Tag Archives: OpenSource

Hackerspace/makerspace/fablab panel discussion

via OSHUG

For the fourtieth meeting we will be hosting a panel discussion which will explore the organisation, operation, challenges and benefits of creative spaces known as hackerspaces, makerspaces and fablabs. There will be representatives from Makespace Cambridge, South London Makerspace, So Make It (Southampton), Fab Lab London, London Hackspace and the UK's innovation agency, Innovate UK.

Makespace Cambridge

Dr Laura James is co-founder and Director of Makespace Cambridge, a non-profit community inventing shed and hackspace. She is currently consulting on a variety of technology and innovation activities.

Laura has worked in technology and leadership roles in a wide variety of organisations. After R&D work at AT&T Labs in both Menlo Park and Cambridge, Laura developed high speed optical networks with Intel Research for her PhD. She was the first employee and VP Engineering at AlertMe.com, developing an easy to use innovative connected home platform and security system. At True Knowledge, Laura was part of the senior management team leading the company through a pivot, to apply their unique semantic technology to next generation search, creating Evi, a revolutionary conversational search app. Laura has also worked as Chief Operating Officer at CARET, a dynamic innovation department of the University of Cambridge, developing open source systems to support teaching and research. Most recently, Laura was CEO of Open Knowledge, a civil society organisation dedicated to opening up knowledge to empower people. Laura is an advisor to Open Knowledge, Product Health, Good Night Lamp, and the ContentMine.

Laura holds Masters and PhD degrees in Engineering from the University of Cambridge, received the Royal Academy of Engineering Leadership Award and a NESTA Crucible Fellowship, and is a Chartered Engineer.

South London Makerspace

Tom Lynch is a Designer/Maker based in London, after completing his MA at the Royal College of Art he went on to start Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire at the London College of Communication where he now works as a Physical Computing Specialist Technician. Living in South London, Tom is a founder and trustee of South London Makerspace, a social, community workshop in Herne Hill.

So Make It

Jem Gillam is an iOS programmer turned stay at home mum, and a trustee at So Make It. She has always had an interest in programming and hardware hacking, her first projects involving circuit bending and wearable electronics. Her current project is working with a large team to build a life size remote control Dalek, which meant finally learning to use the power tools at the makerspace!

Fab Lab London

Tony Fish is co-founder of Fab Lab London, investor, entrepreneur and an author with a background in electronics, computing and design.

London Hackspace

Jonty Wareing is co-founder and trustee of London Hackspace, and co-founder of Electromagnetic Field. He is currently hacking on IRC Cloud after three years at Lumi, and five years at Last.fm.

Innovate UK

Nikos Pronios is Lead Technologist for Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) at Innovate UK which he joined in early 2014. He has a diverse background in the ICT sector with experience in US and Europe, both in the industry and academia. After obtaining his PhD from the University of Southern California, he worked for Bell Communication Research in New Jersey, before moving to INTRACOM in Greece. Nikos has worked in various industry positions covering before moving to INTRACOM in Greece. Nikos has worked in various industry positions covering civilian and defence sectors, and he is currently using his diverse experience of more than 20 years to help organisations innovate and compete.

Chaired by:

Dr Jeremy Bennett is Founder and CEO of Embecosm, an open source compiler and silicon chip modeling consultancy, that are a strong supporter of the makerspace movement as sponsor of So Make It, Chip Hack and regular workshops that serve to introduce people to embedded computing.

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

Sponsored by:

Radio Pt. 3 (OpenBeacon, HPSDR, Ruling Drones)

via OSHUG

The thirty-ninth meeting will feature an update on the HPSDR project, which we first heard about back in October 2010 at OSHUG #5. There will also be talks on Bluetooth Low Energy programming and OpenBeacon, and making drones play by the rules.

Low Power to the People - take back Bluetooth Low Energy control!

 —Programming BLE the hard way: bare metal programming of nRF51 BLE tokens for fun and profit.

The talk will start with a brief overview of the Bluetooth Low Energy advertisement protocol and how to implement bare-metal BLE on top of the ARM-based nRF51 chip — without using the manufacturer provided Bluetooth stack. The general development flow will be explored along with some useful examples, closing with some mischief that can be caused using this knowledge :-)

The latest version of the OpenBeacon tag design is supposed to be the ultimate hacking, fuzzing and pen testing tool for Bluetooth Low Energy. The hardware schematics and the PCB layout were released under the CC attribution license. We strongly believe that the future of the Internet of Things can be privacy enabled and can work distributed, without selling your soul to large cloud services.

Milosch Meriac has over 20 years experience in the information security business and hardware design. He is currently living in Cambridge where he works for ARM on securing the Internet of Things. In his private time he loves making and grokking things. He is currently playing with RGB strips to create light paintings.

Milosch is the co-founder of active and passive RFID open source projects like Sputnik/OpenBeacon, OpenPCD and OpenPICC, and is committed to RFID related security research. He broke the iCLASS RFID security system and was involved in breaking Mifare Classic security.

As a member of the Blinkenlights Stereoscope Core Team Milosch designed the 2.4GHz OpenBeacon-based dimmmer/Ethernet dardware that was used in the Toronto City Hall Installation. As one of the three maintainers of the former Xbox-Linux Project he helped to break Xbox security and to port the first Linux system to the Xbox. His focus is on hardware development, embedded systems, RF designs, active and passive RFID hardware development, custom-tailoring of embedded Linux hardware platforms, real time systems, IT-security and reverse engineering.

OpenHPSDR Update

A review of hardware and software progress of the High Performance Software Define Radio, an open source hardware and software project being developed by an international group of ham radio enthusiasts.

John Melton has held a ham radio license since 1984 and has developed several open source Linux applications, including ground station software for working digital satellites and software defined radios. He is a retired software engineer after 48 years developing software for several computer manufacturers including Burroughs Corporation, ICL, Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation.

Ruling Drones

The danger of drones not sticking to regulations have been a challenge that has been recently in the news. An attempt is being made to see if it would be possible to produce notification when regulation is breached. The plan is to use ArduPilotMega and use a modified version Arducopter so geofencing could be achieved in various areas and a GSM interface is going to be used communicate to the ground monitoring station. The modification of flight controller and ground controller in future would involve the ability to verify authenticity of the geofencing and update the geofencing over the air using GPRS/3G/433 Mhz link and usage of TPM to verify the changes to the code applied.

Anish Mohammed has been an electronics hobbyist and software hacker since his early teens. He spent almost a decade in research and development in security and cryptography. He has most recently developed an active interersts in crypto currency space and ethics of AI (Dexethics.com). He is currently on the board of advisors for Ripple Labs and EA Ventures. He is a confirmed UAV addict who owns a dozen AHRS/Autopilots, both open and partially closed, with interests in multicopters, fixed wings and rovers.

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

Sponsored by:

Casa Jasmina discussing IoT at Transmediale in Berlin

via Arduino Blog

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This post, written by  Jasmina Tesanovic and Bruce Sterling, was originally posted on Casa Jasmina blog.


 

On February 2, we were in Berlin’s “House of World Cultures” to discuss “Casa Jasmina.” We were participating in the Transmediale Festival, as part of an event roundtable on the topic of “the Internet of Things.”

Luckily, since we’re electronic art journalists, we’ve seen about a million public panels of this kind. It never surprises us when everybody at a round table has a different angle on the problem.

Our own answer, as we described it to the crowd at Transmediale, is pretty simple. “Casa Jasmina” is a new project to build an IoT home that’s (1) open source (2) luxurious and (3) Turinese.

Our panel featured Arduino colleague David Cuartielles, who memorably described Arduino as “fifty guys in six garages in six different countries.” In “Casa Jasmina,” basically, we’re the cool clubhouse in one of those six garages. That is our purpose and nature.

The “Internet of Things” is a very big topic. It’s physically impossible for anybody anywhere to keep up with every IoT appliance, wearable, machine-to-machine app, set-top box, thing-router, platform, protocol, cloud and app. There are so many commercial IoT gimmicks available right now that we could fill the Mole Antonelliana with them from top to bottom. However, we’re not going to try that. Instead we are concentrating on our own distinct approach to the Internet of Things issue.

That’s where the “luxury” aspect comes in. “Lusso Open Source.” We’re interested in “luxury” because we’re Turinese. Italy is into boutique manufacturing and luxury export, especially Italian furniture, clothing, foodstuffs and kitchen gear. Italy’s got lots of hackerspaces and makerspace now: over thirty of them, and the Maker scene is advancing fast. This means that some domestic refinement is in order: Italians need to class this Maker stuff up and sell it to the foreign tourists. That’s what Italians do, such is the time-honored Italian way of life. The traditional craft cachet of “Made in Italy” ought to be followed by the less-traditional digital-craft cachet of “Make in Italy.” Why not?

Since Torino is the manufacturing center of Italy, Torino obviously the place to try this. We’re pretty sure it is bound to happen anyway. “Casa Jasmina” should be a place where concerned people can sit down, have a glass of Piedmontese red and think that prospect over. What does “Luxury Open Source” really mean, anyway? What would Ettore Sotsass, Bruno Munari, or Enzo Mari do about this?

Keep reading on Casa Jasmina Blog >>

instasupersmapp wallss

 

Energy (Exploring "open" in energy, Electricity from Woodchips, OpenTRV)

via OSHUG

The thirty-eighth meeting will take a look open source technologies in support of the generation and efficient use of energy.

Exploring "Open" in Energy

Arcola Energy builds energy systems using fuel cells powered by hydrogen. Fuel cells are one of those great ideas that has yet to gain much traction in real markets. They put men on the moon, but since then commercial progress has been slow. One way of opening up uses of fuel cells is to involve a much wider developer community. To explore this Arcola has developed a fuel cell developer kit and started on the road to working with open source groups. This talk will look at our journey, the success to far and the challenges ahead.

Richard Kemp-Harper is a former research scientist who spent several years managing web development, including open source systems at Oxfam. He then moved into technology and innovation, working at Innovate UK running innovation programmes in intelligent mobility, rail and energy. He specialises in not being a specialist.

Electricity from Woodchips — An Edwardian Idea — Tamed with 21st Century Microelectronics

First studied in the 1820s, gasification is the process of converting a hydrocarbon solid fuel, such as coal or wood, into a low calorific value gas suitable for running an internal combustion engine. Used for vehicle transportation during World War 2 — gasification has enjoyed a renaissance at the start of the 21st Century. Low cost, open source microelectronics are used to tame this technology, from a labour intensive manual process, to a fully automated turnkey system.

In January 2012, Ken Boak quit his UK electronic design job and travelled to Berkeley, California, to work on a new biomass energy project — an open source, microcontroller based control system for a wood chip fired CHP system.

The company — an East Bay area start-up — "All Power Labs", had a compact, self-contained biomass gasification system, close to commercialisation.

In the 6 month contract, Ken productionised the open source, control and automation system, using standard, globally available components and rationalised the wiring loom so that low cost, modular assembly was practical.

Ken started his career at BBC Research Department in 1986 working on digital signal processing systems for HDTV - and subsequently over 30 years, a mix of 10 other technology companies, both UK and US based, in the fields of instrumentation, automation, telemetry and telecomms.

Ken tries to live a low impact lifestyle in a modest Edwardian house in Surrey, with a little help from modern electronics.

Scratching the itch: saving the planet

When BigCo and .gov are not sorting your problem then open everything makes it easier for you to scratch your own itch, especially with the very positive innovation support around right now, possibly the best for 30 years. And when you can save the planet, be your own boss, and meet and work with lots of fabulous interesting people, what’s holding you back?

Damon Hart-Davis is lead on the OpenTRV open source project created following his 2012 presentation to DECC's smart heating workshop. He has freelanced in technology for over 30 years, delivering mission-critical products from design to BAU in the City for more than 20 of those, and has founded and been involved in several start-ups over that time with his creations seen on TV, the Web, and his pioneering Internet Service Provider helping crack open that market more than 20 years ago. A previous virtual/on-line credit-card company start-up that he co-founded as CTO, Ixaris, turns over ~£10m.

Mark Hill spent 15 years in the City after a solid grounding in IT at the chip level at the microprocessor manufacturer Inmos, designing and delivering highly complex systems. Project management, direction and governance are all part of his toolkit. He now speaks regularly about innovation, collaboration and IoT. Recently he founded a mobile phone software start-up and is now OpenTRV Ltd's co-founder.

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

Sponsored by:

Chips Pt.2 (Chip Design for Teenagers, Cocotb, lowRISC)

via OSHUG

Back in April 2011 we had our first meeting on the theme of open source chip design, and then around one year later we took a closer look at the OpenRISC Reference Platform System-on-Chip. The thirty-sixth meeting will feature talks on chip design for teenagers, an open source verification framework, and a fully open source system-on-chip that will be manufactured in volume.

Silicon Chip Design for Teenagers

These days we expect school students to learn to write code, and teachers are turning to tools like Scratch (for primary education) and Python (for secondary education). But why stick to software languages. Why not teach coding in Verilog and get children to design silicon chips.

Earlier this year Dan Gorringe attended Chip Hack II in Cambridge. Inspired by this he spent two weeks work experience at Embecosm in August 2014 modifying the Chip Hack materials for use by Year 9-11 students. His resulting application note, "Silicon Chip Design for Teenagers", is to be published very shortly by Embecosm.

In this talk, Dan will share his experience of learning silicon chip design, using Verilog for his first serious attempt at coding and encountering Mentor Graphics EDA tools for the first time.

Dan Gorringe has just started year 11 and faces the horrors of GCSE exams in 8 months time, so silicon chip design is just light relief. He has aspirations to a career in computing.

Cocotb, an Open Source Verification Framework

Verifying hardware designs has always been a significant challenge but very few open-source tools have emerged to support this effort. The recent advances in verification to facilitate complex designs often depend on specialist knowledge and expensive software tools. In this talk we will look at Cocotb, an open-source verification framework, and explore whether Python is a viable language for verification.

Chris Higgs has over a decade of experience working with FPGAs in various industries. His software background has shaped his approach to RTL design and verification and he now spends his time trying to bridge the divide between hardware and software development.

lowRISC — a Fully Open Source RISC-V System-on-Chip

The lowRISC project has been formed to produce a System-on-Chip which will be open source right down to the HDL, implementing the open RISC-V instruction set architecture. Volume manufacture of silicon manufacture is planned, along with creating and distributing low-cost development boards. This talk will describe the aims of the lowRISC project, summarise its current status, describe some of the features that are being implemented, and give details on how you can get involved.

Alex Bradbury is a researcher at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory where he works on compilation techniques for a novel many-core architecture. He writes LLVM Weekly, is co-author of Learning Python with Raspberry Pi, and has been a contributor to the Raspberry Pi project since the first alpha hardware was available.

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

Sponsored by:

Arduino and Bruce Sterling Launching an Open-Source Apartment

via Arduino Blog

banzi-apartment

Arduino co-founder Massimo Banzi, announced at MakerCon the collaboration between the open-source microcontroller and futurist Bruce Sterling. The Open-Source Apartment will be located in Torino, near Arduino Italian headquarters and it will serve as a test ground for the latest developments from the open source community, being outfitted with furniture from OpenDesk and a variety of hardware creations.
Watch the video below and more details will be available during Maker Faire Rome:

Open Source Hardware Camp 2014

via OSHUG

Open Source Hardware Camp will take place in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. For the second year running it is being hosted as part of the technology festival, Wuthering Bytes. However, this year OSHCamp will have the Waterfront Hall to itself on the Saturday and Sunday, with a separate Festival Day taking place on the Friday and with talks on a broader selection of technical topics.

Details of the OSHUG talks and workshops can be found below and the Wuthering Bytes website will be updated in due course with details of the complete programme of events.

Note that socials are planned for both the Friday and Saturday evenings, with the former being hosted at the Town Hall and where there will be a bar, food available and music and a live performance, and the latter will be hosted at a local hostelry that serves food.

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.

Any questions should be directed to the Discussion List.

Saturday :: Talks

Linux bootloaders and kernel configuration

Linux is popular in embedded devices, but most use it once the kernel has booted and don't consider how it was started. This talk explores just what happens when you first start an embedded device that is running Linux, and will look at common bootloaders, such as U-Boot, along with kernel boot options. Finally, we will look at useful kernel configuration options for embedded devices.

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. Recently Melanie became a sporty person and now spends a lot of her time hitting girls. She will probably bore you with tales of roller derby!

Open source archaeological geophysics - is it achievable?

The advance of technology into Archaeology has allowed geophysical surveys to "peer into the ground" and direct the diggers to the most likely "targets". However, as anyone whose watched Time Team will know, using Resistivity and Magnetometry doesn't always guarantee results. Such equipment is not usually within the financial reach of most hobbyists. However, the recent explosion of the Arduino, Pi and other cheap electronics has meant making such surveying equipment may be possible.

A small research project involving an informal collaboration between members of the Derbyshire Archaeological Society (DAS) & Derby Makers is exploring whether a high accuracy GPS unit, Magnetometer and a resistivity probe can be made and yield worthwhile results within a budget of £1,000. DAS has kindly funded this research and we are about 50% of the way through the GPS project. This talk will introduce the project and take a look at progress to date.

Tony Brookes was firstly an engineer and then worked in IT for a while (!) Now working part-time, hobbies easily fill the time available. Drawn to archaeological and historical research by way of Time Team, he now tries to apply open source software (Scribus, Inkscape, Qgis) and hardware (Arduino, et al) to investigating parish history and other interesting topics.

An open source aquaponics control system

Aquaponics is a closed system of food production that farms fish alongside vegetables, and this talk will look at the development of an open source aquaponics control system for the Incredible AquaGarden project in Todmorden, highlighting certain features of the design and exploring some of the difficulties encountered and how these have been addressed.

A control and monitoring system with an event-driven 'flowchart' interface will be presented, where data about aspects such as pH, temperature and light level etc. are collected and logged in order to monitor the environment. The system responds dynamically to control the level of water in the plant growing bed, to maximise the yield. Some design decisions and technical aspects of the system will be demonstrated and discussed, together with the open source model for sustaining the project.

Finally, we will look at the operational Node-RED installation in Todmorden, showing how the system is collecting readings and controlling the water level, and we'll talk about how MQTT has been used to loosely couple the code running on the Arduino with Node-RED on a Raspberry Pi.

Gareth Coleman is a inventive hardware hacker who's talent lies in connecting diverse devices. Dr Naomi Rosenberg is a freelance software developer with a background in formal logic who works on a wide variety of platforms. They both get a especially enthusiastic about open hardware, free software and empowering humans.

From Idea to Finished Product: A Tale of DFM and CEM

With numerous easily accessible embedded platforms around and concepts such as rapid prototyping and crowdfunding now being useful things as opposed to just buzzwords, designing the Next Big Thing without leaving your study is becoming a common story for makers and tinkerers.

While it is true that going from an idea to a finished product has never been easier thanks to the abundance of design resources and affordable manufacturing services, designing for volume manufacturing requires a different mindset that usually does not apply to casual weekend hacks. From component choice to packaging and logistics, there are several elements that needs to be taken into consideration, as they may cause significant headaches otherwise.

This talk will provide an overview of electronics manufacturing process, covering details such as managing design data, handling dependencies, component and process choices, testing and certification and several other aspects of DFM: Design for Manufacturability.

Omer Kilic is an Embedded Systems hacker who likes tinkering, a lot. He also likes tiny computers, things that just work and good beer.

Driving milling machines with Linux

Driving a milling machine with Linux is fairly easy and LinuxCNC (previously known as “EMC”) even provides a real-time distribution install disk. However, driving the machine is only half the story and gcode generation is at least as important.

This talk will share experiences using a mill and a router with Linux, looking at PCB manufacture, engraving, 3D milling, casting, tool paths, materials, tools and parametric design.

Matt Venn has run hundreds of creative science workshops for thousands of children and adults around the world. For the last year, he has been working with teachers in preparation for the computer science curriculum changes; creating and leading courses, workshops and projects.

When he's not inventing new ways of getting people excited about science, Matt plays music, invents puzzle boxes, practices martial arts and maintains bikes.

Oxford Flood Network - easier to Apologise Than to Ask Permission

Oxford Flood Network is a citizen sensing project which monitors water levels around the city, in streams, rivers and even under floorboards, sending water levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless.

The network explores the possibilities of a smart city that is created by its citizens, rather than a more typical top-down deployment. Sensor networks are generally used to collect data about us for reasons and agendas chosen by others, but we can build sensor networks too; crowd-sourced data can be gathered for your agenda — providing evidence for your issues.

In this talk we will hear how Oxford Flood Network has developed an open source model for hardware and software, and the challenges of sticking mysterious boxes under bridges.

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.

An introduction to writing applications for the Parallella board

Parallella is a credit card-sized computer with a many-core accelerator that allows it to achieve high floating-point performance while consuming only a few watts. In this talk we will take a look at the Epiphany architecture and how to use the eSDK to write highly parallel applications for it, using hardware and software features to benchmark code and optimise performance.

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 and is lead engineer on the MAGEEC project. Simon holds a double first class honors degree in Computer Science and Electronics from Bristol University.

Radio Then and Pararchive: decentralised, pervasive, and open story telling

Radio Then is a citywide cultural history experience, telling stories about Manchester’s jazz and popular music heritage using a small, Arduino-powered radio. Participants explore the city and tune in to archival broadcasts related to places, people, and events of note. In actual fact, the ‘radio’ contains GPS and audio breakouts to track its location and cue audio tracks depending on its coordinates.

The project is being created to showcase findings from Pararchive, an AHRC project being conducted by the University of Leeds, in partnership with the BBC, National Media Museum, Science Museum Group, and Manchester Digital Laboratory, among others. Pararchive represents an opportunity for members of the public to engage with archives, decentralising the material from archive holders, and offering alternative and personal perspectives on events.

James Medd is an artist, musician, and maker based in Manchester. He teaches all things digital in the north west of the UK, and creates whimsical, entertaining, and accessible interactive artworks. He currently leads Arduino Manchester, a community group for Arduino users in Manchester, and will be developing more interactive audio experiences at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio later this year, as a winner of their graduate and new talent competition.

Commercialising your ideas

Whether you're taking the time to build something fun, or have a solution to a problem you have faced, you are 'in your own right' an inventor.

One of the biggest challenges inventors face isn't making their product work, it's generating a living to continue inventing. Having spent over a decade in both sales and business development I have witnessed people use various methods to overcome this hurdle. I hope to share with you some of my experiences to provide you with some ideas you can take away and use when looking to turn a hobby or bright idea into a financial success. Our topic of conversation will take us from having a light bulb moment, to securing orders and reaping the rewards.

William Stone is the Head of Channel Strategy for hardware manufacturer, Ciseco. He is responsible for various commercial areas of the business including the very familiar responsibility of growing Ciseco's rapidly expanding chain of partners and distributors. Now with 36 recognized distributors worldwide, Ciseco has a growing presence and reputation in electronics manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT).

OpenTRV: energy technology that saves householders money

The OpenTRV project aims to provide software, hardware designs and excellent interoperability to allow UK and EU householders to as much as halve their heating bills and carbon footprint with simple to fit hardware costing around £100 per house. Everything is freely available under liberal licensing — even our 3D printed enclosures — to enable adoption and cost savings.

Damon Hart-Davis gets excited about electronics, parallelism, robotics, distributed systems and resource efficiency, and solar PV and halving space-heating carbon footprint with cheap microcontrollers (OpenTRV) are two of his current passions. Damon has been working on “mission-critical” systems in banking for most of the last 20 years and before that founded one of the first UK Internet Service Providers.

Interfacing with SPI and I2C

SPI and I2C are industry standard methods of interfacing IO devices to micro-controllers and CPUs using just a few connections. SPI requires four wires and I2C just two.

This talk introduces SPI and I2C. It describes how they work and how you use them. It will look at common IO devices that connect via SPI or I2C. Finally it will look at controlling SPI and I2C devices from two example controllers, the Arduino and the Raspberry PI, in languages such as C and Python.

Speaker: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

Introduction to Baserock

Baserock is a new set of open source tools for creating "appliance" operating system images. The aim is to close the gap between source code repositories and the code running on a device. This talk will go over Baserock's philosophy, what it provides and how you can try it out today.

Sam Thursfield likes it when technology is surprising in a good way but does not like it when it is surprising in a bad way. He spends a lot of time trying to reduce the amount of code that is required to do things. He has been known to play the trombone in and around Manchester.

Concurrency in the real world with xCORE and XC

There are many cases where a simple microcontroller won't cut it and the FPGA design route may be too drawn out and costly, particularly if your background is in software.

With the XMOS multi-core microcontroller architecture and toolset it's now possible to tackle complex hardware problems using familiar software and algorithms, avoiding the need to work with Verilog or VHDL. The XMOS XS1 microcontrollers provide tens of nano second resolution and deterministic, predictable, real-time operation in software. The XMOS toolset enables designs to be simulated and analysed, and signals to be monitored and scoped all within the IDE.

The XC extensions to C provide simple interfaces and tasks to write concurrent programs, taking care of nasty race conditions and parallel usage errors. xCORE open source libraries help break down complex domain-specific tasks, allowing you to focus on developing applications. While XMOS Links enable microcontrollers and boards to be chained together in a divide and conquer manner, allowing you to orchestrate your own hardware solutions.

This talk will introduce the XMOS technology and explore a selection of real world applications.

Alan Wood has been working with concurrent and distributed programming for over a decade. His recent work includes smart grid, control, and motion systems based on XMOS' concurrent technology. He is a long term advocate and moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE and other SHW communities, such as TVRRUG, as well as a founder of hackspace, SHH.

Compered by:

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.

Sunday :: Workshops

Some workshops will provide tools, boards and components etc. However, subject to demand this may involve an element of sharing and please feel free to bring along equipment and components, but note that you must be able to take full responsibility for your own personal safety and that of others in respect to these. Common sense must be exercised!

Let's build a flood network for Hebden Bridge!

Split into two teams, one will attempt to install flood sensors on the beautiful Hebden Water just outside the venue, while the other links these these to the Internet using readily available technology.

Proven hardware designs will be used to show you how can send water levels back to the Internet using low-powered wireless links, and sustainable approaches to citizen sensing will be explored.

Run by: Ben Ward.

Workshop notes: you may want to bring wellies if you plan to join the sensor installation team! Also feel free to bring sensors and boards that you think may be useful.

Building applications that sense and respond to the real world

Following on from their talk, Naomi and Gareth will be joined by Paulo Marini, the Tormorden project's resident aquaponicist. Together they will facilitate a hack session to help you build applications that respond to the real world.

Run by: Gareth Coleman and Dr Naomi Rosenberg.

Workshop notes: Bring your own hardware to work on, such as Raspberry Pi and Arduino etc. if you can, and they'll try to find ways to get your projects connected.

Do you want to build a robot? #meArm assembly workshop

How about starting with an Arm? With just a screwdriver and enthusiasm you can build an Open Source Robot Arm. If you bring an Arduino or Pi with you, you're free to stay on with your meArm and tinker with the code too.

The meArm is a project to get low cost robot arms into the hands of as many people as possible. Started in February this year it's made fast progress through open development. Already "home brew" (those not from the laser forges of phenoptix in Nottingham) versions have been spotted in the UK, Switzerland, the USA and Mexico!

Ben Gray is a proponent of Open Hardware and founder of phenoptix, a maker business based in Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Ben graduated from the University of Exeter with a chemistry degree and a fledgling phenoptix before moving to Nottingham to complete a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry. Through the open hardware movement he has been able explore the wonderful world of electronics and take phenoptix from a pocket money project to the full time job it is today.

Workshop notes: Bring along a laptop and, if you like, an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

Introduction to Bus Pirate

The Bus Pirate is a universal open source hardware device that can be used to communicate using various buses, such as SPI, I2C, UART and JTAG, with various devices. The Bus Pirate is, per the designers, intended to "Eliminate a ton of early prototyping effort with new or unknown chips."

This tutorial will introduce the Bus Pirate. Describe how to configure it and install the software required to use it. It will then look at some basic interfacing to devices via SPI and I2C. It will work through how you can 'sniff' buses. Finally it will look at use the Bus Pirate as a simple frequency measurement and generator device.

Run by: Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop (Bus Pirate is supported under Windows, Linux and OSX) and, if you can, some hardware to debug. There will be a limited number of Bus Pirates available, but if you have one please bring it along.

Building your first Parallella application

This workshop follows on from the previous day's talk and participants will build a simple project which targets the Parallella board and uses all 16 cores of the Epiphany floating-point accelerator.

Run by: Simon Cook.

Workshop notes: Please bring along a laptop and, if you have one, a Parallella board (a limited number of boards will be available for use by those who do not own one).

The real world works concurrently and so can you

This workshop will take you through the basics of embedded concurrent programming using an XMOS multi-core startKIT. We will cover basic parallel processing extensions to C (XC) using tasks, interfaces, timers and ports. We will also get some insight into our running code using xSCOPE, a real-time debugging system built in to the XMOS tools. In addition we will use software modules to drop in rich functionality from the open source xCORE libraries.

Run by: Alan Wood.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop and any devices you would like to interface.

Design a PCB Shrimp and have it fabricated

The Shrimp is a super low cost Arduino clone. It makes an excellent teaching resource, and is usually delivered as a 'breaded shrimp' - using a breadboard. For hackers, it's a great way to knock up a quick, cheap microcontroller circuit.

In this workshop we'll make a PCB version of the shrimp — a more robust and Arduino shield compatible version — and you will be guided through the process of drawing the schematic, laying out the PCB and optionally placing an order with OSHPark for your very own PCB shrimp.

Participants will be working in pairs. Boards will cost about £6 each. Kits of components can conveniently be ordered from shrimping.it for £4.

Run by: Matt Venn.

Workshop notes: bring along a laptop.

OpenTRV build and getting started

Kits will be available to solder and boards and cables to buy, along with valves that will be used to demonstrate how you can use Arduino-based technology to halve your heating bill.

Run by: Damon Hart-Davis.

Workshop notes: Please bring your own soldering iron, solder and AA batteries if you would like to build a kit to take away, and be aware that SMD soldering experience and a steady hand will be required to solder the TMP112 temperature sensor.

NOTE:

  • There are separate tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.
  • Please aim to arrive between 09:00 and 09:15 on the Saturday as the event will start at 09:20 prompt.
  • Four guys met at Arduino Day and now they are finalists at NASA Challenge

    via Arduino Blog

    Open Curiosity

    Last March, during Arduino Day in Zaragoza, four guys met for the first time and  then decided to participate to the Nasa Challenge collaborating to the project made by Carlos Sicilia Til in the previews months:

    OpenCuriosity is an open source, exomars rover (1:5 scale) with Arduino as main controller, based on the NASA Curiosity Rover. It contains a set of Arduino boards and sensors. The general public will be allowed to use these Arduinos and sensors for their own creative purposes while they are in space. All the people will be allowed to integrate their project in the robot, and the data gathered will be available on the internet in order to share this information with the general public for educational, science or other purposes. We want to provide affordable space exploration for everyone!

    The robot designed by the Aragonese team is now among the finalists of the NASA contest!

    Read the details of the story on El Pais.

    Teaching (Teaching with LilyPad, Raspberry Pi in education, MzTEK)

    via OSHUG

    The thirty-fourth OSHUG meeting will feature three talks that each explore approaches to teaching electronics and programming.

    Teaching with the LilyPad Arduino

    In this talk we will hear about experiences of teaching basic electronics and coding principles via wearable technology and e-textiles, using the LilyPad Arduino — a sewable microcontroller — in workshops with people of all ages at universities, schools at hackspaces.

    Rain Ashford designs and constructs wearable technology, e-textiles and interactive artworks. A PhD candidate at Goldsmiths, where she is investigating the possibility that wearable technology can be used to augment new forms of non-verbal communication, particularly in the areas of body language and emotion, by the amplifying and visualising of physiological data. She has studied Fine Art, Multimedia, and Electronics Engineering, which has led to her work developing as a convergence of art, programming and electronics.

    Raspberry Pi in education

    Challenges, benefits and experiences with the Raspberry Pi as an educational tool.

    Matt Venn has run hundreds of creative science workshops for thousands of children and adults around the world. For the last year, he has been working with teachers in preparation for the computer science curriculum changes; creating and leading courses, workshops and projects.

    When he's not inventing new ways of getting people excited about science, Matthew plays music, invents puzzle boxes, practices martial arts and maintains bikes.

    MzTEK: festivals, workshops and take away technologies

    MzTEK is a non-profit organisation that aims to redress the imbalance of women artists working in the fields of new media, computer arts, electronics and technology. Based in London and supported by Hackney arts institution [ space ], and Centre for Creative Collaboration in Kings Cross, and hosting a range of workshops, talks and self-initiated tinker sessions.

    In collaboration with partner organisations, MzTEK develop interesting, accessible and curiosity igniting workshops that can be delivered in short time frames and engage a wide audience with varying skills. Working with open source technologies and tools to help ensure that participants continue making and tinkering with the technologies they encounter long after workshops. Furthermore, doing this at festivals and events where the hope is to encounter a broad range of participants and unpredictable work environments! This talk will discuss some previous projects such as the Hacked Human Orchestra, a wearable electronics project devised in collaboration with Guerrilla Science, and suggest ways that thematic focus, together with a well balanced combination of skill acquisition, creativity and fun can enhance workshop delivery.

    Shauna Concannon is an interdisciplinary researcher interested in communication spaces and constructive disagreement. She has been working with MzTEK for the past few years, developing and facilitating workshops in Processing, Arduino and wearable electronics. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Media and Arts Technology at Queen Mary University of London.

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

    Sponsored by:

    Arduino Donations 2014: we are open to suggestions!

    via Arduino Blog

    donations2014

    Once again this year Arduino will make a donation ( for a total of 30,000 USD) to promote open source culture and innovation.
    This year, Arduino is also soliciting suggestions: througout 2014, we are asking our community to highlight the 10 organizations which would best benefit from Arduino support.

    Arduino is based on the contribution of many other open source projects and wants to support these and other initiatives sharing our approach and philosophy, through yearly donations.
    We thought it could be a great idea to involve the community for selecting the projects to support by suggesting us how they could benefit from Arduino donations.

    The Arduino community is invited to suggest beneficiaries – associations, foundations, institutions – according to one or more of the following cornerstones:
    - it brings innovations in the open electronic and making ecosystem
    - it’s an open source project
    - it facilitates the exchange of knowledge
    - it has an impact on open source ecosystem
    - it is a non commercial project

    The first call is open during May: anyone can fill this form to send a suggestion based on the cornerstones explained above by the 30th of May. At the end of June we’ll announce 5 finalists receiving a donation of $2000 each.

    The second call for submissions will happen during September.
    At Maker Faire Rome in October 2014, Arduino will announce the remaining 5 finalists receiving a donation of $2000 each.

    The final selection will be at the discretion of the Arduino team.

    Moreover, Arduino founders have already chosen their beneficiaries: Creative Commons, Free Software Foundation and Processing.

     

    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: