Tag Archives: Community

29th of March: A celebration of 10 years of Arduino and its worldwide community

via Arduino Blog

ARDUINODAY

Arduino Day  is a worldwide celebration of Arduino’s first 10 years. It’s 24 hours full of events – both official and independent, anywhere around the world – where people interested in Arduino can meet, share their experiences, and learn more.

Arduino invites Arduino user groups, makerspaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, associations, studios, educators, beginners and pro to take part to a day of celebration.

Every Arduino Day event is modular. All over the world, organizers can plan different types of activities according to different audiences and skills.

You can attend any event or organize one for your community.

It doesn’t matter whether you are an expert or a newbie, an engineer, designer, crafter or maker: Arduino Day is open to anyone who wants to celebrate Arduino and all the things that have been done (or can be done!) with it.

The events set up by independent organizers will offer different types of activities, tailored to local audiences all over the world.

  1. Fill out this online form to submit your proposal.
  2. Once your idea is approved, a pin marking the spot of your event will be added to the map on the Arduino Day website.

    You’ll also receive a confirmation email with a link to download your Digital Kit, which includes:

    • Official Arduino Day posters
    • Event flyer
    • Official signage system
    • Badges
    • And a 10% discount code for the Arduino Store

digitalkit

The call will close 15th March 2014. Ready to join us? Follow this hashtag #ArduinoD14 and use it to promote your event!

DIY IWBs for Officine Arduino 2nd Birthday

via Arduino Blog

Officine Arduino Party

Arduino has a little (yet effective) bit in Turin, and that’s Officine Arduino. We opened this place two years ago to offer a shelter to the Arduinians in northern Italy and host a makerspace, for their creations. We witnessed (and joined) the foundation of the Torino Fablab, an association offering the very same machines to anybody interested about the maker movement in Turin. On top of that, the all ardu-maker-fab-co-creative space is hosted in Toolbox Coworking.

It’s tough to weight all the efforts and failures and successes we reached in these two years. We’ve seen the birth of Verkstad Arduino, the Swedish Arduino Office which is sharing the same principles we’ve been looking for in conceiving this place: mixing the company approach and the horizontal, informal one of makerspaces and coworking spaces (aka collaboration spaces).

I love the way Arduino Team dealt with the growing of the project: create different little places rather than having a huge one.

Wonderful Lasercut

On top of that, Officine Arduino wouldn’t have been so without the help of Smartprojects (one of the main producers of Arduino). A selfless and generous helping hand towards us and towards italian makers in general. They lended us their lasercutter for 2 years, now that we are setted up they are going to lend the very same lasercut to another newborn fablab! This is the picture I took when I broght the lasercut back last week.

Interactive Whiteboard

Last year we celebrated our birthday with Josef Prusa and the building of ten reprap 3d printers. This year we want to dedicate our birthday to education, so we are going to host and build Interactive digital writeboards during the week end, following the Wiildos opensource project, with Pietro Pilolli (project host with Matteo Ruffoni e Massimo Bosetti).

Friday is important for yet another reason: Toolbox is going to host the press conference of the newborn italian maker association, inwhich Massimo plays the role of president: Make in Italy Cdb Onlus. If you are a journalist or maker you can enroll here to join the press conference.

tl;dr: we are partying this upcoming friday, if you pass by let us knowFB Event. Interested in building your own Interactive Open Source Digital Writeboard? Join the Make In Italy Cdb Onlus Press conference here.

 

Making is Best When it’s Done Together

via Arduino Blog

makingtogether_massimo

(originally posted on Makezine)

 

This month I’d like to talk about the idea of making together and what it means for Arduino. The whole idea of being a maker involves concepts of collaboration, community, and working with other people. It’s very hard to be a maker and be by yourself locked in a room or even in a lab. It’s really something that involves a lot of collaborations at different levels.

Many people today know what Arduino is, but very few know about two projects I did before Arduino. They were my first attempts to solve the problems my students had in prototyping with electronics. I consider them “creative failures.” As makers, we welcome failure as a way to understand how to do it better the next time.

Those initial projects I prototyped were not working so well because the technology was not really good but mostly because when I developed these things I did them by myself. I didn’t involve other people and I was very inefficient in trying to get them to work properly. They solved a number of problems my students had, but they didn’t really get a lot of momentum.

Ten years ago I started teaching at Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea (unfortunately it doesn’t exist anymore) where the Olivetti company used to be. In the picture below you can see their building and it’s not hard to notice it was created with a “design” approach. Olivetti was one of the first companies in the world to really apply design to everything: from their typewriters, to their buildings and to their posters, etc. Mr. Olivetti had that idea factories should have paintings on the walls because workers should be surrounded by beauty and knowledge. It was part of a bigger approach putting people at the center. It was in this context at the institute where we developed a number of projects before we came out with Arduino in the shape you know it now.

makingtogether_ivrea

If you peel back the surface, underneath Arduino project you can find a lot of collaboration. On one side you can see a selection of pretty amazing open source software contributing to what Arduino has become. I’m talking about GCC, processing, wiring, AVR, and all the other contributions from the community. On the other side, I started to involve specific people.

I met David Cuartielles when he was researching in Ivrea and we started to talk about things we wanted to see in the platform to help our students getting started with electronics. Slowly we also got in touch with other people: Tom Igoe, a professor at ITP in New York with great experience; David Mellis, an amazing software developer who joined Ivrea from MIT; and Gianluca Martino, an electronics engineer who knows every company involved in electronics in the area. He’s now taking care of the manufacturing.

I gathered all these people one-by-one because we wanted to make an open project based on collaboration. All the founders brought their own experience into Arduino and later what became really important was the Arduino community. At the moment there is a community much larger than number of official Arduino boards we have sold. There are more than 180,000 people subscribed to the forum and more than 4 million monthly page views to the website with visitors spending about five minutes on each visit.

Arduino was born out of different contributions and it taught us to follow this path with most of our products. We started collaborating with other people and companies of the open source community, extending our role as makers into ideas and projects becoming products. Recently, we told you the story of the Arduino robot and an example of collaboration.

For example, some years ago, with Adafruit we developed the Arduino Micro packing all of the power of the Arduino Leonardo in a smaller board. We met with Limor and Phil sharing a lot of ideas and more projects are coming up in the next months.

At some point we also worked with Telefonica, a global mobile operator, to make the Arduino Gsm Shield. The technology of the shield is basic but we worked really hard to develop the API to use the module very easily. What’s important about these collaborations is not the technology but other things like lowering the barriers to access a sim card and allowing people to activate it very simply, just with a credit card. The value we created was about opening up a collaboration and making a big company like Telefonica aware of the impact of a product like this in the maker community.

A similar thing, but with a smaller company, happened for Arduino Yún. DogHunter, based in Taiwan, designed the board together with us. The factory we usually work with in Europe didn’t have the experience to work with wi-fi technology so we teamed up with a factory in Taiwan which had an experience with millions of access points. Arduino Yún became the first official board made in Asia.

In the first half of 2014 we are going to release the Arduino TRE. It’s a combination of a Beaglebone and an Arduino plus a number of things designed to make it very convenient for people to get started. We worked with Texas Instruments and especially Beagleboard, which shares with us a series of commitments to open source hardware and similar goals and ideas, like the desire for simplicity and ease of use.

Once again we realized how easier it is to find someone who can give you a cheaper piece of hardware, but in the long run, even if it’s harder to find someone who shares the same set of values, it’s well worth it.

We believe in the open source movement and everyone should be really aware that it can develop successfully if everyone takes from it, but especially if people and companies contribute back. That’s why it’s important to highlight who creates a positive loop and nurture knowledge sharing and collaboration.

makingtogether_mfrome

Even if there is the perception the maker movement is much more U.S.-centric, with a lot of visibility for American makers, events, and companies, we believed that we could do something to improve the relations among the movement here in Europe and activate more positive loops.

We realized that one of the issues was about language. Many European makers are very active in their local community, but they don’t Speak English. That’s why we decided to invest time and resources to create an European Maker Faire in Rome, inviting people from all over the continent. It was not easy to organize it, but I can say that it was an incredible success with more than 35,000 participants. It proved that in Europe people want to get together, know each other and cross the boundaries of the over 27 countries with different languages.

Maker Faire is not an event that has to do strictly with people making hardware. For me it’s much more important because it opens up channels of communication between makers and the concept of making together. We are happy to show what makers can do and how they could collaborate toward a future of great open source projects and, later, bringing benefit to communities around the world.

Concrete Batch Plant using Arduino and LIFA in Bangladesh

via Arduino Blog

concrete plant

Arduino user Geotechbd wrote us from Bangladesh to share his experience:

Our company here in Bangladesh owns a quite old concrete batch plant, which had full manual control requiring an operator to control 14+ switched and observe 3 mechanical scales (dial gauges). I was successful to upgrade this plant to an automated unit requiring minimal operator input using custom made Arduino Uno compatible board and LIFA. Wiring is still messy which I shall take care in the near future.

concrete plant

On his blog he then details a list of tools, components, and at the end of the post, thanks all the people and communities who supported him in this challenge:

My gratitude goes to my lovely wife for keeping me sane and my brother for arranging for ICs not available locally. My sincerest thanks goes to the Arduino community for helping me to remedy EMI problem and LIFA community for I2C communication troubleshooting. I must thank the developers of Arduino/LIFA/Fritzing for making electronics more accessible to the general masses.

My electronics and Arduino knowledge was gathered from websites as tronixstuff.com / jeremyblum.com / arduino.cc, so thanks to excellent contributors of these sites. I had support personnel (a very patient electrician and a plant operator) here who helped me with wiring high voltage lines, and plant operational knowledge; thus, they also deserve thanks.

It’s cool to see how open source creates collaborations among people all over the world!

Making it in China

via Arduino Blog

Visiting the DimSum Lab hackerspace in Hong Kong. Photo by William Liang

(originally posted on Makezine)

Right after the overwhelming experience of Maker Faire Rome I left Europe for a week a quick tour in China. There are a lot of cool things happening there. I’d been to China twice before for a very short time so this time I wanted to spend a few days to meet with people and take part in some cool events going on in Shanghai and Shenzhen. I accepted an invitation to give a talk about Arduino at the School of Design of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and while I was there, William Liang (adjunt assistant professor at the same university) took me to visit the local community at the Dim Sum Lab hackerspace.

Dim sum is a delicious, Hong Kong speciality composed of a myriad of different, bite-sized delights. Similarly, the DimSum Lab hosts different types of communities with various interests, from coders to makers.

I then flew to Shenzhen to meet with the people at SeedStudio who took me around the city to discover the different opportunities this city offers. Makers are closer to the manufacturers here and have easier access to new components and parts. Clearly there is an advantage and certain makers, if they get organized, can jump quickly from a small idea to large scale manufacturing for a much lower cost.

This happens because they are not only close to manufacturers, but closer to the supply chain as 90 percent of electronic parts are made in China and you can basically assemble a device very quickly because of easy access to parts. Recently, Seeds Studio published the Maker Map of Shenzhen which looks a bit like the celeb’s house map you get in Los Angeles, but instead of getting information on where famous actors live, you can easily find out where suppliers, manufacturers and hackerspaces are.

maker map

There are also lots of projects based on Arduino. We realized more than 90 percent of the boards people use are fake, not even Arduino clones, but fakes. We discussed this topic with SeedStudio which has always been very respectful of the Arduino project and of the use of our trademark. It’s understandable, in a way, that an Arduino made in Europe tends to be quite expensive for most of the people in China. We know that the interest in Arduino is very high and we are working on how to provide official Arduino boards in China.

As we often said, it’s not only about making boards and selling them. It’s about creating all the official documentation in Chinese, having an official forum and social media presence, and making videos and sharing them outside of YouTube (inaccessible for many Chinese people). We clearly need to change the way we do things to be able to interact with the Chinese community. It’s going to take a bit than just focusing on providing accessible boards.

Massimo with Guo Haoyun the translator of Getting Started with Arduino. Photo by Silvia Lindtner

Later, when we visited the local hackerspace in Shenzhen called Chaihuo, some of the people I met there had just come back from Maker Faire Rome. They showed me all the pictures they took and it was amazing how they reported back to their peers the experiences they had in Italy and the projects they discovered during the event. During the Q&A session we had, they asked me a lot of really detailed questions and Eric Pan, from Seeds Studio, did a great job in translating my answers.

Next stop was Shanghai where I gave a talk at the Sino-Finnish Centre at College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University. I visited the community of the XinCheJian hackerspace and then participated in HackedMatter, a whole day focused on rethinking manufacturing from the point of view of science fiction narratives and exploring “how the professionalizing of maker culture is developing increasingly intimate relations with the small-scale factory owners and micro-entrepreneurs that make up China’s core of hardware manufacturing”.  The event was organized by Silvia Lindter in conjunction with the Shanghai Maker Carnival.

Speaking at HackedMatter in Shanghai.  Photo by Silvia Lindtner.

During Hacked Matter I gave a talk on the topic of collaboration, a concept at the heart of the Arduino approach, highlighting the idea that innovation is not purely about technology, but more on creating the right collaborations with the right people.

It was interesting to note that the maker community in Shanghai is pretty diverse and composed not only by locals as there are a lot of people coming originally from outside China who moved there. At the Maker Carnival I discovered many high quality projects and realized some differences with the community in Shenzhen. It was also interesting to understand how Chinese culture works and how Arduino can create channels to communicate within that culture.

Open hardware companies from around the world could clearly benefit from a trip to China especially if they can find someone local to work with, tapping into the local community to go beyond language barriers. There’s a lot of very talented people over there able to deal with complicated projects. At the various hackerspaces I visited I received interesting questions and I was lucky enough to have someone translating otherwise I’d never met these smart people.

Speed (overclocking, souped-up BBC Micro, compiler optimisation)

via OSHUG

The thirtieth OSHUG meeting is dedicated to the quest for computing speed. It will feature talks on a hardware design to aid overclocking, retrofitting a 30+ year old microcomputer with modern processors, and compiler optimisation.

Fast and Furious: Overclocking chips for fun and profit

Due to the variance in silicon manufacturing technologies, integrated circuits used in everyday designs are usually spec'ed at lower speeds than their actual capabilities. It is, therefore, not unlikely for chips to run faster than their advertised speeds, sometimes at significant margins with a little push. The umbrella term used for this practice is overclocking and it encapsulates a variety of techniques from simply increasing the clock speed to employing elaborate systems with liquid nitrogen cooling.

This talk will provide an overview of overclocking and overvolting techniques — investigating the effects of forcing chips to run faster on the silicon level — and present vftweak: an open source hardware design that aims to simplify experimenting with circuits by providing a programmable interface and monitoring tools.

Omer Kilic works on Erlang Embedded, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project in collaboration with University of Kent and Erlang Solutions. The aim of this project is to bring the benefits of concurrent systems development using Erlang to the field of embedded systems; through investigation, analysis, software development and evaluation.

Before joining Erlang Solutions, Omer was a research student in the Embedded Systems Lab at the University of Kent, working on a reconfigurable heterogeneous computing framework.

Omer likes tiny computers, things that 'just work' and real beer.

Souping up the BBC Micro

This talk will introduce a selection of projects which allow modern processors to be used with a 30+ year old BBC Micro, before exploring in more detail the speaker's own open hardware contribution to the options available.

Jason Flynn creates open electronics designs for the amateur radio and retro computing. His main areas of interest are digital TV, microwave, satellite and most things related to Acorn and ARM. He previously held a post on the RSGB Data Communications Committee, is an honorary member of SSETI, has been committee of Martlesham Radio Society for 7 years, and is presently involved in setting up a hackspace in Ipswich.

How compiler optimisation helps you get the best out of your hardware

This talk will give a high-level overview of compiler optimisation, covering general approaches used in both local and global optimisation, and also taking a look at the technique of superoptimization. The talk will conclude by looking at some of the 200+ optimisation passes used in GCC.

The talk will be given by Jeremy Bennett, and he will be joined by Joern Rennecke and Simon Cook, who will take questions about optimisation in the compilers on which they are involved.

Dr Jeremy Bennett is founder of Embecosm and an expert on debugging and silicon chip modeling. A former academic, Jeremy holds a MA and PhD from Cambridge University and is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Technology Professional and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the author of the standard textbook, "Introduction to Compiling Techniques" (McGraw-Hill 1990, 1996, 2003).

Simon Cook leads Embecosm's work on LLVM and is author of the standard guide to the LLVM assembler. He is also an expert on low-energy compilation, being lead engineer on the MAGEEC project. Simon holds a double first class honors degree in Computer Science and Electronics from Bristol University.

Jörn Rennecke is an expert on compiler back-end optimization and also leads Embecosm's work on GCC. Over 18 years he has become one of the all-time largest contributors to the compiler. During 2006-9, Jörn was a major contributor to the EU-funded MILEPOST project, which developed the first machine learning compiler optimization framework. He is currently maintainer for GCC for the Epiphany and Synopsys ARC architectures and a major contributor to GCC for Atmel AVR.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:15 as the event will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

Production by the Proletariat (RepRap, TVRRUG)

via OSHUG

For the twenty-ninth meeting we will be joining forces with the BCS Open Source Specialist Group, to host talks from the creator of RepRap, Adrian Bowyer, and Alan Wood of Thames Valley RepRapUser Group.

The Ownership of the Means of Production by the Proletariat

Look at your computer setup. Imagine you hooked up a 3D printer. Instead of printing on bits of paper this 3D printer makes real, robust, mechanical parts. To give you an idea of how robust, think Lego bricks and you’re in the right area. You could make lots of useful stuff, but interestingly you could also make lots of the parts to make another 3D printer. That would be a machine that could copy itself.

This talk will be about RepRap – the Replicating Rapid-prototyper. This 3D printer builds the component up in layers of plastic. This technology already existed before RepRap, but the cheapest proprietary machine then would have set you back £15,000. And it wasn’t even designed so that it could make itself. So what the RepRap team have done is to develop and to give away the designs for a much cheaper machine with the novel capability of being able to self-copy (material costs are about £300). That way it’s accessible to small communities in the developing world as well as individuals in the developed world. The RepRap machine is being distributed entirely free to everyone using open-source – so, if you have one, you can make another and give it to a friend…

Adrian Bowyer holds a first degree and a PhD in engineering from Imperial College. He was an academic at the University of Bath for 35 years. He retired in 2012 to help to run the company RepRap Professional Ltd.

Adrian's areas of research are geometric modelling and geometric computing in general (he is one of the authors of the Bowyer-Watson algorithm for Voronoi diagrams), the application of computers to manufacturing, and biomimetics. In 2004 he created RepRap – humanity’s first self-replicating general-purpose manufacturing machine.

Experiences from the Thames Valley RepRap User Group

Thames Valley RepRap User Group (TVRRUG) was set up to provide support to those who wanted to build their own RepRap 3D printer, and to exchange information and ideas between those who had already successfully completed builds.

TVRRUG has now organised three group build rounds, sourcing and printing parts, and resulting in many working printers. Along the way the group has produced extensive documentation, and designed its own electronics and a variant of the Prusa Mendel design.

Alan Wood originally trained in systems engineering, and got lost in software engineering and F/OSS for a decade, before returning back to his hardware roots via the open source hardware and makers movement that has gathered momentum in recent years.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 17:30 - 18:20 as the first talk will start at 18:30 prompt.

Take the 2013 Open Source Hardware Community Survey.

via Arduino Blog

Catarina Mota and I put together an updated version of the annual Open Source Hardware Community Survey for the Open-Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). Here’s a summary:

Our goal is to arrive at a better understanding of who we are as a community, why and how we use/make open-source hardware, and how our practices and numbers are changing over time. For this purpose, we are asking all those who use and/or develop open-source hardware to please respond. The aggregate results will be made publicly available after the survey closes. By publishing your responses, we hope to provide the public with insights into the practices and experiences of the people involved in open-source hardware.

Please help us understand the open-source hardware community by taking the survey.

You can also check out last year’s results.

Open Source Hardware Camp 2013

via OSHUG

Open Source Hardware Camp will once again take place in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. However, this year it is being hosted as part of a larger technology festival called Wuthering Bytes. Details of the OSHUG talks and workshops can be found below and for the full programme please see the Wuthering Bytes website.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge Hostel, with private rooms available and discounts for group bookings. Details of other local accommodation can be found at www.hebdenbridge.co.uk.

There will be a social event on the Saturday evening and those interested in pre-event drinks on the Friday should join the discussion list.

Saturday Talks

The Importance of Mini Makers

14 year old Amy Mather discusses why the maker culture is so important to the younger generation and introduces us to her idea of a Mini Mini Maker Faire, where only under 18's would be able to exhibit their creations.

Amy Mather, a.k.a. MiniGirlGeek, has been making and coding for 18 months with the guidance and support of the community that she found at Manchester's MadLab and hackspace. Amy was the closing keynote speaker at the world's first Raspberry Jamboree event, speaking alongside Professor Steve Furber and Pete Lomas of the Raspberry Pi foundation. Amy also presented at the inaugural event RSA FutureMaker event at London's Somerset House, where she also ran a workshop introducing attendees to the world of sewable electronics.

Building a Maker Business: Sharing, Education, Open Source and Conscience.

How open are you prepared to be when starting a business? Explore the wonderful shades of grey in the moral and legal landscape, as well as the risks and benefits to your survival in those early days, with war stories from Pimoroni's first year of existence.

Paul Beech is a co-founder of Pimoroni, makers of the Pibow, Picade and other things Raspberry Pi. He also designed the Raspberry Pi Logo, and was somewhat responsible for the short-lived Interactive DVD phenomenon. He lives in Sheffield, in the Pimoroni workshop, because that's where all the good toys are. He prefers small-scale subtractive manufacturing processes.

The @ShrimpingIt Manifesto

Electronics engineers find it trivial to build an Arduino-compatible circuit on a breadboard using components which are just one tenth the cost of an official Arduino board. The @ShrimpingIt project curates open resources and projects so that everyone can progress their prototyping with simple components and materials, just like the experts. The approach delivers a whole host of benefits for those learning to prototype - not just saving money.

We'll be introducing the project, sharing the choicest cuts from our year's experience running it, and featuring lots of the great spin-off projects people have built on our work. The @ShrimpingIt manifesto combines insights from open design and community engagement, arriving at a challenging standpoint of how beginner microcontroller projects should be designed, presented and taught for a better tomorrow.

Cefn Hoile sculpts open source hardware and software, and supports others doing the same. Drawing on ten years of experience in R&D for a multinational technology company, he works as a public domain inventor, and an innovation catalyst and architect of bespoke digital installations and prototypes, working most recently with Tinker.it, BT, the BBC, EDF, Nokia.

Cefn is a founder-member of the Curiosity Collective digital arts group, and a regular contributor to open source projects and not-for-profits. He is currently completing a PhD in Digital Innovation at Highwire, University of Lancaster.

White Space — Connect all the Things!

White space spectrum may hold the key for wide-area sensor networks. Find out how we can all enable the Internet of Things with this new technology.

Ben Ward is founder of Love Hz, promoting the use of white space spectrum for open innovation in the Internet of Things. A survivor of the dotcom bubble, subsea bandwidth glut and the UK broadband wars, he's still surprisingly optimistic about the future.

Introduction to Robot Operating System

Robot Operating System (ROS) is an open source modular robot middleware. It is used in many many Universities and research projects around the world, and is starting to move into industry as well.

This talk will provide an introduction to ROS, explaining what it is, how it works and some of the things it can do. There will also be a practical demonstration of a robot running ROS.

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 is co-author of the Arduino Cookbook and now works for Middlesex University.

Risking a Compuserve of Things

More and more companies are staking a claim to be the platform for the Internet of Things. Should we be aiming for a more open Internet of Things? Is the platform for the Internet of Things not just the Internet? Adrian McEwen will be exploring some of the challenges in implementing the Internet of Things and suggesting ways to improve collaboration and interoperability.

Adrian McEwen has been connecting odd things to the Internet since the mid-90s. Starting with cash registers, and then as part of the team who were first to put a web browser onto a mobile phone. For the past five years he's been working with the Internet of Things.

Adrian founded MCQN Ltd, an IoT consultancy and product company, which is based in DoES Liverpool - a hybrid makerspace and office, which he set up with some friends. He's putting the finishing touches to a book — Designing the Internet of Things — and also working as CTO of start-up Good Night Lamp.

Measuring Energy Consumption in Embedded Systems

How energy-efficient are your programs and how long will your devices last on battery power?

Particularly when writing bare-metal applications, we have a great deal of control over how much energy the processor and hardware connected to it consumes. In this talk I discuss how we can accurately measure the energy consumption of our devices, and techniques that we can use to extend battery life.

James Pallister is a graduate of the University of Bristol, where he achieved joint First Class Honours in Computer Science and Electronics. During the summer of 2012, he led Embecosm's research program into the impact of compilers on energy consumption in embedded systems, which was a development of James' work at the University of Bristol with the XMOS multi-core processor.

James returned to Bristol in October 2012, where he is studying for a PhD in low-power multi-core system design. He remains a Technical Advisor to Embecosm.

Polling is for Wimps — Asynchronous Communications for the Internet of Things

They say that, if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a screw. Don't get me wrong, I love REST. It's great for posting data and one-off access. However, REST is not a good way for IoT actuators to get their instructions from a controlling system. aul will discuss his experiences with Sockets, XMPP and MQTT. One of which will usually be a good solution for most implementations.

In each case arguments for and against will be presented, in the context of systems that must operate in near real time with low power budgets. Relevant open source technologies will be referenced. For a case example we’ll use the MQTT system that Paul and Adrian Godwin have been building for an experimental, thermally-efficient new build home.

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.

A Basic Introduction to Interfacing for the Hardware Curious

So you've got a Raspberry Pi or Beaglebone and now you want to connect some hardware to it. You know basically what you want to do but you're are feeling a little bit lost in the jargon. What is a GPIO pin? What is an SPI or I2C bus? What is a shift register? How do I get more outputs than I have pins? How do chose the resistor for an LED? How do I read the value of a push switch? What does 3.3V tolerant mean?

This talk will look at the basics of hardware interfacing. It will describe the basics of the interfaces typical of embedded systems and how to approach programming them. It will discuss some very basic electronics theory that will be useful to the beginner hardware hacker. Finally it will give pointers as to where to look for further information.

Melanie Rhianna Lewis started a life long love of electronics as a child when her Dad helped her make a "crystal" radio with an ear piece, a coil of wire, a diode and a radiator! At the same time the home computer revolution started and she would lust after the "build your own computers" advertised in the electronics magazines of the time. She never got one but did end up the proud owner of a BBC Micro. Melanie learnt everything she could about the machine and including assembler, operating systems, drivers, interrupt, and, thanks to the circuit diagram in the Advanced User Guide, digital electronics. After the BBC Micro came the Acorn Archimedes and so started a long relationship with ARM processors. In the 90s Melanie became interested in Linux and then developed one of the first ARM Linux distributions running on an Acorn RISC PC. The hobby became a job and Melanie currently works for an embedded device consultancy near Bradford where a lot of her work is still with ARM processors.

Compered by:

Gareth Halfacree is a freelance technology journalist and the co-author of the Raspberry Pi User Guide, alongside project co-founder Eben Upton. He also writes the maker-centric Hobby Tech column for Custom PC Magazine, as well as numerous features in magazines including PC Pro, Linux User & Developer, Micro Mart, Computeractive and others.

Formerly a system administrator working in the education sector, Gareth's passion for open source projects has followed him from one career to another and he can often be seen reviewing, documenting or even contributing to projects including GNU/Linux, LibreOffice, Fritzing and Arduino. He is also the creator of the Sleepduino and Burnduino open hardware projects and numerous small software tools, all released under permissive licences.

Sunday Workshops

Please feel free to bring along equipment and components provided that you are able to take full responsibility for your own personal safety and that of others. Common sense should be exercised!

M2M with MQTT

Following on from the talk on asynchronous communications this session will provide the opportunity for people to get their hands dirty with MQTT.

We will have an installation of the Mosquitto micro-broker and a rules engine running on a Raspberry Pi. Dale Lane's MQTT client for Arduino is available, as are other implementations for low-power platforms.

Run by: Paul Tanner.

Hardware Interfacing Clinic

Get expert advice for projects that involve interfacing peripherals, chips, sensors and other inputs, displays and other outputs. Bring your laptop. Bring along your interfacing woes and project ideas!

Run by: MelanieRhiannaLewis.

Persistence-of-vision and Face Tracking with ShrimpingIt

Novice participants will create a persistence-of-vision project based around the Arduino-compatible, Shrimp. The perfect workshop for the hardware curious and crossover coders!

Those with more hardware experience under their belt will have the opportunity to construct a face tracking system, using a webcam with a Linux host running an OpenCV application, which uses a Shrimp-based circuit as an interface to driving the servos which steer the webcam.

Dr Jeremy Bennett is the founder of Embecosm, and an expert on hardware modelling and embedded software development. Prior to founding Embecosm, Dr Bennett was Vice President of ARC International PLC and previously Vice President of Marconi PLC.

Simon Cook has a background in low-power processors, with a particular focus on the energy constraints of code running in embedded environments. He works for embedded systems consultancy, Embecosm, where he provides support for their work on low level binutils for both GNU and LLVM toolchains.

Profiling Energy Consumption in Embedded Applications

Following the previous day's talk James will be demonstrating the energy consumption measurement kit, with several instrumented platforms: Arduino, Raspberry Pi and a BeagleBone.

Participants will be able to instrument their code and run it on the available platforms, showing where the energy hot-spots are. Bring along your code to be profiled on one of the platforms, and if you bring your own hardware along we can also try to hook it up.

Run by: JamesPallister.

Soldering is Easy: Assembling the OSHCamp Kit

Build the OSHCamp kit, a special version of the LittleWire board, that has been designed by Boldport just for Wuthering Bytes. This is an incredibly handy USB multi-tool that can be used to program microcontrollers, read sensors, control outputs and much more.

Great for beginners, there will be expert support on hand to help you assemble your kit.

Run by: Anish Mohammed, Alan Wood and Steve Crozier.

Receiving FUNcube Satellite Telemetry

The FUNcube-1 satellite is ready for launch. Are you ready to receive?

This workshop will show how to set up a receiver to decode telemetry from the satellite and to submit it to the data warehouse which relies upon crowd-reception. Bring along your own FUNcube dongle receiver or a suitable USB DVB dongle and check that it's working.

Participants will be able to connect up sensors and actuators that they bring with them and make use of a rules engine to create ad-hoc applications.

Run by: Jason Flynn

Note:

  • This year there are separate tickets for the Saturday and Sunday.
  • Tickets will permit entry to all Wuthering Bytes sessions and not just OSHUG ones.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided on both days. Please ensure that you make any dietary requirements clear when registering.
  • Please aim to arrive between 09:30 and 09:45 on the Saturday as the event will start at 10:00 prompt.

Today we celebrate 100.000 fans on Facebook: thanks to all of you!

via Arduino Blog

100k_fb

Since last February our Arduino page on Facebook has been growing fast and today  we’re celebrating 100.000 fans: if you have an account on it, we invite you to join us and our passionate community on Facebook!

United States, India and Italy are the countries giving more “likes” to the page, but we receive videos, pictures and inquires from all over the world.

100k fans

From now on we’ll be regularly posting on this blog  updates and cool projects  shared by people on our social channels.

Just to give you an idea of what comes up, here’s three  great videos posted by our fans on the Arduino page:

  • Super Jeep Final

 

  •  Les petits pilous

 

  • Trashcan with PET detector

A poem for Arduino community and more about our social presence on G+

via Arduino Blog

poem Arduino

 

Some days ago David Watts posted an unexpected but very welcome video on Arduino G+ Community, a poem dedicated to the Arduino community itself and commenting with these words:

Sort of a thank you to all the people who helped me learn about electronics and specifically Arduino. I really enjoy making projects and sharing them I and many other people would not be able to do it without such a fantastic community.

Here’s the video of the poem:

 

This nice contribution gives us the chance to finally announce  that next to our official Arduino Page on G+, with more than 212.000 [+1] and  almost 120.000 people adding us in their circles, now we have an official Arduino G+ Community you can join.

Arduino community on G+ Thanks to the collaboration of  Gary Rudd and Heath Naylor,  who created a passionate and active  unofficial community and accepted the proposal to make it official, recently we’ve just  updated the logo and joined them in the moderation. If you are on G+ we invite you to take part with your  enthusiasm and projects!

 

This is one of the channels you can choose to be active on Arduino online community, in the following days I’m going to bring some highlights from our  Facebook page aswell!

 

 

Arduino donations and values for a growing ecosystem based on open source

via Arduino Blog

open source

Open source code is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Arduino and many other projects share a similar philosophy of creating free open source tools allowing non-technical people to work with hardware and software.

Arduino is based on the contribution of many other open source projects. We are grateful to these efforts and want to support them. Since we’re not always able to contribute code or technical support we want to do it through donations.

From now on every year Arduino will donate to the open source projects it collaborates with and shares Arduino approach and philosophy.

In 2013 the institutions to which Arduino donated 2,500$ each are the following:

  • Processing is an open source programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) built for the electronic arts, new media art, and visual design communities with the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of computer programming in a visual context. The project was initiated in 2001 by Casey Reas and Benjamin Fry.

The Arduino IDE is derived from the Processing IDE.

  • The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users.

The foundation has created the licenses used by Arduino and created the GCC compiler which is used as a compiler for the Arduino code.

  • Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.

Both the Arduino hardware reference designs and documentation are distributed under a Creative Commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5.

  • Fritzing is an open-source hardware initiative to support designers, artists, researchers and hobbyists to work creatively with interactive electronics: a software tool, a community website and services in the spirit of Processing and Arduino, fostering an ecosystem that allows users to document their prototypes and share them with others.

Fritzing is used for illustrations in Arduino documentation.

  • PmWiki is a wiki-based system for collaborative creation and maintenance of websites originally developed by Patrick R. Michaud.

PmWiki is the Arduino official wiki since 2004.

  • Linux foundation promotes, protects and advances Linux by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source development community to ensure Linux remains free and technically advanced.

Arduino has always been a fan of Linux and many users of Arduino use Linux. Furthermore, the new Arduino Yún is the first member of a family of wifi products combining the power Linux with ease of use of Arduino.

And finally,

  • CERN for the improvement of KiCad. Kicad is a free and open source software PCB design tool. The objective of this development project is to enhance Kicad to make it an efficient tool for PCB design, which people can use to share their design information without compromising productivity. This contribution is part of CERN’s broader efforts in Open Source Hardware.

 

This is just a first small step towards more contributions to keep the open source ecosystem growing, in the coming years the amount we will devote to donations will keep increasing based on our revenues.

We hope more companies that are involved in Open Source Hardware and Software will follow our example.

Boards (Beautifully Functional Circuits, Little Printer)

via OSHUG

At the twenty-seventh meeting there will be a talk on designing printed circuit boards that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional, and a talk on the design and manufacture of the Little Printer, and the upcoming BERG Cloud dev board.

Beautifully Functional Circuits

Circuit design is typically thought of as block-based and purely functional; it doesn't necessarily have to be. Our inherent creativity as engineers has been dampened by unimaginative and limiting design tools, that have forced us to "forget" that functional circuits can, and should, be beautiful too. This talk will explore these limitations and how we could do better.

Saar Drimer is an experienced hardware engineer. In the past few years he's been developing tools for effective and efficient hardware design.

Little Printer

In 2012 the design and product company BERG launched Little Printer, their internet-connected thermal printer that prints its own face. It was the first consumer product that BERG had made, and went on to be nominated for the 2013 Designs of the Year by the Design Museum.

In this talk we will explore the project's evolution, from prototype to mass produced product. The talk will cover the way BERG's design process works, going to China to organise plastic injection moulding, passing certification and EMC, and many other practical aspects of making and selling consumer products that connect online.

The talk will also cover a technical overview of the whole stack that brings Little Printer to life, the extraction and evolution of the underlying BERG Cloud platform, and the forthcoming developer kits that open up the platform to anybody.

Nick Ludlam is CTO at BERG, and is responsible for the collective software development, from the embedded code running inside Little Printer, the Ruby/Rails-based cloud architecture, and the use of Amazon Web Services to scale.

Andy Huntington is Hardware Producer & Designer at BERG and is responsible for all of BERG's physical hardware, from the electronics and PCBs to the industrial design and manufacturing of Little Printer itself. He has a background in music and moved through software into hardware following an Interaction Design MA at the Royal College of Art.

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

Sponsored by:

Reddit: what do people use their Pis for?

via Raspberry Pi

A thread about Raspberry Pi ended up on the front page of Reddit today, and it’s a doozy. There are thousands of people taking part, and some Pi projects mentioned that we’d never even imagined people taking on. Some of them made our little hearts swell with pride. Teaching machines for schools in Ecuador, prosthetic knees in the USA, musical instruments controlled by eye movements for disabled people, solar flare detection, wood engraving, pocket-money analyser – there’s something here for everyone.

You guys are brilliant. With your ideas and our tiny computer, we could get together to rule the universe. Bags I get to wear the hat with the diamonds.

(Update to add: Incidentally, the guy who says his friend disassembled a Pi and built a better one, so we gave him a job? Big fat liar.)