Monday, December 11, 2006

Open source hardware

Yep, we have plenty of open source software but I think that open source hardware has much bigger implications. Take this open source fabber for example. While it is a really crude machine that can crank out custom parts out of silicone and chocolate, the implications of having really cheap fabrication machines like this in third world countries are astounding. It means that with only raw materials, third world villages can download plans for almost any simple machine and have the computers build it on the spot. The locals just have to assemble the parts and voila - they can build pumps, gas & deisel engines, grinders, tools, water filters, food processors and all kinds of useful stuff on the spot.

Neil Gershenfeld at MIT did a bunch of cool work on this as well, here's the book.

What would be cool would be an open source computerized chem lab that could spit out basic useful chemicals/nutrients/suppliments on the spot from raw materials.

1 comment:

PGuy said...

This is great stuff, really interesting...I need to pick up that book...