Arduino and Open Source Hardware

It has come to our attention recently that there is reason to question the Arduino team’s commitments to its community and to open source hardware.

Dale Dougherty posted on the Make blog about Arduino’s apparent lack of progress toward their announced Arduino Foundation. Phillip Torrone posted to the OSHWA mailing list about Arduino products that fail to meet the basic criteria of open source hardware projects. These are both troubling. As members of the open source hardware community and members of the Arduino community, we would like to add our weight to the call for Arduino to return to their open source hardware roots.

(Some disclosure on our relationships to these communities: we have been building Arduino-compatible open source hardware projects for years, and have been an official Arduino reseller. We have participated in developing the Open Hardware Definition and in the formation of OSHWA. While not everything we do is open source, we have been heavily invested both personally and professionally in open source hardware and software for many years.)

We love Arduino and we, along with a large and diverse set of communities, have benefitted enormously from the breadth and depth of the Arduino family and its resources. This is an exciting era for Arduino and for open source hardware, with the debut of the first Arduino and compatible boards based on silicon level open source hardware.

However, we are deeply concerned that several recent products from Arduino are claiming to be open source but upon research, indeed do not appear to be so. Arduino, once one of the standard bearers in our community, now seems to be falling into the grey area of OSHWINO (Open Source Hardware in Name Only).

We would like to openly call for Arduino to immediately publish the missing design files and license information for these products. Even from a basic truth in advertising perspective, future products labeled as open source need to have these requirements met by their time of release. We also join in Dale’s call for bringing the Arduino Foundation into existence: it is more clear than ever that Arduino needs to renew its promise to the community.


June 16, 2017 edit: Massimo Banzi comments below: “Arduino is open source HW and SW. Full stop. Some files seems to be missing and I’ll inform my colleagues at .org that they need to update them.”

555 Storage Ottoman

Ottoman (closed)

Ross wrote in to share his project:

I saw the 555 footstool on your site a while back, and wanted to build one a bit larger that provided space for storage and also didn’t require CNC. Enclosed are photos of my 555 storage ottoman, built from 1/2 and 3/4 inch plywood. … Thanks for the inspiration, and hope you enjoy the photos.

Ottoman (open, with magazines inside and magazine on lid)

Thanks for sending the photos and letting us know about your build! It looks great!

Linkdump: May 2017

Linkdump: April 2017

Robotic Art Contest 2017

The second annual Robot Art contest Is in its final lap:

The Robot Art 2017 competition will be running between now and May 15th when more than $100,000 in awards will be given to the top painting robots. Winners will be determined based on a combination of public voting, professional judges consisting of working artists, critics, and technologists, and by how well the team met the spirit of the competition – that is to create something beautiful using a physical brush and robotics.

You can help by voting on the artwork now!