Adafruit will not be shipping orders Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 22, 2018. Expedited orders placed after 11am ET Wednesday November 21 will go out Friday November 23.
0

Cloned open source hardware – DIY drones

Ardupilot1

The DIY drones folks have a cloned version, Chris Anderson one of the founders of the company has a great comment…

It’s pretty simple. 3D Robotics is a hardware development business. The more successful we are as a business, the more hardware designers we can hire to create new products, and the more production equipment we can buy to make them, the more customer support we can provide etc. We’re 100% focused on creating great products for this community. If we grow, it’s because we’ve given our customers what they want. 
 
DIY Drones, meanwhile, is a community. It is built by you all and exists to serve your needs. It’s free and always will be. This community not only provides information and support for each other, but also includes the many dozens of people who make up the development teams that create the software that gives the 3D Robotics hardware all of its value. The most important work is done by volunteers here and given freely to all.
 
This is the classic open source hardware model. Software, which costs nothing to distribute, is free. Hardware, which is expensive to make, is priced at the minimum necessary to ensure the healthy growth of a sustainable business to ensure quality, support and availability of the products. All intellectual property is given away, so the community can use it, improve it, make their own variants, etc. 
 
The possibility that others would clone the products is built into the model. It’s specifically allowed by our open source licence. Ideally, people would change/improve the products (“derivative designs”) to address market needs that they perceive and we have not addressed. That’s the sort of innovation that open source is designed to promote. But if they only clone the products and sell them at lower prices, that’s okay, too. The marketplace will decide.
 
Either way, the DIY Drones community will be unaffected. It is not a business, but rather a free service by and for the members (the small hosting costs are paid for by Google AdSense ads). 
 
BTW, Arduino has gone through exactly the same situation, with many Chinese cloners. The clones were sometimes of lower quality, but even when they were good most people continued to support the official Arduino products and the developers that created them. Today, clones have a small share of the market, mostly in very price sensitive markets such as China. And frankly, being able to reach a lower-price market is a form of innovation, too, and that is no bad thing. 
 
Personally, I’m delighted to see this development, for four reasons.
1. I think it’s great that people have translated the wiki into Chinese, which makes it accessible to more people.
2. It’s a sign of success– you only get cloned if you’re making something people want.
3. Competition is good.
4. What starts as clones may eventually become real innovation and improvements. Remember that our licence requires that any derivative designs must also be open source. Think how great would it be if a Chinese team created a better design than ours. Then we could turn the tables and produce their design, translating the documentation into English and making them available to a market outside China. Everybody wins! (Hey, a guy can dream 😉 )


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, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, 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.

Join 8,700+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — Spotlight on Makeblock, one of the latest companies to find success in the STEAM market

Wearables — Emphasize the light

Electronics — Avoid serial confusion!

Biohacking — BDNF a Biohackers Best Friend

Python for Microcontrollers — Python powers costumes, and community @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF #Python

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



2 Comments

  1. I’m missing the news..

    What is being cloned, and by who? DIY Drone hardware is being cloned in China? Arduino hardware being cloned by DIY Drones/3d Robotics?

  2. Chris Anderson

    DIY Drones hardware is being cloned in China

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.