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Open Hardware: Ploopy, Shapeshifter, AR3 and More

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Hardware
OSS
  • Ploopy is an open-source trackball kit (pre-order one or build your own)

    These days there are plenty of ways to interact with computers including mice, touchpads, touchscreens, and pens (and keyboards, of course). But one option that’s largely fallen by the wayside is the trackball.

    While a handful of companies continue to offer “trackball mouse” accessories that are basically mice with a rolling wheel in the side, there aren’t many decent standalone options.

  • Shapeshifter – An Open Source Drum Machine

    Shapeshifter’s design is open-source, with everything available on Github for the curious musical tinkerers out there. The device is built around a PCB with only through-hole components, making assembly easy for even the least experienced enthusiasts out there. A Teensy 3.6 is then slotted into the socket on the board, providing 180MHz of grunt to run the show. It’s an excellent choice, as the Teensy platform has a huge range of libraries which make it simple to work with audio.

    Being open-source, not only is it a cinch to make your own, but there’s plenty of room to remix the design to your personal tastes. There’s even a breadboarding area and the capability to add an expansion card for even more possibilities. Some users have even gone so far as to add displays and filter mods to really open things up.

  • Speeding the Idea-to-Prototype Process with the Arduino Open-Source Ecosystem
  • Open-Source Arm Puts Robotics Within Reach

    In November 2017, we showed you [Chris Annin]’s open-source 6-DOF robot arm. Since then he’s been improving the arm and making it more accessible for anyone who doesn’t get to play with industrial robots all day at work. The biggest improvement is that AR2 had a closed-loop control system, and AR3 is open-loop. If something bumps the arm or it crashes, the bot will recover its previous position automatically. It also auto-calibrates itself using limit switches.

    AR3 is designed to be milled from aluminium or entirely 3D printed. The motors and encoders are controlled with a Teensy 3.5, while an Arduino Mega handles I/O, the grippers, and the servos. In the demo video after the break, [Chris] shows off AR3’s impressive control after a brief robotic ballet in which two AR3s move in hypnotizing unison.

  • Makr Mirror open source Raspberry Pi smart mirror

    Makr Mirror is an open source smart mirror created to provide a “customisable out of the box experience”. The smart mirror It has been launched via Kickstarter this week and is now available to back with earlybird pledges starting from $649, providing a fully finished Raspberry Pi smart mirror with shipping available throughout the United States. Watch the project video below to learn more about the Makr Mirror and its inspiration to provide a fully open source and extensible smart mirror.

  • BCN3D renews commitment to open source releasing files for Sigma & Sigmax R19 3D printers

    Releasing the news into the community, BCN3D asked RepRap pioneer Richard Horne, better known as RichRap, for his input. Deemed a “step beyond” the usual release of machine CAD files by the open source advocate, Horne says ““This release of the Sigma R19 and the Sigmax R19 source files also comes [with] an even greater gift to the open source hardware community, this being the inclusion of the designs and information that BCN3D use to manufacture, test and assemble all aspects of the machine during production.”

    “With this level of commitment to the open source hardware movement,” Horne adds, “it allows others to learn and further benefit from the R19 project and it’s journey from design to stable production 3D printers.”

  • Intel And AMD’s Biggest Cloud Threat May Be An Open X86 Instruction Set

    Meanwhile, academics at Berkeley created the new RISC-V (pronounced “risk-five") open source instruction set, which is being commercialized by the RISC-V Foundation. Many current and potential Arm server processor designers are evaluating the potential for RISC-V based server processors. They include some large IaaS clouds, like Alibaba Group and Google, plus some chip companies not currently in the server processor design business, like NVIDIA.

  • Open Source VR - Heads-On with HTC Vive Cosmos

    Depending on your position, VR is either dead or dying, or just waiting on that eureka technological leap to fully realise its promised potential. HTC's Vive Cosmos headset, released this month, might just be that virtual reality saviour. And we got a complete heads-on experience with it.

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