Tag Archives: opensourcehardware

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.

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.

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:

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:

Lightning Talks

via OSHUG

For the twenty-fourth OSHUG meeting we've decided to try something new and we will be hosting a series of lightning talks. The first five talks have been confirmed and details of these can be found below. Offers of additional talks of between five and ten minutes are invited and proposals can either be submitted in advance via e-mail or made on the night (please arrive early).

Note that this month the meeting takes place on a Wednesday.

FUNcube Satellite

FUNcube-1 is a UK amateur radio educational satellite that is due to be launched later this year, and that uses open source hardware to bring real-time space based experiments to classrooms around the globe. Three members of the on-board computer team will discuss project goals and progress.

64-core Parallella Prototype

Simon Cook will be demonstrating one of only two 64-core Parallella prototypes in the UK.

PCBmodE — a PCB design tool written in Python around JSON, SVG and Inkscape

Saar Drimer will be talking about an open source PCB design tool, that reads shape and placement information stored in JSON files to produce an SVG graphical representation of them. Routing is drawn with Inkscape, then extracted by PCBmodE and stored in an input JSON file that's used for the next board generation. A post-processor 'gerberises' the SVGs into "Extended Gerbers" (RS-274X) for manufacturing.

Interfacing High-performance Low-cost Embedded Systems with FPGAs

Mustafa H. Yuce will be talking about an open source project that interfaces embedded systems including BeagleBone and Raspberry Pi with FPGAs, to enable the implementation of high-speed parallel processing applications such as computer vision.

Flux

Alan Wood will be talking about the recently developed Flux series of boards that are used for motion control applications.

Open Source Junction 4 Report

Paul Tanner will be providing a report from the OSS Watch two day workshop, Open Source Junction 4: Open Source Hardware meets Open Source Software.

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

Sponsored by:

Products (Nanode, An Industry Perspective, Licensing Update)

via OSHUG

Coming up for a year ago, at OSHUG #16, we heard three first-hand experiences of developing open source hardware designs into finished products. At the twenty-third meeting we'll further explore this topic through reflections on the Nanode project as it approaches its second anniversary, and an industry perspective on developing open source hardware. There will also be an update on developments in open source hardware licensing, a subject that was explored at the second OSHUG meeting back in May 2010.

As Nanode Approaches Two

With the second anniversary of the Nanode project approaching and in excess of 2,500 sold worldwide, this talk looks at the initial aims, commercialisation and spin-offs as a typical open source hardware design. Exploring the concept, start-up phase and challenge of maintaining momentum in a constantly evolving open source marketplace.

Ken Boak has worked in electronics hardware design for 25 years. Initially with BBC Research Department where Ken worked on early HDTV digital picture processing systems. In 1998 Ken embarked on ten years in telecommunications and volume product production in the Far East. Recently Ken has worked on scientific and educational instruments, and open source systems both in the UK and USA.

Open Source Hardware Licensing Update

It's been a busy time in open source hardware licensing - CERN's Open Hardware Licence has been undergoing a lot of work behind the scenes, and a new version is about to be released. There are rumours of a new version of the TAPR Open Hardware licence, and the debate between copyleft and academic licences rages on. Andrew Katz has been involved of all of these activities and will provide an update on the current state of licensing, and some pointers on the best licence to adopt.

Andrew Katz is a partner at boutique law firm Moorcrofts LLP in the Thames Valley. He specialises in IT/IP work, and in particular advises clients on licensing and liability issues around open source software.He was involved in drafting both GPL3 and the England and Wales version of the Creative Commons licence as well as all major open hardware licences. Many years ago, he designed and built a Z80 SS50 bus-based computer system, created a lightweight version of the Citroen Dyane, mainly by ripping it body off, and hacked together an air compressor from bits and pieces found in a scrapyard. He is currently part-time interim COO of the Maria DB foundation.

Developing Open Source Hardware: an Industry Perspective

RS Components have developed a new platform for which the hardware design will be published under an open source licence. This talk will provide an overview of this exciting new development and provide an insight into the motivations for making the design freely available to all. The product development and manufacturing process will also be covered in brief along with some of the challenges experienced, and the broader project goals and ongoing commitment to the open source community.

Mike Brojak is responsible at RS Components for the development of free resources for electronics engineers, and believes in helping engineers to be more productive in order to achieve their highest potential. His technical background is in hardware and software for embedded systems, primarily for mobile automation control. He has an Electronics Systems Design degree from Oxford Brookes University.

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

Sponsored by:

Embedded (Erlang, Parallella, Compiler Options and Energy Consumption)

via OSHUG

Embedded systems continue to grow in importance as they play an ever-increasing role in everyday life: more computing is done on the move as smartphone functionality catches up with desktops and services move to the Cloud; the Internet of Things is set to herald an age in which networked objects create and consume data on our behalves. These, and many other applications, are driving an insatiable demand for more powerful and energy-efficient embedded solutions.

At the twenty-second OSHUG meeting we will hear how Erlang can be used to bring concurrency to multi-core embedded systems, we will learn about the Parallella project which aims to make parallel computing accessible to everyone, and we will hear about vital research into optimising compiler options for energy-efficiency.

Erlang Embedded — Concurrent Blinkenlights and More!

Managing the resources and utilising the increasingly popular multi-core and heterogeneous aspects of modern embedded systems require new sets of tools and methodologies that differ from the traditional C/C++ flow.

Erlang provides features that are highly relevant to solve these issues and yet it is pretty much unknown in the embedded domain — which is surprising considering that it was originally designed for embedded applications at Ericsson!

This talk aims to provide an overview of Erlang and the current state of its usage in the embedded domain and talk about our plans to help speed up the adoption rate of Erlang in embedded projects.

Omer Kilic works on Erlang Embedded, a Knowledge Transfer Partnership project in collaboration with University of Kent. 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.

Prior to 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 as part of his PhD thesis (which he intends to submit soon!)

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

Parallella — Supercomputing for Everyone

The Parallella computing platform is based on the Adapteva Epiphany processor. Implemented in 65nm or 28nm silicon, Epiphany offers 16 or 64 cores and delivers up to 50 GFLOPS/watt, and the entire Parallella board complete with a dual-core ARM A9 host will consume around 5 watts.

This talk will present the Epiphany architecture and explore the challenges of developing an effective GNU tool chain, and discuss the use of open source, and an approach to engineering that developed one of the fastest chips in the world from concept to second generation silicon for just a few million dollars.

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.

In his earlier academic career, he pursued academic research in computer architecture, modelling and compiler technology at Bath and Cambridge Universities. He is the author of the popular textbook "Introduction to Compiling Techniques" (McGraw-Hill 1990, 1995, 2003).

Dr Bennett holds an MA and PhD in Computer Science from Cambridge University. He is a Member of the British Computer Society, a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Measuring the impact of compiler options on energy consumption in embedded platforms

Energy efficiency is the highest priority for modern software-hardware co-design. The potential for compiler options to impact on power consumption of running programs has often been discussed. However there has never been a comprehensive analysis of the magnitude of that impact, or how it varies between processor architectures and compilers.

This presentation will describe a project undertook during the the Summer of 2012 at the University of Bristol Department of Computer Science and funded by Embecosm, to explore the effect of compiler options on energy consumption of compiled programs.

The talk will discuss the accurate measurement of power consumption on a range of small embedded systems. The whole setup was under control of an XMOS board, making it possible to run the tens of thousands of tests needed for statistical robustness in just a few weeks. The results of these tests will be discussed, the implications for compiling embedded systems, and the potential for future research in this area.

This research was unusual, in that it was funded as a completely open project. A wiki detailed progress from week to week, the relevant open source communities were kept regularly informed, and the results will be published in open access journals. The talk will also cover the issues around funding and running an academic research project in this manner.

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.

Mr Pallister has 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.

Simon Hollis is a lecturer in the Microelectronics Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol. His interests lie in the creation of energy-efficient embedded systems, processor interconnects and parallel languages and run-times.

He is the creator of the RasP and Skip-link Networks-on-Chip, and is currently working on the Swallow many-core system, which targets 480 processing cores in under 200W. A main aim of the research is to re-investigate the memory/communication balance in large scale computing systems.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:45 or shortly after as the event will start at 19:00 prompt.

Open Source Hardware Camp 2012

via OSHUG

Open Source Hardware Camp 2012 will take place place in the north of England in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. Building on the success of last year's OSHCamp, it will be a weekend long event with ten talks on the Saturday and four parallel workshops on the Sunday.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge Hostel which adjoins the venue, 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 from 8PM, and those interested in pre-event drinks on the Friday should join the discussion list.

Practical Experiences with the Google Android Accessory Development Kit (ADK)

The ADK is an exciting development platform that makes it possible to easily combine Android applications with custom hardware built around Arduino. Such combinations have the best of both worlds by enabling the creation of a mobile phone application with access to peripheral devices that is only limited by your imagination.

This talk will cover two projects that extend what the phone can do by integrating both input and output devices. And will cover some of the dos and don'ts of using the ADK and associated IDEs. If time permits there will also be a demonstration with a quick run through of the code.

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.

If you can't wait to get your hands on the ADK software browse to http://developer.android.com/tools/adk.

The Internet of Things and Arduino

As connecting hardware to the network becomes cheaper and cheaper we're seeing the rise of what is being called the Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short.

This talk will give an introduction to the Internet of Things and explain how open hardware platforms such as Arduino are helping it grow. With plenty of examples of IoT projects, from using sensors to map global radiation levels to bakeries that tweet when the bread is fresh out of the oven.

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. As the mobile phone and set-top box work became more mainstream he dropped down a level to Arduino which led to Internet-enabled bubble machines and chicken-food silos...

Adrian has been working with Arduino since 2008 — which is when Bubblino, the aforementioned bubble machine which watches twitter, was created — and is charge of the Arduino Ethernet library. He is based in Liverpool, where he runs MCQN Ltd, a company that builds IoT devices and products.

Developing Linux on Embedded Devices

This talk will provide an introduction to developing Linux on embedded devices. Firstly we will look at the capabilities of popular boards such as the BeagleBone and the Raspberry Pi. Then using the example of a BeagleBone controller for a 3D printer the talk with explain how to develop for an embedded device. It will consider what comprises an embedded Linux software stack. The talk will discuss boot loaders, kernels and root filesystems. We will discuss what are the minimum software packages required in a root file system. The talk will then go on to consider the tools required to develop for an embedded target. It will look at what tools are available to help the embedded developer and speed up this development process. Once you have developed your software you need to debug it. The talk will look at what debugging tools are available for debugging 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.

Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to the World — Everything you need to know about P1

You've received your Pi, set up a web server on it and maybe played a few rounds of Quake. You're looking for a new challenge and suddenly the header on the corner of the board catches your eye. A quick Google search for "P1 Raspbery Pi" gets you to the eLinux wiki page on Low level peripherals, and you suddenly realise that you can do all sorts of fun stuff by adding extra bits to your Raspberry Pi using this magical expansion port. Where do you start? Is it safe to connect a motor directly to the pins? What sort of interesting components are out there?

In this talk we will look at the ways we can communicate with the outside world using the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. We will explore the mechanical, electrical and software side of things and talk about a few example projects you can try at home, and the hardware limitations will be covered and workarounds provided.

Omer Kilic is theoretically still a research student at the University of Kent, although he intends to submit his thesis (which is about a reconfigurable heterogeneous computing framework) pretty soon. He likes tiny computers, things that 'just work' and beer. He currently works for Erlang Solutions in London, exploring the use of Erlang programming language in the Embedded Systems domain and develops tools and support material to help the adoption of this technology.

This talk will also serve as an introduction for the Raspberry Pi workshop on the Sunday, where we will explore the example projects covered in more detail.

Sensing Wearable Technology

An introduction to wearable technology that will include examples which incorporate sensors, plus work which makes use of the LilyPad Arduino, an open source, sewable microcontroller.

Rain Ashford creates wearable technology & electronic art, her most recent work involves investigating physiological sensing technologies and how they can be applied to wearable artworks to measure and interpret moods, health and lifestyle data. Rain also creates fun, interactive and aesthetically pleasing works that include gaming and musical elements. She is keen to demonstrate that electronics, components and circuitry doesn't have to be regarded as cold, boring, hard and boxy and instead can be fun, colourful and elegant, plus be integrated into an overall design of a work.

Rain’s background is in developing online activities for the BBC as a Senior Producer at BBC Learning and also as Technologist at BBC R&D, co-running BBC Backstage. She currently works as a freelance consultant for the Open University and for Technocamps designing and leading workshops in coding and electronics in the form of wearable technology for 11-19 year-olds, plus is a PhD researcher, peering into wearable electronics & art.

Running OpenBTS in the Real World

This talk will explore the OpenBTS project and describe how it uses software-defined radio and open source Internet telephony to create a small but complete GSM mobile phone network.

Experiences of operating OpenBTS installations on the Pacific island of Niue and at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert will be covered, along with how OpenBTS has been integrated with other systems for use in disaster relief. Licensing permitting there will also be a live demonstration.

Tim Panton is a software engineer with a particular interest in projects that blend web applications and person-to-person speech into an integrated user experience. He has many years hands-on experience with the OpenBTS project, working closely with the core development team on numerous installations.

Tim is currently working on the Phono.com, Tropo.com and Rayo.org products at VoxeoLabs, producing web developer-friendly APIs by using XMPP protocols to drive innovative telephony applications that can be used anywhere by anyone.

Developing a Heavy Lift UAV — Pitfalls, Problems and Opportunities

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are suitable for replacing dull, dirty and dangerous airborne tasks. The next future developments in UAV use are in heavy lift and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The ability to place a useful load in a geographic location of choice becomes pressing in many applications. The problems are that helicopters are excellent heavy lift machines but are limited by range and payload. Aeroplanes don’t provide the VTOL unless heavy engines and complex gearboxes are utilised.

The development of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) UAV is the beginning of a utilitarian UAV which is modular and low cost. The future will involve VTOL and higher payloads (Euro-pallet sized). This presentation will show a path of development from CTOL, through to VTOL Olecopter and ultimately a heavy lift (pallet container) UAV.

Edward Strickland is a Chartered Engineer with a background in aerospace and a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was the project manager for the Empire Test Pilot School, has lived and worked in Tanzania as a VSO volunteer, and has produced a CTOL airframe for the OpenRelief project which has been designed so that it can be constructed in developing countries using local resources.

The 3D Printed Revolution

Over recent years Open Source 3D printers have quickly developed alongside their commercial counterparts offering affordable and accessible alternatives. This talk will cover experiences using commercial printers and how the speaker's interests have moved to open source designs and how the two compare. Examples will be shown of projects using these technologies, such as "Fable", a clock manufactured by Selective Laser Sintering, and a wrist watch designed to be printed on a RepRap. There will also be a run through of the design considerations and how files were created, fixed and sliced in preparation to print on a RepRap.

Mark Gilbert graduated in 2000 from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Industrial Design Innovation. After several years working as a design engineer, Mark started working as a freelance industrial designer for several companies in the Northwest. Over the last 6 years he has also worked closely with the Bolton Science and Technology Centre as the "Designer in Residence" where he has developed workshops around the centre's 3D printing and CAD facilities.

In 2008 Mark set up the design studio Gilbert13 with his wife Angela where they design and develop products inspired by experimentation into digital manufacturing processes, 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Recent projects have taken their experience from rapid prototyping to use 3D printing as a manufacturing tool that can change the way people design, co create and distribute objects.

The Bots are Coming

In the last two decades we have seen software and data change the fabric of economics, and the advent of personal computing and the Internet enable many new business models. However, the next two decades will be even more radical as that wave of innovation shifts from the virtual domain to a physical manifestation. Atoms are the new bits and the open sourcing and democratisation of bot technology is allowing us to enter into an era of personal production. And this talk will explore how 3D printing and additive manufacturing are revolutionising production as we know it.

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.

DIYBIO - The Next Frontier

DIYBIOMCR is an public group based at MadLab dedicated to making biology an accessible pursuit for citizen scientists, amateur biologists and biological engineers who value openness and safety. This talk will give an overview of the movement, and what is going on at MadLab involving not only biology but also diverse fields such as hardware-hackers, artists, journalists and the open-source movement.

Hwa Young Jung is a co-founder and a director of MadLab, a community centre for creative, tech and science based the Manchester. Over 50 user groups meet once a month, including DIYBIOMCR, initially a joint funded project with MMU and the Wellcome Trust.

Sunday Workshops

Workshops will be reasonably informal and shaped by the participants, and details are subject to change depending upon the level of interest expressed.

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!

Practical IoT Applications with the Google ADK and Arduino

Hands on IoT building sessions that follow on from Saturday's ADK and Arduino talks.

Run by: Paul Tanner & Adrian McEwen.

Bring an Arduino with Ethernet and/or a Google ADK if you have one, along with sensors, LEDs and displays etc.

Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to the World

Here you will learn how to connect a selection of devices to your Raspberry Pi utilising the methods discussed during Saturday's talk.

Run by: Omer Kilic & Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

We will have a few Raspberry Pi boards available for the workshop but please bring your own if you were one of the lucky ones to have received one, along with breadboard and any useful components if you have these.

Building GSM Networks with Open Source

A look at the practical steps involved in creating a low power GSM network using open source technology.

Run by: Tim Panton & Andrew Back.

Note: this workshop will be subject to a spectrum licence being granted.

Practical 3D Printing

In this workshop we will work with simple models that will be printed out using a RepRap.

Run by: Alan Wood, Mark Gilbert & Mike Beardmore.

Note:

  • Please aim to arrive for 09:00 on the Saturday as the event will start at 09:30 prompt.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided on the Saturday. Please ensure that you make any dietary requirements clear when registering.

Sponsored by:

OSHCamp kit bags provided by:

Open Source Hardware Camp 2012

via OSHUG

Open Source Hardware Camp 2012 will take place place in the north of England in the Pennine town of Hebden Bridge. Building on the success of last year's OSHCamp, it will be a weekend long event with ten talks on the Saturday and four parallel workshops on the Sunday.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and Manchester. Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge Hostel which adjoins the venue, 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 from 8PM, and those interested in pre-event drinks on the Friday should join the discussion list.

Practical Experiences with the Google Android Accessory Development Kit (ADK)

The ADK is an exciting development platform that makes it possible to easily combine Android applications with custom hardware built around Arduino. Such combinations have the best of both worlds by enabling the creation of a mobile phone application with access to peripheral devices that is only limited by your imagination.

This talk will cover two projects that extend what the phone can do by integrating both input and output devices. And will cover some of the dos and don'ts of using the ADK and associated IDEs. If time permits there will also be a demonstration with a quick run through of the code.

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.

If you can't wait to get your hands on the ADK software browse to http://developer.android.com/tools/adk.

The Internet of Things and Arduino

As connecting hardware to the network becomes cheaper and cheaper we're seeing the rise of what is being called the Internet of Things, or “IoT” for short.

This talk will give an introduction to the Internet of Things and explain how open hardware platforms such as Arduino are helping it grow. With plenty of examples of IoT projects, from using sensors to map global radiation levels to bakeries that tweet when the bread is fresh out of the oven.

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. As the mobile phone and set-top box work became more mainstream he dropped down a level to Arduino which led to Internet-enabled bubble machines and chicken-food silos...

Adrian has been working with Arduino since 2008 — which is when Bubblino, the aforementioned bubble machine which watches twitter, was created — and is charge of the Arduino Ethernet library. He is based in Liverpool, where he runs MCQN Ltd, a company that builds IoT devices and products.

Developing Linux on Embedded Devices

This talk will provide an introduction to developing Linux on embedded devices. Firstly we will look at the capabilities of popular boards such as the BeagleBone and the Raspberry Pi. Then using the example of a BeagleBone controller for a 3D printer the talk with explain how to develop for an embedded device. It will consider what comprises an embedded Linux software stack. The talk will discuss boot loaders, kernels and root filesystems. We will discuss what are the minimum software packages required in a root file system. The talk will then go on to consider the tools required to develop for an embedded target. It will look at what tools are available to help the embedded developer and speed up this development process. Once you have developed your software you need to debug it. The talk will look at what debugging tools are available for debugging 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.

Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to the World — Everything you need to know about P1

You've received your Pi, set up a web server on it and maybe played a few rounds of Quake. You're looking for a new challenge and suddenly the header on the corner of the board catches your eye. A quick Google search for "P1 Raspbery Pi" gets you to the eLinux wiki page on Low level peripherals, and you suddenly realise that you can do all sorts of fun stuff by adding extra bits to your Raspberry Pi using this magical expansion port. Where do you start? Is it safe to connect a motor directly to the pins? What sort of interesting components are out there?

In this talk we will look at the ways we can communicate with the outside world using the GPIO pins on the Raspberry Pi. We will explore the mechanical, electrical and software side of things and talk about a few example projects you can try at home, and the hardware limitations will be covered and workarounds provided.

Omer Kilic is theoretically still a research student at the University of Kent, although he intends to submit his thesis (which is about a reconfigurable heterogeneous computing framework) pretty soon. He likes tiny computers, things that 'just work' and beer. He currently works for Erlang Solutions in London, exploring the use of Erlang programming language in the Embedded Systems domain and develops tools and support material to help the adoption of this technology.

This talk will also serve as an introduction for the Raspberry Pi workshop on the Sunday, where we will explore the example projects covered in more detail.

Sensing Wearable Technology

An introduction to wearable technology that will include examples which incorporate sensors, plus work which makes use of the LilyPad Arduino, an open source, sewable microcontroller.

Rain Ashford creates wearable technology & electronic art, her most recent work involves investigating physiological sensing technologies and how they can be applied to wearable artworks to measure and interpret moods, health and lifestyle data. Rain also creates fun, interactive and aesthetically pleasing works that include gaming and musical elements. She is keen to demonstrate that electronics, components and circuitry doesn't have to be regarded as cold, boring, hard and boxy and instead can be fun, colourful and elegant, plus be integrated into an overall design of a work.

Rain’s background is in developing online activities for the BBC as a Senior Producer at BBC Learning and also as Technologist at BBC R&D, co-running BBC Backstage. She currently works as a freelance consultant for the Open University and for Technocamps designing and leading workshops in coding and electronics in the form of wearable technology for 11-19 year-olds, plus is a PhD researcher, peering into wearable electronics & art.

Running OpenBTS in the Real World

This talk will explore the OpenBTS project and describe how it uses software-defined radio and open source Internet telephony to create a small but complete GSM mobile phone network.

Experiences of operating OpenBTS installations on the Pacific island of Niue and at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert will be covered, along with how OpenBTS has been integrated with other systems for use in disaster relief. Licensing permitting there will also be a live demonstration.

Tim Panton is a software engineer with a particular interest in projects that blend web applications and person-to-person speech into an integrated user experience. He has many years hands-on experience with the OpenBTS project, working closely with the core development team on numerous installations.

Tim is currently working on the Phono.com, Tropo.com and Rayo.org products at VoxeoLabs, producing web developer-friendly APIs by using XMPP protocols to drive innovative telephony applications that can be used anywhere by anyone.

Developing a Heavy Lift UAV — Pitfalls, Problems and Opportunities

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are suitable for replacing dull, dirty and dangerous airborne tasks. The next future developments in UAV use are in heavy lift and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). The ability to place a useful load in a geographic location of choice becomes pressing in many applications. The problems are that helicopters are excellent heavy lift machines but are limited by range and payload. Aeroplanes don’t provide the VTOL unless heavy engines and complex gearboxes are utilised.

The development of the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) UAV is the beginning of a utilitarian UAV which is modular and low cost. The future will involve VTOL and higher payloads (Euro-pallet sized). This presentation will show a path of development from CTOL, through to VTOL Olecopter and ultimately a heavy lift (pallet container) UAV.

Edward Strickland is a Chartered Engineer with a background in aerospace and a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was the project manager for the Empire Test Pilot School, has lived and worked in Tanzania as a VSO volunteer, and has produced a CTOL airframe for the OpenRelief project which has been designed so that it can be constructed in developing countries using local resources.

The 3D Printed Revolution

Over recent years Open Source 3D printers have quickly developed alongside their commercial counterparts offering affordable and accessible alternatives. This talk will cover experiences using commercial printers and how the speaker's interests have moved to open source designs and how the two compare. Examples will be shown of projects using these technologies, such as "Fable", a clock manufactured by Selective Laser Sintering, and a wrist watch designed to be printed on a RepRap. There will also be a run through of the design considerations and how files were created, fixed and sliced in preparation to print on a RepRap.

Mark Gilbert graduated in 2000 from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Industrial Design Innovation. After several years working as a design engineer, Mark started working as a freelance industrial designer for several companies in the Northwest. Over the last 6 years he has also worked closely with the Bolton Science and Technology Centre as the "Designer in Residence" where he has developed workshops around the centre's 3D printing and CAD facilities.

In 2008 Mark set up the design studio Gilbert13 with his wife Angela where they design and develop products inspired by experimentation into digital manufacturing processes, 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Recent projects have taken their experience from rapid prototyping to use 3D printing as a manufacturing tool that can change the way people design, co create and distribute objects.

The Bots are Coming

In the last two decades we have seen software and data change the fabric of economics, and the advent of personal computing and the Internet enable many new business models. However, the next two decades will be even more radical as that wave of innovation shifts from the virtual domain to a physical manifestation. Atoms are the new bits and the open sourcing and democratisation of bot technology is allowing us to enter into an era of personal production. And this talk will explore how 3D printing and additive manufacturing are revolutionising production as we know it.

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.

DIYBIO - The Next Frontier

DIYBIOMCR is an public group based at MadLab dedicated to making biology an accessible pursuit for citizen scientists, amateur biologists and biological engineers who value openness and safety. This talk will give an overview of the movement, and what is going on at MadLab involving not only biology but also diverse fields such as hardware-hackers, artists, journalists and the open-source movement.

Hwa Young Jung is a co-founder and a director of MadLab, a community centre for creative, tech and science based the Manchester. Over 50 user groups meet once a month, including DIYBIOMCR, initially a joint funded project with MMU and the Wellcome Trust.

Sunday Workshops

Workshops will be reasonably informal and shaped by the participants, and details are subject to change depending upon the level of interest expressed.

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!

Practical IoT Applications with the Google ADK and Arduino

Hands on IoT building sessions that follow on from Saturday's ADK and Arduino talks.

Run by: Paul Tanner & Adrian McEwen.

Bring an Arduino with Ethernet and/or a Google ADK if you have one, along with sensors, LEDs and displays etc.

Interfacing the Raspberry Pi to the World

Here you will learn how to connect a selection of devices to your Raspberry Pi utilising the methods discussed during Saturday's talk.

Run by: Omer Kilic & Melanie Rhianna Lewis.

We will have a few Raspberry Pi boards available for the workshop but please bring your own if you were one of the lucky ones to have received one, along with breadboard and any useful components if you have these.

Building GSM Networks with Open Source

A look at the practical steps involved in creating a low power GSM network using open source technology.

Run by: Tim Panton & Andrew Back.

Note: this workshop will be subject to a spectrum licence being granted.

Practical 3D Printing

In this workshop we will work with simple models that will be printed out using a RepRap.

Run by: Alan Wood, Mark Gilbert & Mike Beardmore.

Note:

  • Please aim to arrive for 09:00 on the Saturday as the event will start at 09:30 prompt.
  • A light lunch and refreshments will be provided on the Saturday. Please ensure that you make any dietary requirements clear when registering.

Sponsored by:

OSHCamp kit bags provided by:

Drones (UDB4, OpenRelief, ARDrone + Kinect)

via OSHUG

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are increasingly making the news, but when they do so it's usually because of their use in warfare. However, drones can be put to use in many other, far more positive applications. And at the twentieth OSHUG meeting we will hear talks on an experimental attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), using open source technology to build drones for use in disaster relief, and on a fun and novel method of flying drones via gesture control.

Using UDB4 for an Experimental AHRS

The UAV Development Board is a very versatile development board that has been around for the past five or so years, and which has been supported by small team led by William Premerlani. The board comes with a dsPIC30F4011 microcontroller, an MMA7260 three axis accelerometer and two dual-axis Inversense IXZ500 gyroscopes. It has supported various forms of platforms ranging from inverted pendulums to multicoptors. It has primarily been a development platform for experimenters and it is in its fourth major revision.

The talk intends to give a high level view of the MatrixPilot firmware as a general introduction to autopilots, with a demonstration of the Hardware in loop simulation to show how it behaves in flight for a fixed wing aircraft.

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, and these days he works for the Big Five in consulting. 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.

OpenRelief — Open Source Software and Open Hardware For Frontline Disaster Relief

This talk will explore how the OpenRelief team, inspired by challenges seen during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, is using Open Source Software and Open Hardware to create disaster relief tools. The first step is to develop a small drone that can take off from anywhere, recognize roads, people and smoke while also measuring weather and radiation. It can be built for less than 1,000 USD, and easily shares information with Open Source and proprietary disaster management systems. The goal is to gather critical information for relief workers on the ground, and contribute to getting aid where it is needed.

Karl Lattimer is an engineer who started early with electronics and programming, and has worked on all kinds of projects for many companies developing software to solve a wide variety of problems. He currently works for Codethink Ltd, an engineering firm based in Manchester, UK. Karl is enthusiastic about Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Robotics and related engineering disciplines. He is a firm believer that we can engineer a future that is more sustainable, adaptive and integrated. His interest in OpenRelief stems from a desire to engineer solutions to the problems faced in disaster scenarios, and the desire to drive the permeation of robots into our everyday lives.

Flying an ARDrone Like a 7-year Old Child

Controlling a Parrot ARDrone using URBI, python and an MS Kinect camera, allowing people to fly it by holding their arms out and pretending to be an airplane like a small child. This was in truth an exploration in how to couple independent projects and to explore and exploit the APIs presented by the kinect and the drone's software.

Ben O'Steen is a freelance developer with an interest in the fuzzy divide between physical and digital spaces, such as how we perceive and use objects differently based on how they are (re)produced, presented or controlled. Currently, he can be found working on digital library and archive projects for academic institutions, art installations and his newly completed 3d printer.

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

Sponsored by:

Drones (UDB4, OpenRelief, ARDrone + Kinect)

via OSHUG

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, are increasingly making the news, but when they do so it's usually because of their use in warfare. However, drones can be put to use in many other, far more positive applications. And at the twentieth OSHUG meeting we will hear talks on an experimental attitude and heading reference system (AHRS), using open source technology to build drones for use in disaster relief, and on a fun and novel method of flying drones via gesture control.

Using UDB4 for an Experimental AHRS

The UAV Development Board is a very versatile development board that has been around for the past five or so years, and which has been supported by small team led by William Premerlani. The board comes with a dsPIC30F4011 microcontroller, an MMA7260 three axis accelerometer and two dual-axis Inversense IXZ500 gyroscopes. It has supported various forms of platforms ranging from inverted pendulums to multicoptors. It has primarily been a development platform for experimenters and it is in its fourth major revision.

The talk intends to give a high level view of the MatrixPilot firmware as a general introduction to autopilots, with a demonstration of the Hardware in loop simulation to show how it behaves in flight for a fixed wing aircraft.

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, and these days he works for the Big Five in consulting. 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.

OpenRelief — Open Source Software and Open Hardware For Frontline Disaster Relief

This talk will explore how the OpenRelief team, inspired by challenges seen during the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, is using Open Source Software and Open Hardware to create disaster relief tools. The first step is to develop a small drone that can take off from anywhere, recognize roads, people and smoke while also measuring weather and radiation. It can be built for less than 1,000 USD, and easily shares information with Open Source and proprietary disaster management systems. The goal is to gather critical information for relief workers on the ground, and contribute to getting aid where it is needed.

Karl Lattimer is an engineer who started early with electronics and programming, and has worked on all kinds of projects for many companies developing software to solve a wide variety of problems. He currently works for Codethink Ltd, an engineering firm based in Manchester, UK. Karl is enthusiastic about Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, Robotics and related engineering disciplines. He is a firm believer that we can engineer a future that is more sustainable, adaptive and integrated. His interest in OpenRelief stems from a desire to engineer solutions to the problems faced in disaster scenarios, and the desire to drive the permeation of robots into our everyday lives.

Flying an ARDrone Like a 7-year Old Child

Controlling a Parrot ARDrone using URBI, python and an MS Kinect camera, allowing people to fly it by holding their arms out and pretending to be an airplane like a small child. This was in truth an exploration in how to couple independent projects and to explore and exploit the APIs presented by the kinect and the drone's software.

Ben O'Steen is a freelance developer with an interest in the fuzzy divide between physical and digital spaces, such as how we perceive and use objects differently based on how they are (re)produced, presented or controlled. Currently, he can be found working on digital library and archive projects for academic institutions, art installations and his newly completed 3d printer.

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

Sponsored by:

Kits (Homesense, Quick2Wire)

via OSHUG

For those that are new to hardware development it can prove a daunting prospect, and kits that address the needs of those with little or no experience in this area have a vital role to play. At the nineteenth OSHUG meeting we will be hearing about two such kits, one that was designed to support user-led smart home innovation and that was based around the Arduino platform, and an experimenters kit for the Raspberry Pi that is currently in development.

The Homesense Project

The Homesense project was a European user-led, smart-home development project employing open source hardware. The project was led by Tinker London and EDF and engaged households supported by local experts in the design and development of smart home concepts.

The project was developed as a reaction to top-down design approaches commonly observed in technological development and home building. Most early research viewed smart homes as a single complex system that is designed and constructed from the ground up, and assumes that most aspects (physical building, digital infrastructure, furniture, appliances) are under the control of a single smart-home developer. (Kortuem et al. 2010)

In the contrasting reality however of multi-vendor development and retrofitting this is rarely the case. Inspired also by an argument that smart homes are developed by experts in a top down approach subsequently living with a smart home is acknowledged to be problematic to non-experts who lack control over respective technologies.

The Homesense project was therefore designed to enable user-led innovation within the home environment, building alongside existing environmental and social conditions allowing end-users to address their own concerns in their physical and ‘lived in’ space. Homesense sought to bring the open collaboration methods of online communities to physical infrastructures in the home. Designing a toolkit to support this approach is explored as a topic of this presentation.

Natasha Carolan is a PhD student at HighWire Doctoral Training Centre, Lancaster University where her research considers commodification of design and production processes in the digital economy. A product designer by background, her research explores open and user innovation, service design and value co-creation in areas of NPD and manufacturing. Natasha co-designed the Homesense toolkit by situating the toolkit as a cultural probe a strategy that Natasha believes is important in placing open source hardware in a democratic system as a tool for learning and empowerment.

Quick2Wire

Quick2Wire Limited is a start-up that is developing a range of OSH/OSS add-on products for the Raspberry Pi. The first product is an experimenter's kit, contaning an expansion board, a set of components with which to experiment, software to drive the Pi, and an instruction manual. This will be followed by a series of expansion kits, using I2C and SPI to add capabilities like ADC, DAC, PWM and stepper motor drivers.

All the hardware and software will be released under open source licences.

The presentation will conclude with a demonstration using hardware prototypes driven by a Raspberry Pi.

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:

Kits (Homesense, Quick2Wire)

via OSHUG

For those that are new to hardware development it can prove a daunting prospect, and kits that address the needs of those with little or no experience in this area have a vital role to play. At the nineteenth OSHUG meeting we will be hearing about two such kits, one that was designed to support user-led smart home innovation and that was based around the Arduino platform, and an experimenters kit for the Raspberry Pi that is currently in development.

The Homesense Project

The Homesense project was a European user-led, smart-home development project employing open source hardware. The project was led by Tinker London and EDF and engaged households supported by local experts in the design and development of smart home concepts.

The project was developed as a reaction to top-down design approaches commonly observed in technological development and home building. Most early research viewed smart homes as a single complex system that is designed and constructed from the ground up, and assumes that most aspects (physical building, digital infrastructure, furniture, appliances) are under the control of a single smart-home developer. (Kortuem et al. 2010)

In the contrasting reality however of multi-vendor development and retrofitting this is rarely the case. Inspired also by an argument that smart homes are developed by experts in a top down approach subsequently living with a smart home is acknowledged to be problematic to non-experts who lack control over respective technologies.

The Homesense project was therefore designed to enable user-led innovation within the home environment, building alongside existing environmental and social conditions allowing end-users to address their own concerns in their physical and ‘lived in’ space. Homesense sought to bring the open collaboration methods of online communities to physical infrastructures in the home. Designing a toolkit to support this approach is explored as a topic of this presentation.

Natasha Carolan is a PhD student at HighWire Doctoral Training Centre, Lancaster University where her research considers commodification of design and production processes in the digital economy. A product designer by background, her research explores open and user innovation, service design and value co-creation in areas of NPD and manufacturing. Natasha co-designed the Homesense toolkit by situating the toolkit as a cultural probe a strategy that Natasha believes is important in placing open source hardware in a democratic system as a tool for learning and empowerment.

Quick2Wire

Quick2Wire Limited is a start-up that is developing a range of OSH/OSS add-on products for the Raspberry Pi. The first product is an experimenter's kit, contaning an expansion board, a set of components with which to experiment, software to drive the Pi, and an instruction manual. This will be followed by a series of expansion kits, using I2C and SPI to add capabilities like ADC, DAC, PWM and stepper motor drivers.

All the hardware and software will be released under open source licences.

The presentation will conclude with a demonstration using hardware prototypes driven by a Raspberry Pi.

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: