Open Design Hardware  <->  Open Source Software

 

Linux Automation - RoboTuxOpen source software is just a step in the evolution of technology. It has now reached maturity. The next logical step is opening the designs of hardware OSS operates. Open Design Hardware can extend the capabilities of open source software, and vice versa. Furthermore, the two together could put powerful technology in the hands of people to whom it would be otherwise inaccessible.

One somewhat unique aspect of our design philosophy is our belief that functionality should be taken out of hardware as much as possible and put into software. Software is easier to mass produce than hardware. This can simplify hardware design and make it less expensive, easier to manufacture, more compact, etc.

While microcontrollers have a well established place in automation applications, they also have drawbacks. By using a Linux computer for a majority of code execution, the designer is not limited to a small collection of programming languages nor is their program complexity limited by flash ROM size. This also simplifies integrating multiple devices in an automation system by centralizing data acquisition, storage, and processing. Using a well established platform with a vast, open source code base simplifies integrating an automation system with a user interface, networking, output devices, and other applications such as database and web.

 

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Websites, Blogs etc... where we have been featured

 

Slashdot.org - May 16, 2013 - Linux is an Obvious Choice for Automating the Beer-Brewing Process (Video)

This video was taken at our booth at LinuxFest Northwest 2013.

 

Hacker Public Radio.org - Interview of Kurt by Dave Whitman of Hacker Public Radio

Another interview (Audio only) of Kurt and Ryan at LinuxFest Northwest 2013.  Skip to 0:36:14 for the segment.

 

Linux Action Show - Video interview of Kurt by Chris & Matt of the kickass Linux Action Show

This video was taken at the Linux Actions Shows live stream from LinuxFest Northwest 2013. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Why don't you use Arduino?

A: You may use any bootloader you like.  We use GRUB.
 
Q: Excuse me?
Q: Oh, you mean AVR microcontrollers?
 
A: Umm... yeah.
A: We have some microcontroller based designs on the drawing board.  Development is slow going.  Please see the donate button on the right if you'd like to accelerate development.
 

Q: Why don't you use PLCs? 

A: They're typically more expensive, mostly proprietary hardware and limited number of programming languages available. 
 

Q: Do you have any documentation detailing your builds?

A: Unfortunately we are still working on the documentation for our builds but we will be posting them in the 'Projects' section of the site once we've finished building that.  

Q: Are the hardware designs available? 

A: We have signed up a github account and we will be putting them online very soon.  We have some minor revisions we want to make before publishing them though.  Sign up on our mailing lists and/or like us on facebook to be alerted when those are uploaded.
 
If you have any questions not found in this list, please feel free to send them to: Questions (at) linuxautomation.org


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