Trivandrum hosts Hardware Freedom Day celebrations

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Trivandrum: The second edition of the Hardware Freedom Day was jointly organised in Thiruvananthapuram by the Society For Promotion of Alternative Computing & Employment (SPACE), Beginow, and Free Software User Group (FSUG), Trivandrum Chapter on April 20, 2013. Hardware Freedom Day is a yearly worldwide celebration of Open Hardware.

Initiated in 2012 by the same organization behind Software Freedom Day it aims at educating the worldwide public about the benefits of using and promoting Open Hardware. It also provides an international day to serve as a platform to raise awareness to existing projects and communities around the world as well as encourage participation in local Open Hardware initiatives.

According to the organisers, “Open Hardware initiatives replicate the philosophy of free software movement in hardware technology development. Though a relatively young movement, it has already led to the development of some highly significant technologies”.

At the event, various open hardware projects were demonstrated including international initiatives like Arduino for robotics, Raspberry Pi for low cost computing, RepRap 3D printing technology and the Indian project expEYES for scientific experimentation. Art, nature and technology converged when plantains served as a musical key board for Arduino based hardware project which piqued the interest of children and the grown ups alike.

A major attraction at the venue was various robots developed using open hardware technologies. They included sniper robot (which can be deployed for warfare), amphibian robot (which can traverse in both land and water) and many others. The event created some amusing interactions between man and machine.

Another crowd puller was the 3D printer demonstrated at the venue. The printer takes a 3D model from the computer and prints the three dimensional object. The 3D printer is expected to change industrial production model in the world.

The event attracted students and professionals from various engineering institutions like VSSC. They have expressed interest to build further on the technologies exhibited.

Kerala has set a model for India by going for free software in a significant way. It has now extended this spirit of freedom into other key areas of computing by assuming leadership in open hardware initiatives. Thiruvananthapuram is among the four places where Hardware Freedom Day was celebrated in India.

Kerala IT News

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