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All posts by Morgan Barke

Develop your own mini-camera

Does your project need a wifi enabled HD mini camera?  With this free and open source hardware available from Lamobo, it is now easy to create your own camera.

The Lamobo D1 is the smallest open-source development board, with a built-in HD mini camera. On first glance it looks like it just a pin hole camera, but this has the brains to control your project, plus provide decent connectivity. The wifi can either connect to your network, or can provide a access point so your can connect phone, table or laptop out in the field.

The camera records 720p @ 30fps, so will still get some respectable footage. For $89 the D1 Pro comes bundled with a 120, 160 & 210 degree interchangeable lens, perfect for every application. There are a large range of features you need to take a look at, like 20 GPIO’s on the pro version, that includes some PWM output. All these features can be controlled via your program running on freedom loving Linux 🙂

I am sure you will think of way of working one of these boards into your next project…

Go back to this open source hardware project, after you watch the video.

 Krita: open source digital painting
Krita is a project that makes you wish you had more time to explore your artistic side, similar to that when you watch Blender in action.  In the kickstarter video below you will see a wide variety of amazing art created on this cross platform professional grade open source software, licensed under GNU GPL v2 (please correct me if it is GPL v3).

This is the perfect tool to create free and open source art, allow your peers to modify and possibly even improve on your work for their own project and needs.  Krita has a strong community behind it with plenty of tutorials to get you started, so don’t be afraid to explore your artistic talent.

If free and open source products are going to seriously compete with freedom hating software suites like from Adobe, then we must support them. Remember, if it doesn’t reach the goal, then Krita can’t afford to get Dmitry Kazakov to work on Krita full-time for a whole 6 months.  After watching the following video, go choose the best reward and back this project.

mBuino, a programmable mbed keychain

If you are a geek at heart, then this key ring/chain that could be easily modified into a badge or pendant, could show off your true colours, literally.  GHI Electronics has created this hackable circuit revolves around the ARM® Cortex™ 50Mhz processor that includes UART, SPI, I2C, analogue inputs and PWM… All of which can be programmed using the mbed™ online compiler IDE via a web browser and USB cable.

When originally finding this open source project on Kickstarter, although it stated it was an open source project and they would be releasing the EAGLE design files, it wasn’t clear if they would be released with an appropriate free culture license. After quizzing the project lead Gus Issa, he kindly and promptly responded that is will be releasing them under a CC-BY-SA license :).  Gus has since update the Kickstarter project page and hopefully also get the chance to add the Open Source Hardware Logo to the page.

The keyring is programmed via mBed and from my understanding mBed is not a fully free and open platform, although does have an open source SDK released under a MIT license. Despite this, the mBuino itself is open source and with it being under a “Share Alike” licence any derivatives will be also. So good luck to Gus and go get one, especially as they are only $9 if you live in the US.

Imaginary Marching Band

The Imaginary Marching Band is a Ardunio based open-source wearable instruments, allowing budding musicians to create real time synthesised music through the fun of pantomime.

We have all pretended to play instruments while listening to music, but now you can flip that on its head and actually create the music.   It would create quite a spectacle to see a band of skilled musicians who will use these new tools to craft a one-of-a-kind experience, in something like the Wirksworth Carnival Parade

You have the choice of 6 instruments – Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, and Cymbals, that all interact like the real thing. As each instruments is played, MIDI data is sent from the gloves via USB, to computer to output the chosen sounds.

There are only a few hours left on this project as I post this article so go now and help this project reach its goal…