Limor Fried, who earned her masters in electrical engineering and computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, runs Adafruit industries, which sells do-it-yourself electronics kits. For every kit Adafruit sells, Fried posts design files, schematics for circuit boards, and any software code needed. She welcomes people to use the information, as long as they credit where it came from and post any modifications they make. She sees it as a way to foster innovation.
“For the most part, everyone finally agrees that open source software has been a success. It runs the net, it runs Google, it runs everything,” Fried said. “Millions of companies and billions of dollars are made possible by open source software. Open source hardware is just starting to take off.”
She also hosts weekly video chats with partner Phillip Torrone and blogs, because she sees the hardware she sells—things like MintyBoost, a backup charger for iPhones or any USB device, that is housed in a tiny Altoids can—as not just products, but part of a larger cause. “People want to see the world become a better place through science and engineering,” Fried said. “We’re going to need the current and future generations to get inspired.”
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.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
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