look at how to interface such devices where a degree of reverse-engineering is frequently required.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Practical Wireless

Adding wireless connectivity to your latest open hardware project is not difficult, provided that you take the time to understand some of the principles of RF communication. In this talk we will learn about the basics of wireless propagation, and take a look at some of the low cost modules which now make adding wireless even easier.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk is aimed to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware. We will learn about the process of bootstrapping the development environment and there will be a hands-on tutorial.

Ilya Dmitrichenko was born in Soviet Latvia in 1985, grew up and attended a secondary school there, and moved to UK as soon as Latvia joined the EU. He attended the biggest university in London and was rather disappointed with the education, but nevertheless carried on and had fun working on a final year engineering project which served as an introduction to the topic of this talk. Ilya is interested in various aspects of hardware and software, spanning from WSN to DSP and several other random fields.

CWIG — The Ciseco Wireless Internet Gateway

The CWIG is a new open hardware device that is designed to be the "one and only" platform you'd need for a wireless gateway. It employs the same ATmega328 microcontroller that is familiar to Arduino users and supports Ciseco's TI CC1110-based XRF module, XBee, Bluetooth, RFM12B, X10/HomeEasy, FRAM, SD, Ethernet and over-the-air programming with AVRDude. It's sized to be housed in a low cost, compact enclosure and to be cheap to build using through-hole components. In this talk we will be given an introduction to the CWIG and also to the XRF wireless UART and programmable RF module.

Miles Hodkinson's twenty-odd year relationship with IT ended around six years ago when he decided that it was time to do something completely different. He had looked around without success for something to log and control his wind turbine, solar panels and Lister single cylinder engine, and found that nothing was flexible enough for the money he wanted to pay (tens of pounds per device), so he decided he would try and build it himself. After a number of years working on a human-focused method of networking originally built using XBee modules and now termed LLAP, his company developed the TI CC1110-based XRF module.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

Wireless (Hacking Commodity Wireless, Practical Wireless, Contiki OS, CWIG)

via OSHUG

At the fifteenth OSHUG meeting we'll be taking a look at wireless technologies. We will hear how you can repurpose low cost commodity equipment, we will be given an introduction to RF basics, we will learn about the Contiki operating system, and we will be introduced to Ciseco's new Wireless Internet Gateway.

Hacking Commodity Wireless

Many people build their hacks from the ground up, but those short of time sometimes prefer to repurpose cheap off-the-shelf components that can be made to fit the bill. A good example being a wireless thermometer for external use, where an off-the-shelf device provides an inexpensive option complete with the requisite weatherproof packaging. However, such devices typically use proprietary protocols and good documentation is rarely available. This talk will look at how to interface such devices where a degree of reverse-engineering is frequently required.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Practical Wireless

Adding wireless connectivity to your latest open hardware project is not difficult, provided that you take the time to understand some of the principles of RF communication. In this talk we will learn about the basics of wireless propagation, and take a look at some of the low cost modules which now make adding wireless even easier.

Ken Boak joined BBC Research Department after graduating and worked on digital picture processing of HDTV images, and coding algorithms for video distribution around studios. Since then, Ken has worked in laboratory instrumentation, telecommunications, low power wireless and consumer electronics produced in the Far East. With an interest in renewables, Ken now develops laboratory instruments to teach undergraduates the principles of photovoltaic and wind power. Outside of work, Ken is interested in smart wireless sensors, open source hardware and low cost solutions for the Internet of Things.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk is aimed to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware. We will learn about the process of bootstrapping the development environment and there will be a hands-on tutorial.

Ilya Dmitrichenko was born in Soviet Latvia in 1985, grew up and attended a secondary school there, and moved to UK as soon as Latvia joined the EU. He attended the biggest university in London and was rather disappointed with the education, but nevertheless carried on and had fun working on a final year engineering project which served as an introduction to the topic of this talk. Ilya is interested in various aspects of hardware and software, spanning from WSN to DSP and several other random fields.

CWIG — The Ciseco Wireless Internet Gateway

The CWIG is a new open hardware device that is designed to be the "one and only" platform you'd need for a wireless gateway. It employs the same ATmega328 microcontroller that is familiar to Arduino users and supports Ciseco's TI CC1110-based XRF module, XBee, Bluetooth, RFM12B, X10/HomeEasy, FRAM, SD, Ethernet and over-the-air programming with AVRDude. It's sized to be housed in a low cost, compact enclosure and to be cheap to build using through-hole components. In this talk we will be given an introduction to the CWIG and also to the XRF wireless UART and programmable RF module.

Miles Hodkinson's twenty-odd year relationship with IT ended around six years ago when he decided that it was time to do something completely different. He had looked around without success for something to log and control his wind turbine, solar panels and Lister single cylinder engine, and found that nothing was flexible enough for the money he wanted to pay (tens of pounds per device), so he decided he would try and build it himself. After a number of years working on a human-focused method of networking originally built using XBee modules and now termed LLAP, his company developed the TI CC1110-based XRF module.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

Open for Change Pt.2 (Hexayurt, O + S Project, Onawi)

via OSHUG

Back in May at OSHUG #10 we heard about three projects concerned with effecting positive change. At the fourteenth meeting we'll be continuing with this theme, and hearing about the Hexayurt disaster relief shelter, documenting Appropriate Technology for the needs of others, and open renewables.

Free and Open Source Housing

The Hexayurt is an award-winning replacement for the disaster relief tent which provides shelter at 20% the cost of a tent. It is designed to be manufactured anywhere in the world at any scale, from local materials, as Free hardware, to house humans in need. The Hexayurt Project maintains the designs and makes them freely available. An estimated $250,000 worth of Hexayurts were built at Burning Man this year.

Vinay Gupta is one the world’s leading thinkers on infrastructure theory, state failure solutions, and managing global system risks including poverty/development and the environmental crisis. He works at both the theoretical level, building models and mapping tools and at the practical level, as the designer of the Hexayurt, he helped start the US National Defense University STAR-TIDES program on humanitarian assistance, consulted on urban resilience for Arup, and is an associate fellow of the UCL Institute for Security and Resilience Studies.

The Needs of Others

One of the areas seeing heavy influence from the Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) movement is Appropriate Technology, and the O+S Project is working from the perspective of its documentation. It is investigating the difficulty in translating from F/OSS to Appropriate Technology at both a practices and principles level, and how we must go further to meet the goals with the world’s poorest people.

Al Razi Masri is a recent Manufacturing Engineering graduate and founder of the O+S Project. In addition to which he is working on documentation for the Hexayurt Project and instructional documents for other Appropriate Technology.

Open Hardware and Renewable Energy

Onawi is a non-profit organisation promoting open hardware for the development of non-domestic wind energy systems. Open hardware is becoming increasingly popular, as we can see in the recent initiative by Facebook to open up the technology behind their data-centres. However, most open hardware projects are targeted at hobbyists or those looking for custom do-it-yourself alternatives to mass market products. While this is a very positive aspect, at Onawi we believe that open licensing and collaborative development could have a far reaching impact on industrial production. In particular, Open Hardware could provide the horizontal technology transfer of renewables required to fight climate change in developing countries.

Javier Ruiz is a UK based digital activist and social entrepreneur promoting open data, open standards and open licensing as the basis for a better future based on transparency, participation and collaboration. His practical work cuts across various spheres ranging from citizen journalism, archives to renewable energy. His background is in anthropology and technology management, and you can normally find him at the Open Rights Group.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

Open for Change Pt.2 (Hexayurt, O + S Project, Onawi)

via OSHUG

Back in May at OSHUG #10 we heard about three projects concerned with effecting positive change. At the fourteenth meeting we'll be continuing with this theme, and hearing about the Hexayurt disaster relief shelter, documenting Appropriate Technology for the needs of others, and open renewables.

Free and Open Source Housing

The Hexayurt is an award-winning replacement for the disaster relief tent which provides shelter at 20% the cost of a tent. It is designed to be manufactured anywhere in the world at any scale, from local materials, as Free hardware, to house humans in need. The Hexayurt Project maintains the designs and makes them freely available. An estimated $250,000 worth of Hexayurts were built at Burning Man this year.

Vinay Gupta is one the world’s leading thinkers on infrastructure theory, state failure solutions, and managing global system risks including poverty/development and the environmental crisis. He works at both the theoretical level, building models and mapping tools and at the practical level, as the designer of the Hexayurt, he helped start the US National Defense University STAR-TIDES program on humanitarian assistance, consulted on urban resilience for Arup, and is an associate fellow of the UCL Institute for Security and Resilience Studies.

The Needs of Others

One of the areas seeing heavy influence from the Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) movement is Appropriate Technology, and the O+S Project is working from the perspective of its documentation. It is investigating the difficulty in translating from F/OSS to Appropriate Technology at both a practices and principles level, and how we must go further to meet the goals with the world’s poorest people.

Al Razi Masri is a recent Manufacturing Engineering graduate and founder of the O+S Project. In addition to which he is working on documentation for the Hexayurt Project and instructional documents for other Appropriate Technology.

Open Hardware and Renewable Energy

Onawi is a non-profit organisation promoting open hardware for the development of non-domestic wind energy systems. Open hardware is becoming increasingly popular, as we can see in the recent initiative by Facebook to open up the technology behind their data-centres. However, most open hardware projects are targeted at hobbyists or those looking for custom do-it-yourself alternatives to mass market products. While this is a very positive aspect, at Onawi we believe that open licensing and collaborative development could have a far reaching impact on industrial production. In particular, Open Hardware could provide the horizontal technology transfer of renewables required to fight climate change in developing countries.

Javier Ruiz is a UK based digital activist and social entrepreneur promoting open data, open standards and open licensing as the basis for a better future based on transparency, participation and collaboration. His practical work cuts across various spheres ranging from citizen journalism, archives to renewable energy. His background is in anthropology and technology management, and you can normally find him at the Open Rights Group.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the talks will start at 18:30 prompt.

Practical Approaches (Double-sided PCB Design, Controlling Power, 3W RGB LED Controller )

via OSHUG

Developing a solution to a problem is not simply a matter of whether it is technically possible, but can involve all manner of challenging constraints. This is particularly the case in DIY and small-scale manufacture contexts, as there may be limited access to tools, test equipment and costly fabrication processes.

At the twelfth OSHUG meeting we'll be hearing about practical approaches that were developed in tackling three different problems. One is concerned with designing a double-sided PCB to accommodate 0.5mm pitch surface mount devices, that can be reliably built using low cost DIY methods. Another with safely controlling mains powered devices from the Internet, and the third with building a 3W RGB LED controller using all open source design and development tools.

DIY Double-sided PCB Design and Development for embedded ARM

Inspired by the success of the Arduino platform and driven by a recognition that to go from raw materials to a working system is both exciting and empowering, a project was born to develop a powerful microcontroller board that can be built from scratch. With this came the challenge of designing a double-sided PCB that will accommodate a 64-pin LQFP package on 0.5mm pitch, and that can be built using low cost DIY techniques.

In this talk we will learn about the rules which needed to be applied in order to ensure that construction of such a PCB is practical, and discoveries that were made in its development.

Garry Bulmer gained his degree in Computer Science in the early 1980s and developed software for companies including ICL, before going on to teach Computer Science and Software Engineering at degree level and beyond. During the 1990s he was a co-founder of Parallax Solutions, a software services company with customers that included Rover Group and Rolls Royce, and that partnered with Sun Microsystems and delivered their Enterprise Architecture Blueprints. He's since held the position of Chief Architect at Keane, Aspen Technology and Caritor. More recently he has become involved in education, running Arduino workshops for local schools and at events including Howduino, DEV8D and fizzPop.

A Simple Approach to Controlling Power from Internet Apps

Working with mains power can be a daunting prospect and requires due care and attention. In this presentation we will hear about a simple and safe way to control mains-powered appliances from the Internet using cheap wireless links. This will include a live demo based on MBED and an explanation of this approach, and there will be opportunity to discuss its pros and cons.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Using Open Source tools to design and build a 3W RGB LED Controller in a month of Sundays

There are many Open Source and freely available hardware designs but almost all of them are currently hosted by proprietary tool chains. Whether it's the EDA suite used to design the boards, the compilers used to build the firmware or the dongles used to flash the firmware, the chances are that at least one, if not all, are under a non-free license of some kind.

In this talk we will hear about the experience of using an entirely open toolchain to develop a 3W RGB LED controller. Specifically, the the trials and tribulations in using Kicad: the GPL PCB Suite; AVR-GCC: the GNU Compiler Collection build that targets the Atmel AVR line of microcontrollers and a parallel port programmer that can be built in 5 minutes with minimal components.

Andy Bennett is an Engineer that likes to inhabit the void between hardware and the software that runs on it. After graduating from Imperial College with a degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering he joined Access Devices Digital Limited where he designed software and FPGA cores for the UK's first Dual Tuner Personal Video Recorders. He continued working on Advanced Product Development at Pace Micro Technology before leaving to become employee number 2 at GenieDB where he applies his finely honed ability to produce software on a shoestring.

In his spare time he likes to design ambitious projects from scratch. In between prototyping designs for his own PDA, digital watch and bluetooth headset, he's currently building a two wheeled, actively balanced, robot.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Practical Approaches (Double-sided PCB Design, Controlling Power, 3W RGB LED Controller )

via OSHUG

Developing a solution to a problem is not simply a matter of whether it is technically possible, but can involve all manner of challenging constraints. This is particularly the case in DIY and small-scale manufacture contexts, as there may be limited access to tools, test equipment and costly fabrication processes.

At the twelfth OSHUG meeting we'll be hearing about practical approaches that were developed in tackling three different problems. One is concerned with designing a double-sided PCB to accommodate 0.5mm pitch surface mount devices, that can be reliably built using low cost DIY methods. Another with safely controlling mains powered devices from the Internet, and the third with building a 3W RGB LED controller using all open source design and development tools.

DIY Double-sided PCB Design and Development for embedded ARM

Inspired by the success of the Arduino platform and driven by a recognition that to go from raw materials to a working system is both exciting and empowering, a project was born to develop a powerful microcontroller board that can be built from scratch. With this came the challenge of designing a double-sided PCB that will accommodate a 64-pin LQFP package on 0.5mm pitch, and that can be built using low cost DIY techniques.

In this talk we will learn about the rules which needed to be applied in order to ensure that construction of such a PCB is practical, and discoveries that were made in its development.

Garry Bulmer gained his degree in Computer Science in the early 1980s and developed software for companies including ICL, before going on to teach Computer Science and Software Engineering at degree level and beyond. During the 1990s he was a co-founder of Parallax Solutions, a software services company with customers that included Rover Group and Rolls Royce, and that partnered with Sun Microsystems and delivered their Enterprise Architecture Blueprints. He's since held the position of Chief Architect at Keane, Aspen Technology and Caritor. More recently he has become involved in education, running Arduino workshops for local schools and at events including Howduino, DEV8D and fizzPop.

A Simple Approach to Controlling Power from Internet Apps

Working with mains power can be a daunting prospect and requires due care and attention. In this presentation we will hear about a simple and safe way to control mains-powered appliances from the Internet using cheap wireless links. This will include a live demo based on MBED and an explanation of this approach, and there will be opportunity to discuss its pros and cons.

Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal, plastic, electronics and software. His day job is IT-based business improvement for SMEs. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to optimise energy use. Paul graduated in electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product development and customer services in several product and service start-ups, switching to consulting in 2000.

Using Open Source tools to design and build a 3W RGB LED Controller in a month of Sundays

There are many Open Source and freely available hardware designs but almost all of them are currently hosted by proprietary tool chains. Whether it's the EDA suite used to design the boards, the compilers used to build the firmware or the dongles used to flash the firmware, the chances are that at least one, if not all, are under a non-free license of some kind.

In this talk we will hear about the experience of using an entirely open toolchain to develop a 3W RGB LED controller. Specifically, the the trials and tribulations in using Kicad: the GPL PCB Suite; AVR-GCC: the GNU Compiler Collection build that targets the Atmel AVR line of microcontrollers and a parallel port programmer that can be built in 5 minutes with minimal components.

Andy Bennett is an Engineer that likes to inhabit the void between hardware and the software that runs on it. After graduating from Imperial College with a degree in Electronic & Electrical Engineering he joined Access Devices Digital Limited where he designed software and FPGA cores for the UK's first Dual Tuner Personal Video Recorders. He continued working on Advanced Product Development at Pace Micro Technology before leaving to become employee number 2 at GenieDB where he applies his finely honed ability to produce software on a shoestring.

In his spare time he likes to design ambitious projects from scratch. In between prototyping designs for his own PDA, digital watch and bluetooth headset, he's currently building a two wheeled, actively balanced, robot.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Open for Change (Radiation Monitoring in Japan, 40 Fires, Bristol Braille Technology)

via OSHUG

A great deal of open source hardware is built by engineers for engineers, and comprises mostly electronics and/or computing technology. Which is not at all surprising given the origins of the movement and where we are on the adoption curve. However, a growing number of projects are seeking to tackle ever more challenging problems and working with an increasingly broader selection of technologies.

At the tenth OSHUG meeting we will be hearing about the efforts of hackers in Japan to build their own open source radiation monitoring infrastructure. We will learn about the work of 40 Fires, a foundation that is building an open source hydrogen fuel cell electric car. And we will hear from Bristol Braille Technology about the need for an affordable refreshable Braille display, and the potential open source hardware opportunity.

Open Source Radiation Monitoring in Japan

Hackers in Japan responded to recent nuclear plant radiation leaks by setting up their own monitoring infrastructure. In this talk we will take a look at some of the radiation monitoring devices they built, the technology they used to share and make sense of the data and the work that continues to be done.

Nick Weldin initiated the first public Arduino course in the UK in 2005, because he didn't want to program PIC chips on the accounts computer at work after everyone else had gone home any more, and he couldn't get his boss to send him to the Arduino course that was running in Spain. When Tinker London started up he joined them and ran courses teaching Arduino wherever anyone was interested. He continues to run a course on Arduino, and is co-author of the recently released Arduino Cookbook.

An open source approach to developing energy-efficient technology

Two years ago start-up company Riversimple unveiled a ground-breaking vehicle that has the potential to transform the auto industry. The Riversimple urban vehicle, due to be in production in 2014, is lightweight, powered by hydrogen and capable of 300 mpg (energy equivalent). As part of its strategy, Riversimple announced the establishment of an independent open source foundation, 40 Fires, that would make available the designs for the car on-line under an open source license. Two years on, the 40 Fires team report on the joys, trials and tribulations of working on a potentially game-changing project in one of the world's biggest industries.

Patrick Andrews is project leader of the 40 Fires Foundation and a board member of eco-car company Riversimple. A former corporate lawyer with Kingfisher and Pratt & Whitney, he now spends his time pursuing an interest in social innovation, with a particular focus on alternative business models and governance structures.

Developing a revolutionary, affordable Braille Cell Display

Braille usage has been shown to have a strong correlation with employment—and by extension independence—amongst the blind. However Braille usage is stagnating under a lack of technical innovation which has left it hugely expensive and uncommon.

Bristol Braille Technology was founded on the 6th of January, 2011, when the first meeting of interested professionals met to discuss the need for more affordable refreshable Braille. We are currently designing our first prototype cell display. Our aim is to make a Braille cell display7mdash;that is a tactile 'screen' which connects to a computing device—which, unlike the current models, is affordable to the majority of blind individuals in the UK and, eventually, anywhere around the world.

Ed Rogers is a Bristolian and recent graduate from the University of the West of England where he studied Animation and Interactive Design. During this course he first began to consider the issue of digital Braille. After leaving university he continued to pursue the goal of an affordable Braille cell display, eventually founding the not-for-profit Community Interest Company, Bristol Braille Technology.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Open for Change (Radiation Monitoring in Japan, 40 Fires, Bristol Braille Technology)

via OSHUG

A great deal of open source hardware is built by engineers for engineers, and comprises mostly electronics and/or computing technology. Which is not at all surprising given the origins of the movement and where we are on the adoption curve. However, a growing number of projects are seeking to tackle ever more challenging problems and working with an increasingly broader selection of technologies.

At the tenth OSHUG meeting we will be hearing about the efforts of hackers in Japan to build their own open source radiation monitoring infrastructure. We will learn about the work of 40 Fires, a foundation that is building an open source hydrogen fuel cell electric car. And we will hear from Bristol Braille Technology about the need for an affordable refreshable Braille display, and the potential open source hardware opportunity.

Open Source Radiation Monitoring in Japan

Hackers in Japan responded to recent nuclear plant radiation leaks by setting up their own monitoring infrastructure. In this talk we will take a look at some of the radiation monitoring devices they built, the technology they used to share and make sense of the data and the work that continues to be done.

Nick Weldin initiated the first public Arduino course in the UK in 2005, because he didn't want to program PIC chips on the accounts computer at work after everyone else had gone home any more, and he couldn't get his boss to send him to the Arduino course that was running in Spain. When Tinker London started up he joined them and ran courses teaching Arduino wherever anyone was interested. He continues to run a course on Arduino, and is co-author of the recently released Arduino Cookbook.

An open source approach to developing energy-efficient technology

Two years ago start-up company Riversimple unveiled a ground-breaking vehicle that has the potential to transform the auto industry. The Riversimple urban vehicle, due to be in production in 2014, is lightweight, powered by hydrogen and capable of 300 mpg (energy equivalent). As part of its strategy, Riversimple announced the establishment of an independent open source foundation, 40 Fires, that would make available the designs for the car on-line under an open source license. Two years on, the 40 Fires team report on the joys, trials and tribulations of working on a potentially game-changing project in one of the world's biggest industries.

Patrick Andrews is project leader of the 40 Fires Foundation and a board member of eco-car company Riversimple. A former corporate lawyer with Kingfisher and Pratt & Whitney, he now spends his time pursuing an interest in social innovation, with a particular focus on alternative business models and governance structures.

Developing a revolutionary, affordable Braille Cell Display

Braille usage has been shown to have a strong correlation with employment—and by extension independence—amongst the blind. However Braille usage is stagnating under a lack of technical innovation which has left it hugely expensive and uncommon.

Bristol Braille Technology was founded on the 6th of January, 2011, when the first meeting of interested professionals met to discuss the need for more affordable refreshable Braille. We are currently designing our first prototype cell display. Our aim is to make a Braille cell display7mdash;that is a tactile 'screen' which connects to a computing device—which, unlike the current models, is affordable to the majority of blind individuals in the UK and, eventually, anywhere around the world.

Ed Rogers is a Bristolian and recent graduate from the University of the West of England where he studied Animation and Interactive Design. During this course he first began to consider the issue of digital Braille. After leaving university he continued to pursue the goal of an affordable Braille cell display, eventually founding the not-for-profit Community Interest Company, Bristol Braille Technology.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:20 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.