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mbanzi-alj

Rebel Geeks is a seven-part series on Al Jazeera English channel, featuring profiles of people around the world challenging power structures and offering a different vision of our technological future.

During Makers Faire in Shenzhen, in southeastern China, the authors of the series met Massimo Banzi and produced‘ Meet Your Maker’, a video interview about Arduino and how thousands of people are adopting it to build everything from 3D printers to drones, smart home devices to robotics.

‘Meet Your Maker’ can be seen on Al Jazeera English from November 16 at 22.30GMT. 

Watch the trailer and read the article now.

Apr
08

Thanks for Celebrating Arduino Day around the world!

arduino, arduino day, around the world, birthday, community, events, Featured Commenti disabilitati su Thanks for Celebrating Arduino Day around the world! 

thanks_arduino day_post
At the end of March Arduino Day was celebrated around the world in more than 260 official and community events. In the video below Massimo Banzi, David Cuartielles, Tom Igoe and David Mellis sent a message to the whole community from the celebration taking place at MIT in Boston:

Take a look at some pictures from official Arduino Day which happened in Boston, Torino, Malmo, Budapest and Bangalore and some birthday cakes popping up on Twitter:

We also wanted to share  links some  organizers sent us to explore pictures/videos of local communities’ gatherings:

Do you have pictures and videos to share of your Arduino Day? Post the link in the comments!

Feb
26

Official Arduino Day: Call for volunteers, projects, talks

Announcements, arduino day, around the world, events, Featured, volunteers, world Commenti disabilitati su Official Arduino Day: Call for volunteers, projects, talks 

Official_Arduino_Day
If you live in Boston (USA), Torino (Italy), Malmo (Sweden), Budapest (Hungary), Bangalore (India) you could come and participate to one of the 5 official Arduino Day events on Saturday, March the 28th by our local offices and hosted at MIT Media Lab:

And there is more! You can take part of the event not only as a visitor but also as  a protagonist. Today we’ve opened the call for volunteers, projects and talks. You’ll be having fun with us and Arduino!

Are you interested? These are the requirements:

– Must be comfortable with simple Arduino hardware and software
– Must be able to explain Arduino concepts to visitors without overwhelming them with technical details ;)
– Must be able to engage in friendly conversations with strangers

We’ll offer as a token of appreciation an official Arduino t-shirt, lunch, and a discount coupon for our online store!

Are you interested? Fill the form. We’ll ping you back! Thanks!

Lug
23

Opensourcing imagination and sharing knowledge in Nepal

arduino, around the world, education, inspiration, knowledge, workshop Commenti disabilitati su Opensourcing imagination and sharing knowledge in Nepal 

DSC_1570

David Cuartielles held a worshop at Campus Party Berlin introducing  Arduino and the cool things you can do with it. Some months later, on of the students, Sanjeet Raj Pandey, wrote him to reveal that the event was a life changing moment.

After that Sajeet decided  to share his knowledge and experience organising workshops in a rural city called Janakpur in Nepal. In that occasion a 100 participants got introduced to Arduino. They learnt how to blink LEDs, work with a temperature sensor, light sensor, ultrasound sensor and also to make a DIY Arduino:

Most of it was financed by myself and a bit of donation from Telecommunication department -Technical University of Berlin and Berlin Promotion Agency.

I like to make things which are real and can be put to work for society . Making things, one just cannot see but also touch is awesome.

Hope you will share Janakpur (Nepal) as one more place with Arduino. I would be keeping up pace and will be doing more such projects, workshops, seminars, remote sessions, etc for students in Nepal.

These are some pictures from the workshops:

DSC_1509 DSC_1512 DSC_1513 DSC_1514 DSC_1516 DSC_1570 DSC_1578 DSC_1582 DSC_1584 DSC_1599 DSC_1613 DSC_1630

Do you have a similar story to share? Submit it to our blog!

Apr
14

Thanks for making our birthday so great! #ArduinoD14

Announcements, ArduinoDay, around the world, events Commenti disabilitati su Thanks for making our birthday so great! #ArduinoD14 

ArduinoD14

It’s been a couple of weeks since we celebrated with all of you the beginning of our tenth year. We’ve been receiving videos and pictures and want to share them in this post (Explore the tagboard of #ArduinoD14).

The first Arduino Day around the World was a huge success largely due to the dedication of each of the communities joining the party! We had more than 240 community events sharing with us this moment of celebration and we sincerely appreciate the efforts and thank you again for the support within the Arduino Open Source Community!

Once more we realised the importance of community by saying “Arduino is you.” Hardware, software, tutorials, and logistics aside, people enjoying time with Arduino are exemplary of the folks who make it fulfilling for us to continue with this adventure. Thank you!

Here’s some awesome visual reports we received:

  • Antonius was at ITP in New York together with Massimo Banzi and Tom Igoe and made this video:
  • David Cuartielles featured in this video from Arduino Day Zaragoza:
  • Richard from Wevolver in Amsterdam organised a Show and Tell in collaboration with Ifabrica:

(take a look also at the video interview they did to Gael Langevin of Project Inmoov!)

Mar
26

29th of March Arduino Day: we are ready to celebrate with more than 240 events #ArduinoD14

Announcements, arduino day, around the world, events Commenti disabilitati su 29th of March Arduino Day: we are ready to celebrate with more than 240 events #ArduinoD14 

ARDUINODAY

Arduino is having a worldwide anniversary event on March 29th bringing together the people and projects that have helped it grow to where it is today. This celebration of Arduino and its community is a day of official and self-organised gatherings, encouraging people to meet and share their interest with neighbors and friends.

More than 240 user groups, makerspaces, hackerspaces, fablabs, schools, studios, and educators around the world have planned unique activities designed for a wide range of audiences and skillsets.

We have created a map to identify all the community events going on throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Find an event near you at http://arduinoday.tv

The official events

Starting the evening of friday March 28th, IDEO New York is hosting PopUpMakers, a monthly event started in Milan that catalyzes connections and collaborations in the local Makers’ movement.

On Saturday the official Arduino Day events are the following:

Arduino Day will end with a special edition hangout on Air from Adafruit offices with Massimo Banzi, Arduino co-founder.

Other online events:

- Enter to Win the Maker Faire Rome Arduino Challenge at Make
- Join the Arduino Anniversary “Give Me 10!” Contest & Win an Arduino Uno at Element14

To make this event a truly connected experience share your pics and comments using the hashtag: #ArduinoD14

UPDATED!

Are you streaming from your Arduino Day Community event? Add the link in the comments!

Community LiveStreams:
- Portugal (Lisbon): MOSS – Mestrado em Open Source

Feb
10

Making is Best When it’s Done Together

around the world, community, Interaction Design, Ivrea, MAKE Magazine, Maker Faire, MakerFaire Commenti disabilitati su Making is Best When it’s Done Together 

makingtogether_massimo

(originally posted on Makezine)

 

This month I’d like to talk about the idea of making together and what it means for Arduino. The whole idea of being a maker involves concepts of collaboration, community, and working with other people. It’s very hard to be a maker and be by yourself locked in a room or even in a lab. It’s really something that involves a lot of collaborations at different levels.

Many people today know what Arduino is, but very few know about two projects I did before Arduino. They were my first attempts to solve the problems my students had in prototyping with electronics. I consider them “creative failures.” As makers, we welcome failure as a way to understand how to do it better the next time.

Those initial projects I prototyped were not working so well because the technology was not really good but mostly because when I developed these things I did them by myself. I didn’t involve other people and I was very inefficient in trying to get them to work properly. They solved a number of problems my students had, but they didn’t really get a lot of momentum.

Ten years ago I started teaching at Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea (unfortunately it doesn’t exist anymore) where the Olivetti company used to be. In the picture below you can see their building and it’s not hard to notice it was created with a “design” approach. Olivetti was one of the first companies in the world to really apply design to everything: from their typewriters, to their buildings and to their posters, etc. Mr. Olivetti had that idea factories should have paintings on the walls because workers should be surrounded by beauty and knowledge. It was part of a bigger approach putting people at the center. It was in this context at the institute where we developed a number of projects before we came out with Arduino in the shape you know it now.

makingtogether_ivrea

If you peel back the surface, underneath Arduino project you can find a lot of collaboration. On one side you can see a selection of pretty amazing open source software contributing to what Arduino has become. I’m talking about GCC, processing, wiring, AVR, and all the other contributions from the community. On the other side, I started to involve specific people.

I met David Cuartielles when he was researching in Ivrea and we started to talk about things we wanted to see in the platform to help our students getting started with electronics. Slowly we also got in touch with other people: Tom Igoe, a professor at ITP in New York with great experience; David Mellis, an amazing software developer who joined Ivrea from MIT; and Gianluca Martino, an electronics engineer who knows every company involved in electronics in the area. He’s now taking care of the manufacturing.

I gathered all these people one-by-one because we wanted to make an open project based on collaboration. All the founders brought their own experience into Arduino and later what became really important was the Arduino community. At the moment there is a community much larger than number of official Arduino boards we have sold. There are more than 180,000 people subscribed to the forum and more than 4 million monthly page views to the website with visitors spending about five minutes on each visit.

Arduino was born out of different contributions and it taught us to follow this path with most of our products. We started collaborating with other people and companies of the open source community, extending our role as makers into ideas and projects becoming products. Recently, we told you the story of the Arduino robot and an example of collaboration.

For example, some years ago, with Adafruit we developed the Arduino Micro packing all of the power of the Arduino Leonardo in a smaller board. We met with Limor and Phil sharing a lot of ideas and more projects are coming up in the next months.

At some point we also worked with Telefonica, a global mobile operator, to make the Arduino Gsm Shield. The technology of the shield is basic but we worked really hard to develop the API to use the module very easily. What’s important about these collaborations is not the technology but other things like lowering the barriers to access a sim card and allowing people to activate it very simply, just with a credit card. The value we created was about opening up a collaboration and making a big company like Telefonica aware of the impact of a product like this in the maker community.

A similar thing, but with a smaller company, happened for Arduino Yún. DogHunter, based in Taiwan, designed the board together with us. The factory we usually work with in Europe didn’t have the experience to work with wi-fi technology so we teamed up with a factory in Taiwan which had an experience with millions of access points. Arduino Yún became the first official board made in Asia.

In the first half of 2014 we are going to release the Arduino TRE. It’s a combination of a Beaglebone and an Arduino plus a number of things designed to make it very convenient for people to get started. We worked with Texas Instruments and especially Beagleboard, which shares with us a series of commitments to open source hardware and similar goals and ideas, like the desire for simplicity and ease of use.

Once again we realized how easier it is to find someone who can give you a cheaper piece of hardware, but in the long run, even if it’s harder to find someone who shares the same set of values, it’s well worth it.

We believe in the open source movement and everyone should be really aware that it can develop successfully if everyone takes from it, but especially if people and companies contribute back. That’s why it’s important to highlight who creates a positive loop and nurture knowledge sharing and collaboration.

makingtogether_mfrome

Even if there is the perception the maker movement is much more U.S.-centric, with a lot of visibility for American makers, events, and companies, we believed that we could do something to improve the relations among the movement here in Europe and activate more positive loops.

We realized that one of the issues was about language. Many European makers are very active in their local community, but they don’t Speak English. That’s why we decided to invest time and resources to create an European Maker Faire in Rome, inviting people from all over the continent. It was not easy to organize it, but I can say that it was an incredible success with more than 35,000 participants. It proved that in Europe people want to get together, know each other and cross the boundaries of the over 27 countries with different languages.

Maker Faire is not an event that has to do strictly with people making hardware. For me it’s much more important because it opens up channels of communication between makers and the concept of making together. We are happy to show what makers can do and how they could collaborate toward a future of great open source projects and, later, bringing benefit to communities around the world.

Gen
15

Massimo Banzi at Inventables – Video interview

around the world, Interview, inventables, Massimo Banzi Commenti disabilitati su Massimo Banzi at Inventables – Video interview 

inventables

During a visit at Inventables HQ they took a few minutes to shot a video while chatting with with Massimo Banzi about his early experiences as a designer and maker, the development of Arduino, open-source philosophy, and how to get started with electronics and his approach to user interface design. Enjoy the video:

Nov
25

Making it in China

around the world, china, community, education, Hackerspace, Makezine Commenti disabilitati su Making it in China 

Visiting the DimSum Lab hackerspace in Hong Kong. Photo by William Liang

(originally posted on Makezine)

Right after the overwhelming experience of Maker Faire Rome I left Europe for a week a quick tour in China. There are a lot of cool things happening there. I’d been to China twice before for a very short time so this time I wanted to spend a few days to meet with people and take part in some cool events going on in Shanghai and Shenzhen. I accepted an invitation to give a talk about Arduino at the School of Design of Hong Kong Polytechnic University and while I was there, William Liang (adjunt assistant professor at the same university) took me to visit the local community at the Dim Sum Lab hackerspace.

Dim sum is a delicious, Hong Kong speciality composed of a myriad of different, bite-sized delights. Similarly, the DimSum Lab hosts different types of communities with various interests, from coders to makers.

I then flew to Shenzhen to meet with the people at SeedStudio who took me around the city to discover the different opportunities this city offers. Makers are closer to the manufacturers here and have easier access to new components and parts. Clearly there is an advantage and certain makers, if they get organized, can jump quickly from a small idea to large scale manufacturing for a much lower cost.

This happens because they are not only close to manufacturers, but closer to the supply chain as 90 percent of electronic parts are made in China and you can basically assemble a device very quickly because of easy access to parts. Recently, Seeds Studio published the Maker Map of Shenzhen which looks a bit like the celeb’s house map you get in Los Angeles, but instead of getting information on where famous actors live, you can easily find out where suppliers, manufacturers and hackerspaces are.

maker map

There are also lots of projects based on Arduino. We realized more than 90 percent of the boards people use are fake, not even Arduino clones, but fakes. We discussed this topic with SeedStudio which has always been very respectful of the Arduino project and of the use of our trademark. It’s understandable, in a way, that an Arduino made in Europe tends to be quite expensive for most of the people in China. We know that the interest in Arduino is very high and we are working on how to provide official Arduino boards in China.

As we often said, it’s not only about making boards and selling them. It’s about creating all the official documentation in Chinese, having an official forum and social media presence, and making videos and sharing them outside of YouTube (inaccessible for many Chinese people). We clearly need to change the way we do things to be able to interact with the Chinese community. It’s going to take a bit than just focusing on providing accessible boards.

Massimo with Guo Haoyun the translator of Getting Started with Arduino. Photo by Silvia Lindtner

Later, when we visited the local hackerspace in Shenzhen called Chaihuo, some of the people I met there had just come back from Maker Faire Rome. They showed me all the pictures they took and it was amazing how they reported back to their peers the experiences they had in Italy and the projects they discovered during the event. During the Q&A session we had, they asked me a lot of really detailed questions and Eric Pan, from Seeds Studio, did a great job in translating my answers.

Next stop was Shanghai where I gave a talk at the Sino-Finnish Centre at College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University. I visited the community of the XinCheJian hackerspace and then participated in HackedMatter, a whole day focused on rethinking manufacturing from the point of view of science fiction narratives and exploring “how the professionalizing of maker culture is developing increasingly intimate relations with the small-scale factory owners and micro-entrepreneurs that make up China’s core of hardware manufacturing”.  The event was organized by Silvia Lindter in conjunction with the Shanghai Maker Carnival.

Speaking at HackedMatter in Shanghai.  Photo by Silvia Lindtner.

During Hacked Matter I gave a talk on the topic of collaboration, a concept at the heart of the Arduino approach, highlighting the idea that innovation is not purely about technology, but more on creating the right collaborations with the right people.

It was interesting to note that the maker community in Shanghai is pretty diverse and composed not only by locals as there are a lot of people coming originally from outside China who moved there. At the Maker Carnival I discovered many high quality projects and realized some differences with the community in Shenzhen. It was also interesting to understand how Chinese culture works and how Arduino can create channels to communicate within that culture.

Open hardware companies from around the world could clearly benefit from a trip to China especially if they can find someone local to work with, tapping into the local community to go beyond language barriers. There’s a lot of very talented people over there able to deal with complicated projects. At the various hackerspaces I visited I received interesting questions and I was lucky enough to have someone translating otherwise I’d never met these smart people.

Mar
22

Something is rotten in Denmark (Bio-Hacks)

around the world, biohacking, Copenhagen, Hacks, Hardware, IC, inspiration, Makerspaces Commenti disabilitati su Something is rotten in Denmark (Bio-Hacks) 

Labitat, 3/2013

Massimo and I had the chance to visit a Labitat makerspace in Copenhagen. I have to thank Martin Markus to let us in on a non-visit day and move underground, where the lab is.

The main reason of our visit was getting in touch with the Bio-Hackers and Maker Community meeting there, get them involved in the Call of Makers for the upcoming European Maker Faire in Rome. We had a good time in talking with them about the strange situation we are witnessing here in Europe: many languages, many nations, one big movement of people tinkering around stuff. Get everybody to know about this event and the chance to meet and talk to each other is a massive task. But we are going to overcome it!

Labitat, 3/2013

The place is just super. I’ve been involved in the making of a makespaces in the last three years of my life, but I have no words in describing the feelings I had in witnessing the massive amount of contents that basement kept. No joke.

I tried my best in recovering those objects, those feelings and this odd XXIst century knowledge in a pool set of Flickr, where I tried to describe and follow the different projects I’ve seen.

 

Why visiting makerspaces is to me just like standing on giants shoulders? Basically because I know the problems and I see better, streamlined solutions answering (better than ours in Fablab Torino. You guys feel free to comment and make me feel naiv about the Fridge,  Bio Hacks, the communication billboards, and the AtMEGA 16u2 hack from Dennis.

 



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