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The 2018 Open Hardware Summit Badge and #BadgeLife #Python @ohsummit @pdp7 @micropython

2018 Open Hardware Summit badge

OSH Park and Screaming Circuits produced 300 electronic conference badges for the 2018 Open Hardware Summit.

Hardware design by Alex Camilo based on concept from ESP trINKet by Mike Rankin. Features for the OHS18 badge: ESP32 microcontroller with built-in WiFi; E-Paper to display the badge wearer’s name; badge wearer can update the displayed text from phone, tablet or laptops.

The board was programmed in MicroPython:

To use the interactive Python prompt (REPL), press the menu button on the badge and select Serial REPL from the Available Apps menu.  The terminal emulator connected to the serial port should then display the interactive Python prompt (REPL).  You can type in MicroPython code to experiment.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Badges should have built-in USB port:
    • USB connector makes it easy to multiple volunteers with laptops to flash firmware onto the badges in parallel, versus having just one programming jig
    • USB connector makes it easier for people attending the Summit to experiment with modifying the firmware and developing their own functionality
  2. Pretend that the deadline is 1 month before the event
    • We originally had the goal of being ready on September 1st for the September 27th conference, but we allowed ourselves to push the deadline for final firmware release to the day before the Summit.  That meant staying up all night to flash the updated firmware on to the badges
    • We should have identified the minimum feature set and simplified the functionality sooner in the design revision process
    • We should have planned that we would have 3 hardware revisions and allowed for it in the schedule

Find out more about the badge development and the fun art of Badge Life on the OSH Park blog.  Like Badge Life? Let us know in the comments below.


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