Open source hardware is taking off. Hackerspaces are spreading like wildfire (we’ll see thousands, potentially tens of thousands, of these spring up in the next five years). To help this revolution zoom, we need an online system that standardizes and simplifies the description of the processes used to make the hardware. For example: Marcin over at openfarmtech has composed a replication document for partners developing the LifeTrac II open source tractor (see inset pic). It’s a great effort, but so much more should be done.
The big challenge is making documentation as part of the product and project. Each summer we’re asked if we have interns or jobs available and each year we say “document some projects you’ve made and send us links” – unfortunately not many have rallied to do this.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.