This piece was originally published in Make: Magazine as a part of an ongoing series about Open Hardware.
The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) runs a free program that allows creators to certify that their hardware complies with the community definition of open source hardware. Whenever you see the certification logo, you know that the certified hardware meets this standard.
The certification site includes a full list of all of the certified open source hardware. Here is all of the hardware that was certified in February, which comes from India, Japan, the United States, Belgium, and Bulgaria. There were several repeat-certifiers expanding their participation in the certification program.
22 projects were certified in February, adding to the 24 projects certified in January. These 46 certified projects year-to-date suggest that the certification program is on track for its strongest year ever. You can see a breakdown of the number of certifications by year in the chart below. If the current rate is predictive, it is conceivable that the number of projects certified in 2020 could more than double versus the previous year (2019). Regardless, things are undeniably off to a good start. There are a total of 425 certified projects all-time through the end of February.
Field Ready kept its streak alive, with four months in a row of being the most active certifying organization. With February’s additions, Field Ready now boasts 50 certified projects! This makes them (at the time of writing this) the organization with the most certified projects to-date, just pulling ahead of Olimex.
Like previous months, there are too many projects to list them all here. This month their team certified a number of medical device healthcare-related designs, from body fat calipers to an oropharyngeal airway (try saying that five times fast!) Field Ready’s practical designs show the breadth of use cases for Open Source Hardware, far beyond the electronics projects you might initially associate with this movement.
Other high impact designs released by their team include a nebulizer T fitting to allow gases to be mixed into a nebulizer supply, a dental chair lever that compresses the lowering mechanism on dental chairs, replacement parts for infant warmers, and a 3D printable fetoscope.
While they are based and certifying their designs in the United States of America, Field Ready’s reach is global. According to their team, it was “designed whilst looking at how to supply Health Posts in Nepal with equipment after the earthquake… developed in collaboration with various medical practitioners in Nepal.” They also designed a clean cookstove knob for the African Clean Energy cookstove. See the certification directory for a list of all their designs.
Plovdiv-based ANAVI Technology is a long-time contributor in the community and they are back with two new certified projects. These new projects bring this Bulgarian company’s total number of certified projects up to 14 dating back to March 2018. (Their first certified project, the ANAVI Light pHAT was the first product certified in Bulgaria!)
First, the ANAVI Smiley. The Smiley is a simple Raspberry Pi add-on board with LEDs and a button. Next, the ANAVI Tag Manager. The Tag Manager is an ESP8266-powered, open source, WiFi development board for reading and writing NFC tags and cards over SPI. The ANAVI Tag Manager is pictured below with PN532 NFC RFIC module and an acrylic enclosure.
Independent makers are making waves too. The first certified project of the month was The Light Badge, submitted by Bengaluru-based Amal Mathew. It is an electronic kit which utilizes a light dependent resistor to detect lowering light levels and light an LED once it gets dark. Rather than read about it, watch it in action in this video.
To learn more, read Amal’s excellent project documentation shared on TinkererWay. This project is the 9th one certified in India, but you might recognize the 8th certification from the January 2020 Open Source Hardware write-up here in Make:. That’s right, Amal is also the creator of the Bow Tie PCB Badge featured in January’s batch of projects.
Meanwhile Japan’s most active contributor is back with their fourth certified project: NEOPIXEL_I2C_TH (schematic pictured below). This board builds on a neopixel LED controller design by Brian Starkey with additional documentation in Japanese and through hole parts. The board is an intelligent driver for easily controlling LEDs via I2C. Chirimin first certified in December 2016, but they have been busy in 2020 with back-to-back months of certifications after being featured in the January column of this ongoing series.
New creators are joining the community too! Congratulations to Vadim Shlyonskiy, creator of the OpenPicoAmp-100k. This is the second certified project from Belgium, and the first submitted by Vadim. Continuing the theme of biomedical and scientific devices in February, the OpenPicoAmp-100k is an upgraded version of their bilayer amplifier.
While prior versions of this project existed, this is the first time it is officially certified as Open Source Hardware. According to the creator, “this improved amplifier is now suitable both for the use in introductory courses in biophysics and neurosciences at the undergraduate level and for scientific research.”
That’s all for certifications this month but that’s not all for Open Source Hardware. As co-authors of this piece, we want to take a moment to share a new project we are working on called OSHdata, which is coming soon. OSHdata is a market intelligence service that will build on Open Source Hardware certification data and expand on it to help grow the community. Some of the figures and statistics in this article are a preview of what’s to come from the OSHdata project.
And most importantly, it is the 10th Anniversary of the Open Hardware Summit! Summit will be held virtually this year and all are invited to join. This blog post from OSHWA outlines what you can look forward to with the all-virtual format this year. Keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, stay tuned for next month when we breakdown all the new certified projects from March 2020!