Tag Archives: OpenSource

Radio Pt.2 (Networking Literacy Project, Everyone has a radio in them)

via OSHUG

The thirty-third OSHUG meeting will be the second on the theme of radio, with talks on a bold vision for a project that aims to increase understanding of personal networking, and on a toolkit that lets you build your own physical Internet radio.

The Networking Literacy Project

"Beep-BEEP!" - Some of us will remember the distinctive click when throwing the power switch of a BBC Micro, and the immediate gratifying sounds it made. Thirty years ago, public awareness of personal computing was low, and civil society acted to raise literacy in anticipation of the coming boom. Today, computers are pervasive in everyday life, and their function is increasingly to deliver distributed computing applications. Indeed, we are on the cusp of another era of personal technological progress and growth, this time for personal networking. Understanding and literacy about this is low, while importance and opportunity are high. This talk will explore some of the learning opportunities, and how the technology community could contribute to eliminating the widespread functional illiteracy in this important area of technology.

Martin Geddes is an authority on the future of the telecoms industry, ranging from emerging business models to new network technologies. He is a futurologist, writer, speaker, consultant, and technologist. Martin is currently writing a book, The Internet is Just a Prototype, on the future of distributed computing.

Everyone has a radio in them, it turns out

Inspired by the challenge of making a physical radio device that did anything interesting and web friendly, a small team within BBC R&D spent a few days building an Archers Avoider using off the shelf components and free software alongside BBC created custom services for controlling audio IP streams.

"Radiodan" is now at v2.0 and consists of open source web-developer-friendly software designed to work on a Raspberry Pi, used for controlling audio streams, getting a device on a wifi network, and controlling buttons, dials and leds, plus a kit of parts, a case and some instructions.

This talk will take a look at some of Radiodan's technology, in the context of our goal of making it something that anyone can start to build a radio with. It will also explore why it's important and interesting to widen the pool of people who can make radios, and how a new field for us has changed the way we work.

Libby Miller is a producer and developer working in the BBC R&D Central Lab. She currently works on Radiodan, a project about cheap, rapid prototyping for radios. She also works on the VistaTV EU project on the use and visualisation of real-time IPTV statistics, and the MediaScape project, which is about developer-friendly standards for connected devices. Before that, she led the BBC's part of NoTube, including work on APIs to TV for second screens, resolution of broadcast metadata to web metadata, synchronised social experiences, and recommendations and serendipity.

Note: Please aim to by 18:15 as the first talk will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

Support Open Source Beehives and help promoting international bee recovery

via Arduino Blog

Open Source Beehive

Recent declines in honey bee populations raised attention of many scientists and now makers started activating swell.

The Open Source Beehives (OSBH) project is a collaborative response to the threat faced by Bee populations in industrialised nations around the world.
They’ve just launched a campaign on Indiegogo and are waiting for your contribution.

The campaign will help to build new sensors to understand the behaviour of the bees and the pollutants that are killing them. Also the production of the hives relies on the Fab Lab Network, which makes it able to be produced anywhere in the world. The project is proudly powered by the Arduino At Heart Smart Citizen Kit.

Jonathan Minchin, the bee-man in the lab ;) , told us:

The development team is made up of makers, technologists, entomologists and is being led by a wide ranging community of beekeepers. The OSBH team came together in 2013 from the Fab Lab Barcelona, OKNO in Brussels and the Open Tech Collaborative in Denver with the shared objective of designing hives that can support Bee colonies in a sustainable way. To monitor and track the health and behaviour of a colony as it develops and to engage an active and diverse community to respond to the threats faced by Bees.

Work began to design our Internet-connected beehives and to put them into backyards everywhere. The aim is to grow a citizen-led beehive network that both strengthens bee populations and generates insightful hive data, ultimately we want to help discover what is causing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The Smart Citizen platform and (SCK) sensor kit with Arduino at heart provides a perfect fit with the aims of the project in that it allows us to quickly and efficiently develop a powerful and specialised sensor shield adapted for use within a Beehive. The data we produce can also be published openly to the Smart Citizen online platform and shared with the community.

Open source beehive

The data from the hives will help beekeepers and scientists monitor the temperature, humidity and relevant sound frequencies coming from within the hives in a non-intrusive way. This data helps them to understand what the colony is doing and how it reacts to environmental changes. We are also working with sensors that can measure the weight of the hive and monitor air born pollutants that might affect the bees. The data collected from each hive is published together with geolocations, allowing for a further comparison and analysis between the hives.

These sensor enhanced hive designs as well as the electronic schematics are being published openly and can be downloaded and made locally at a Fab Labs or any other maker space. The hives along with different options to support the project can be ordered through our current crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.

Now watch the video to look at some visual details and meet the other collaborators:

 

Embedded Scripting (Lua, Espruino, Micro Python)

via OSHUG

The thirty-second OSHUG meeting will take a look at the use of scripting languages with deeply embedded computing platforms, which have much more constrained resources than the platforms which were originally targeted by the languages.

Programming a microcontroller with Lua

eLua is a full version of the Lua programming language for microcontrollers, running on bare metal. Lua provides a modern high level dynamicaly typed language, with first class functions, coroutines and an API for interacting with C code, and yet which is very small and can run in a memory constrained environment. This talk will cover the Lua language and microcontroller environment, and show it running on-off-the-shelf ARM Cortex boards as well as the Mizar32, an open hardware design built especially for eLua.

Justin Cormack is a software developer based in London. He previously worked at a startup that built LED displays and retains a fondness for hardware. He organizes the London Lua User Group, which hosts talks on the Lua programming language.

Bringing JavaScript to Microcontrollers

This talk will discuss the benefits and challenges of running a modern scripting language on microcontrollers with extremely limited resources. In particular we will take a look at the Espruino JavaScript interpreter and how it addresses these challenges and manages to run in less than 8kB of RAM.

Gordon Williams has developed software for companies such as Altera, Nokia, Microsoft and Lloyds Register, but has been working on the Espruino JavaScript interpreter for the last 18 months. In his free time he enjoys making things - from little gadgets to whole cars.

Micro Python — Python for microcontrollers

Microcontrollers have recently become powerful enough to host high-level scripting languages and run meaningful programs written in them. In this talk we will explore the software and hardware of the Micro Python project, an open source implementation of Python 3 which aims to be as compatible as possible with CPython, whilst still fitting within the RAM and ROM constraints of a microcontroller. Many tricks are employed to put as much as possible within ROM, and to use the least RAM and minimal heap allocations as is feasible. The project was successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign at the end of 2013, and the hardware is currently being manufactured at Jaltek Systems UK.

Damien George is a theoretical physicist who likes to write compilers and build robots in his spare time.

Note: Please aim to by 18:15 as the first talk will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

Privacy and Security (Security protocols in constrained environments, RFIDler, Indie Phone)

via OSHUG

The thirty-first OSHUG meeting is dedicated to privacy and security, with talks on implementing security protocols in constrained environments, an SDR RFID reader/writer/emulator, and a new initiative that will use design thinking and open source to create a truly empowering mobile phone.

Security protocols in constrained environments

Implementation of security protocols such as TLS, SSH or IPsec come with a memory and compute overhead. Whilst this has become negligible in full scale environments it's still a real issue for hobbyist and embedded developers. This presentation will look at the sources of the overheads, what can be done to minimise them, and what sort of hardware platforms can be made to absorb them. The benefits and potential pitfalls of hardware specific implementations will also be examined.

Chris Swan is CTO at CohesiveFT where he helps build secure cloud based networks. He's previously been a security guy at large Swiss banks, and before that was a Weapon Engineering Officer in the Royal Navy. Chris has tinkered with electronics since pre-school, and these days has a desk littered with various dev boards and projects.

RFIDler: A Software Defined RFID Reader/Writer/Emulator

Software Defined Radio has been quietly revolutionising the world of RF. However, the same revolution has not yet taken place in RFID. The proliferation of RFID/NFC devices means that it is unlikely that you will not interact with one such device or another on a daily basis. Whether it’s your car key, door entry card, transport card, contactless credit card, passport, etc. you almost certainly have one in your pocket right now!

RFIDler is a new project, created by Aperture Labs, designed to bring the world of Software Defined Radio into the RFID spectrum. We have created a small, open source, cheap to build platform that allows any suitably powerful microprocessor access to the raw data created by the over-the-air conversation between tag and reader coil. The device can also act as a standalone ‘hacking’ platform for RFID manipulation/examination. The rest is up to you!

Adam “Major Malfunction” Laurie is a security consultant working in the field of electronic communications, and a Director of Aperture Labs Ltd., who specialise in reverse engineering of secure systems. He started in the computer industry in the late Seventies, and quickly became interested in the underlying network and data protocols.

During this period, he successfully disproved the industry lie that music CDs could not be read by computers, and wrote the world’s first CD ripper, ‘CDGRAB’. He was also involved various early open source projects, including ‘Apache-SSL’ which went on to become the de-facto standard secure web server. Since the late Nineties he has focused his attention on security, and has been the author of various papers exposing flaws in Internet services and/or software, as well as pioneering the concept of re-using military data centres (housed in underground nuclear bunkers) as secure hosting facilities.

Andy Ritchie has been working in the computer and technology industry for over 20 years for major industry players such as ICL, Informix, British Airways and Motorola. Founding his first company, Point 4 Consulting at the age of 25, he built it into a multi-million pound technology design consultancy. Point 4 provided critical back end technology and management for major web sites such as The Electronic Telegraph, MTV, United Airlines, Interflora, Credit Suisse,BT, Littlewoods and Sony. Following Point 4 he went on to found Ablaise, a company that manages the considerable intellectual property generated by Point 4, and Aperture Labs. In his spare time he manages the worlds largest and longest running security conference, Defcon. Andy's research focuses on access control systems, biometric devices and embedded systems security, and he has spoken and trained at information security conferences in Europe and the US publicly and for private and governmental audiences. He is responsible for identifying major vulnerabilities in various access control and biometric systems, and has a passion for creating devices that emulate access control tokens either electronic physical or biometric. Andy has been responsible both directly and indirectly for changing access control guidelines for several western governments. Andy is currently a director of Aperture Labs Ltd, a company that specialises in reverse engineering and security evaluations of embedded systems.

Indie: a tale of privacy, civil liberties, and a phone

Can a phone really help protect our civil liberties? Aral Balkan thinks so. And he’s embarked on an audacious journey to make one. Join us to hear the introduction of a two-year story that is only just beginning.

Aral Balkan is is founder and designer of Indie Phone, a phone that empowers mere mortals to own their own data.

Note: Please aim to by 18:15 as the first talk will start at 18:30 prompt.

Sponsored by:

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.

Fueling the Hardware Revolution with Tindie

via Arduino Blog

Tindie

Some people call it the “Etsy for hardware”, some other “the indie marketplace for open source hardware”, even if being open is not a requirement. Tindie’s mission consists of connecting the world’s small, hardware businesses with customers all over the world and today starts a cool initiative called Open Designs and Kickbacks. When sellers create a new product, they will be able to select a project the product is a derivative from, and enter the % of sales that will go to the open hardware project.

“Businesses can manufacture the open design as is, or create products derived from it. Those sellers can then kickback a portion of their sales back to the designer. Tindie will handle the disbursement of funds so it’s absolutely painless. For designers, there are no fees, no hosting costs, just a simple way to reap the benefits of their hard work”

Some weeks ago Arduino announced in a blogpost about donating every year to projects which are part of the open source ecosystem because we are grateful to these efforts and want to support them and now we are happy to announce of being Tindie’s first partner in the Open Designs’ initiative.   Businesses that have built on top of Arduino boards can now send a portion of their sales back to Arduino, and help us further growing our efforts in supporting the open source community. Take a look at the products derived from Arduino.

For more info and insights, take a look at the Tindie’s website.

 

 

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.

A Neonatal Baby Monitor goes open source and collaborative in Kenya

via Arduino Blog

OpenBabyMonitorTeam

On the 11th of August a team composed by researchers from FabLab Pisa and University of Pisa’s Center for Bioengineering and Robotics “E.Piaggio” will start a great adventure with a Summer School on the project called OS4BME (Open Source for Biomedical Engineering).

The aim of the project is to bring the DIY&Makers approach in the developing of simple, low cost/high impact biomedical devices, precisely, in this particular case, a neonatal Baby Monitor.

The course will take place at Kenyatta University (Nairobi) and it will involve setting up a 3D printing system, developing a neonatal monitoring device, using open source, electronics based on the Arduino platform and powered by solar panels.

Participants will play an active role in the identification of components, design, assembling and testing of the device and in the discussion of regulatory issues in its development. Close attention will also be paid to safety, ergonomic aspects and regulatory  standards for biomedical devices.

The medical device industry in Africa is largely absent and there is an over reliance on foreign companies to repair and design biomedical instrumentation and resolve technical problems … More importantly, at present there are no specific engines or platforms focused on the sharing of biomedical instrumentation and devices. This is because, by their very nature, biomedical devices possess stringent performance requirements to comply with regulatory standards to ensure patient safety.

OS4BME is a project created by Prof. Arti Ahluwalia (Univ. Pisa), Daniele Mazzei and Carmelo De Maria (both from Fablab Pisa but also post-doc researchers at Centro E.Piaggio). The summer school is an initiative organized by a consortium of nine African universities with the objective of creating a sustainable health-care system, developing a network of academic excellence for Biomedical Engineering in Africa with the support of the ‘United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

 Arduino is supporting the project and  we sent to the team a bunch of Arduino UNO boards, Wi-Fi and GSM Shields to be used during the course and then will be donated to the Kenyatta University and Fablab Nairobi.

Arduino Package

In the next week  we’ll keep in touch with the team and receive updates directly from the summer school. Stay Tuned on this blog and on the work in progress of their WIKI!

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:

Sensor Networks (Contiki, Low Power Wireless Sensors, quick2link)

via OSHUG

At the twenty-sixth meeting we will have talks on Contiki, the open source operating system for the Internet of Things, low power wireless sensors and quick2link, a protocol for distributed sensor/actuator networks.

An Introduction to the Contiki O/S

This talk aims to introduce the Contiki OS and some of the development hardware that is used with it. 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.

Note that this talk was originally scheduled for OSHUG #15.

Low Power Wireless Sensors around the Home

Have you ever wondered how much electricity the kettle used this week, what effect installing that loft insulation had on the temperature of the living room, or how humid the loft is?

Small low power wireless nodes make it very easy to deploy a network of sensors to monitor, for example, electrical power, temperature and humidity around the home or office.

This talk will give practical examples of connecting low power wireless sensor nodes to the Web using RFM12B/SRF/XRF 433MHz/868MHz wireless modules, Arduino-based hardware and firmware, and a Raspberry Pi base station running the Emoncms open-source web-application to log, process and visualise the data. Experience will be drawn from OpenEnergyMonitor, a project to develop open source energy monitoring tools to help us relate to our use of energy, energy systems and the challenge of sustainable energy.

Glyn Hudson is a hardware developer for the OpenEnergyMonitor project. Together with Trystan Lea he runs the OpenEnergyMonitor website and online shop. Glyn has a passion for open hardware, sustainable energy and rock climbing… in no particular order!

quick2link

Romilly Cocking spent the ten years before his 'retirement' as an agile software developer, coach and trainer. He spent the first two years of retirement experimenting with robotics. Then Raspberry Pi came along, and now Romilly works full-time running Quick2Wire.

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

Sponsored by:

Arduino goes to Shenzhen: the Hollywood of hardware products

via Arduino Blog

Shenzen 4/2013

Last week-end we just had a good time at the Maker Faire of Shenzhen, hosted in the wonderful OCT District.

We were invited by Eric Pan from Seeedstudio (thanks Eric for the good time!). The Maker Faire has been a priceless experience to get in touch with the chinese maker community, as well as networking with different Chinese and Chinese-based maker companies creating interesting contents & products.

Shenzen Mini Makerfaire

We finally inaugurated our very first official Weibo account, and shared chinese materials about Arduino. You could come and play with the Esplora as well as code your very own interface, Thanks to our friend Federico Musto and Anna Kao for the help. and Maling and Terry who volunteered for us in the booth giving Arduino goodies and pins to a ton of interested chinese makers and curious. Zack Smith, working now in the HAXLR8R, joined us for some help to test his chinese language. There has been many speeches and presentations (as well as an Arduino workshop held by Guo Haoyun, the chinese translator of Getting Started With Arduino), and all of a sudden I understood I have to learn chinese (!).
Shenzen 4/2013

The guys of Haxlr8r showed us their cool creations: Haxlr8r is a startup incubator taking cool ideas and startups from around the world and helping them developing and fine tuning their own product (solve all the puzzles in developing a project, 3 to 6 month) for production here in China. They are based closed to the world famous SEG Electronics Market, widely portrayed from Bunnie Wang in this post and from Evil Mad Scientist here.

Shenzen 4/2013

On Sunday (totally drained out from the previous day) we teamed up with the Trasfabric “Hacked Better” workshop, we visited Chaihuo Makerspace in OCT where Tom Igoe, Zack Hoeken Smith, Gao Lei, Eric Pan (Seeedstudio) talked about maker movement and DIY culture in China, with Silvia Lindtner (ISTC & Fudan University) and Anna Greenspan (NYU Shanghai), organizers of the workshop.

I had the cool opportunity to sit back and listen to many interesting facts and odd metaphors, joining the informal panel. The main idea which came out is looking at the city of Shenzen like the place to be for producing (open) hardware right now, perfectly represented in a cool metaphor of Eric:

Shenzen is the Hollywood of hardware products, where big companies are just like the big Majors: that’s where independent, low-budget movies come out. (movies = products, boards).

Zack and Eric, as well as Tom, talked about the the value of Brand, both as Market Identity and Responsibility. Zack: It looks a bit like a recipe. Hambuger. Everybody makes an hamburger. You can go to McDonald / Burger King or in the finest place. You can make it yourself. What are you hungry for? Basically open sour(c)e hardware can get everybody be the very personal cook of themselves, or at least acknowledges, with different tools and know-hows, the audience (maker movement, kids, any of us).

What are you hungry for?

P.S. please keep an eye on the Transfabric blog to a more comprehensive and less informal sum-up of the workshop, I’m just the one who loves Cinema, Hamburger and Open Source Hardware.

Is Three (Writing AVR Firmware, Panel)

via OSHUG

The twenty-fifth meeting marks our third anniversary, and will feature a talk on writing embedded firmware and a panel discussion that will explore the future of open source hardware.

Writing firmware for the AVR: A Morse Code Beacon

In this talk we will look at a number of techniques for making the most of the miniscule MSP430 and ATTiny embedded microcontrollers. Explaining how to approach the task of developing software for constrained systems such as those with only a few hundred bytes of RAM or a few kilobytes of Flash. Predominantly writing in C and using Chris Swan's Morse Code Beacon as an example, revealing why code needs to be structured in ways that may initially seem counter-intuitive or undesirable, as well as how the resources are used and allocated.

Such techniques are essential for getting almost any useful program to run in small systems, and when applied to slightly bigger machines such as the ATmega — found in platforms such as Arduino — they can allow really comprehensive programs to be executed successfully.

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 FPGAs for the UK's first Dual Tuner Personal Video Recorders. He continued working on Advanced Product Development at Pace Micro Technology before leaving to build distributed database engines at GenieDB. One year ago he founded Knodium where he applies his finely honed ability to produce software on a shoestring.

Panel discussion: The Future of Open Source Hardware

Interest in open source hardware continues to grow unabated and the movement has come a long way in the three years since our first meeting. However, could it ever provide opportunities on the same scale as those afforded by its much older and now well understood cousin, open source software? What are the barriers to growth? How are the intellectual property and economic considerations different to those of open source software? These are just some of the questions that we plan to explore as part of this panel discussion.

Moderated by: Paul Downey.

Professor Cornelia Boldyreff is Visiting Professor in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences at the University of Greenwich, and Chair of the BCS Open Source Specialist Group. She is a Fellow of the BCS and HEA, and a member of the ACM and the BCS Women's Committee. She has over 30 years experience in software engineering and has lead extensive research within open source software.

Sukkin Pang is a design engineer and a director at SK Pang Electronics Ltd. He graduated from the University of Hertfordshire and has over 20 years of industrial experience. He is passionate about open source hardware and has four Arduino shields published. He used to tinker in assembler on the Z80, 6502, PIC and AVR, but nowadays he mainly uses C and C++.

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

Nigel Rix is Director of Electronics at the ESP KTN, part of the UK's innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board. Nigel has over 30 years experience working with a variety high tech companies from multi-nationals to start-ups and on hardware and software based products from electron beam lithography and laser systems to solutions for the security sector.

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

Sponsored by:

Ikazoo, a multifunctional entertainment device for music and more

via Arduino Blog

ikazoo

iKazoo  is a prototype for an open source platform using Arduino and  recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.  It’s a multifunctional device assistant for entertainment with a  touch and shock sensitive surface. It can easily record or alter your voice but also play many types of instrument.  You can use it as a optical game controller and even as a brush on your pad. The hardware  contains sensors that can monitor all body movements and become a step counter.  Here’s the video presentation:

When I asked them why they chose Arduino, Nasrin Zadeh – the founder of the project -  told me:

We chose Arduino and the Processing platform as we know that there are many creative minds out there who want to program and test  functions  outdoor and on the fly. So in fact, the iKazoo is a mobile Arduino, which interacts with your mobile device, wherever you are. See it as a mobile mini lab. Of course it’s pre-programmed for those who just want to have some fun or personal assistance in sport, fitness wellness our to entertain friends with creative tunes.

iKazoo comes with an App, which contains a look-up table to link audio and sensors to any application of your smart device. So, the user decides what and how to control smart phones, tablets, PC’s, synthesizers or robots. We like the community to support us for the sake of mutual fun experience. Arduino gives the freedom and ease to express and realize creative ideas on the fly.
The prototyping of the iKazoo is ready, the hardware components and the printed circuit board is complete and they are ready for production.  They just  need to raise 150K  in order to bring the iKazoo into the world and they are looking for backers!