Open Hardware Summit 2018 Recap

A few weeks ago, Kaitlyn and I went to the annual Open Hardware Conference, hosted at the MIT Stratton Student Center.

For the past several years, Digilent has been attending this summit, it’s one of our favorites. Each year, members of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) gather to exchange ideas and discuss how to advance the goals of the organization.

This year, there was a special focus on the new OSHWA certification 2.0 process. In 2015, the first version of this certification process was released. Since that time, OSHWA has obtained a major grant from the Sloan Foundation as well as working with legal partners to be able to make significant steps to improve the existing certification. These steps include improvements to the definition, licensing clarity, streamlining of specific areas that caused confusion, and made searchability possible and created a certification application.

It’s exciting to see these steps being taken towards formalizing the definition of Open Sourced Hardware!

Since education is in our DNA, it’s only natural that we gravitate to the Open Source mentality. We design our products to allow students to take a peek under the hood to understand how their product is working. Where we can, we try to open up to the user. Over half of our catalog SKUs are open sourced (such as the Pmod product line, our former chipKIT boards, and the OpenScope MZ) and we seek to provide open-sourced schematics, documentation, code examples, and mechanical designs.

Other parts of the conference this year included:

Research of the Economics of Open Hardware, getting kids programming in C++ with Jewelbots, innovations with 3D printing, an update in Hackster.io, a note from Neil Gershenfeld (the founder of FabLabs), Micropython, Cosplay , Spark X Labs with Nate from Sparkfun and Neural Networks on Arduino!

If you missed the conference you can see the recorded Livestream here!

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About Larissa Swanland

I'm a bit of an electronics-education evangelist. After all, Education is how we learn about the world. Electronics make the world better. Engineers change the world. So more engineers that know how to design and create electronics? That's the kind of world I want to help create.

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