Building projects for flight and space is one of the most popular areas in recent times. From building mini satellites to setting up weather balloons that fly to what is termed as near space, open source hardware and software solutions are driving the poor man’s space program.
“Learning to develop engineering skills is like learning to lift weights. You should start with an empty exercise and then keep adding challenges,” explains Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, in a recent interview on the eve of Raspberry Pi 2 launch. Open source hardware tools are built to do just that.
Arduino, one of the earliest and most popular lines of open source hardware tools, has had a growing toolset since 2005. Having withstood the test of time, it now enjoys a passionate following of engineers, tinkerers and hackers who use it to prototype products and test project designs. In 2015, we now have a vast collection of open hardware developer platforms to choose from.
Over the past decade, we have seen open hardware being used for a variety of projects, including fun projects like building a radio-controlled (RC) car, utilitarian projects like implementing a home media centre or server, all the way to setting up serious industrial automation systems that can control a building. But is that all?