Promoting Shared Hardware Design

Tal Nawy | Nature | June 27, 2013

Now is the time to move open-source hardware development into basic research labs.

Having convinced airport security to haul a suspicious looking briefcase packed with hardware on board, Pete Pitrone, an imaging specialist in the group of Pavel Tomancak, headed for South Africa. His aim was to introduce young students to the parts, many manufactured at his own institute, in the hope they would assemble them into a sophisticated working microscope. It was a symbolic step to demonstrate the potential for building new tools in laboratories and beyond.

Manufacturing has gained an appealing image of late. In his State of the Union Address in February, US president Barack Obama announced the creation of three manufacturing hubs modeled after an institute in Youngstown, Ohio. [...]