Open source hardware is something we’ve decided to get involved in. The gist of it is that you provide your design files for public use and reuse. We’re beginning to design small inexpensive modules for re-sale, and making them open source hardware.
Our first 5 modules were a single H-bridge for DC motor control, an RS232/RS485/logic level serial converter, 64Mbits of Flash memory, an electronic compass, and a real-time clock/calendar. Those went up on the web site this afternoon for sale. Earlier this week we received in the prototypes for the second 5 modules. They are an analog accelerometer (angle sensor), a high side load switch, an object detector that uses IR signals to detect objects out to about 4”, a USB to serial data converter, and a serial data to IR converter.
The second 5 modules have gone through preliminary testing, with one unit needing a re-spin of the PCB, but the remaining designs pretty much functional. The final testing and production circuit board should make these available by December 1st. That means in the week they’ll move off my desk, and I’ll be on to the 3rd group of 5 open source hardware parts. That group will include an microcontroller on each board, which will slow down development a bit. But I’m looking looking forward to those designs, because the microcontroller lets you get a lot more creative.