The 2024 Open Hardware Summit

On May 3rd and 4th in Montreal, Canada the Open Source Hardware Organization (OSHWA) will be hosting the 2024 Open Hardware Summit, featuring 2 full days of workshops, talks, unconference and discussion sessions dedicated to exploring Open Source Hardware. If you can’t make it in person, we’re also holding sessions online via YouTube and Discord

Our branding this year was created by Enna Kim, who worked with us to create our 2024 logo as well as a series of characters. We love the playful nature of the loombot, the googly eyed integrated circuit and the tangles of wires that we think reflects what we’re trying to pull off for OHS2024. We want the Summit to be engaging, intriguing, full of surprises and chock full of radical, new ideas. 

Above all else we’re excited to be able to gather together the open source community to explore all the ways that ‘open’ exists!

Here’s the thing: we know it’s a long trip for some of ya’ll. Thankfully we offer many ways to experience the Summit, both in-person in Montreal and online with a fully hybrid conference. We are working hard to be sure that no matter how you attend you will get as much as possible out of OHS2024. With the help of livestreaming, our Discord server and lots of volunteer coordination you can participate in talks, Q&A’s with speakers, propose topics and participate in a digital unconference on Day Two! 

Even though the 3rd and 4th are our official dates we are also excited to have programming around both sides of the conference. 

On May 2nd there will be a mini reuse make-a-thon to practice your recycling skills, plus an open source perfume workshop and a Happy Hardware Hour hosted by Helen Leigh and Crowd Supply

The official Summit will start on May 3rd at Concordia University. 

We are excited to welcome Danielle Boyer, an Indigenous robotics expert, as the keynote speaker. Boyer will be speaking on her work creating robots to revitalize Indigenous languages, and utilizing them to address the systemic oppression of the Anishinaabe community. It’s certain to be a talk that you do not want to miss. 

This is just one of the incredible parts of OHS this year.  

We have also managed to fit in 19 other talks ranging from e-textile manufacturing to making bespoke open hardware for your loved ones to open source medical devices, the topics and quality of the speakers is truly wonderful. 

We also noticed a heavy push to discuss the environmental impacts of making with proposals this year that resulted in talks on repurposing disposable vapes, addressing pollution in hardware production, and developing sustainable biomaterials for 3D printing. 

On top of all that we also have a dedicated table hour where people can explore the very rad offerings like a diy computer repair zine, afrofuturist devices for speculative PTSD treatment, and modding gameboys.

Even though it’s such a full day we know some of ya’ll will still need to let off some steam which means we’re going to have an afterparty where you can hang out, socialize and dance until you are exhausted. 

On Day Two we will be moving to LESPACEMAKER for workshops, unconference and discussion groups. For those joining us IRL workshops range from building robots, finding wi-fi access points to making paper. Make sure you sign up for workshop offerings so you don’t miss out! 

We know that our community loves to explore ideas in-depth and we wanted to be sure there was time for folks to discuss thoughts they had come up over the course of Day One so we’ve got space for discussion groups. 

Plus all Day One both in-person and online attendees can suggest unconference topics that will be voted on in the evening to have sessions running smoothly on Day Two. Unconference topics can really be anything and will have space dedicated to be able to present to one another. 

With that we’ll come to the official close of OHS2024. 

On our unofficial Day 3 we will be gathering at CyberLoveHotel for a relaxing, sharing and zinemaking session. 

All this to say that we really can’t wait to see everyone this year. Please register for the Open Hardware Summit and join us however works for you. You can keep up with all the latest news on OHS2024 online on Twitter, Mastodon and LinkedIn.

OSHWA updates hardware licensing guidelines

Many things have changed in the hardware licensing landscape since we published our guidelines as a set of best practices for how to share hardware designs efficiently. If you visit them today, you will see that we updated the content under the “Licensing your Designs” section. The biggest change is that we are now describing four different licensable elements of open hardware: hardware, design files, documentation, and software. “Design files” as a separate element is a new addition to that list.  This short post explains the rationale for the changes.

Why Change?

One key factor is the increasing use of version 2 of the CERN Open Hardware Licence for sharing hardware designs under any of the three usual regimes: permissive, weakly reciprocal or strongly reciprocal. The CERN OHL v2 is the only license approved by the Open Source Initiative which was drafted with the specificities of hardware in mind. It is also the recommended license to host hardware designs on GitHub and other platforms.

Another important development is the exponential growth of open-source gateware (FPGA or ASIC designs using Hardware Description Languages) fueled by the RISC-V revolution. For those preferring a reciprocal sharing regime, there was no adequate license in this realm, and the use of traditional software licenses quickly showed a number of issues. The reciprocal variants of CERN OHL v2 filled that gap.

Modern hardware licenses all include patent license clauses in their text. They provide reassurance to licensees that any patents held by the licensor covering the hardware design are licensed to them alongside the other rights in the design. The new guidelines reflect this important trend.

Finally, there has been a persistent source of confusion since the early days of open-source hardware licensing, namely the difference between licensing the hardware designs and licensing the resulting hardware. 

The New Guidance

The new guidelines provide clarity by separating the hardware itself from hardware designs.  You can think of this as the difference between a PCB you are holding in your hand and a KiCad file, or a mechanical device and the schematic for that device.  This distinction can become especially important in situations where the designs are eligible for copyright protection, but the hardware itself is not.

The new guidelines also provide a set of best practices to be applied for different types of hardware. The resources on licensing in the OSHWA certification site will be updated shortly to remain compatible with the new guidelines and reflect this shift to a four-pronged approach to licensing, covering:

  • the hardware itself,
  • the hardware design files,
  • the documentation around the hardware, including e.g. user manuals and explanatory materials,
  • any software related to or running in that hardware.

Please read the new guidelines and let us know in the forums if anything is unclear or if you have any comments, requests, corrections, etc. Happy sharing!

OHCA Reflection: Kevin Eliceiri

The Open Hardware Creators in Academia Fellowship was a great opportunity for me and the researchers in my laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to formally explore and implement open hardware concepts in our microscopy development work.

For the last twenty years we have been active in the open source imaging software community but our efforts in the open hardware space have been less formalized and in great need of researching the best practices for our work. While we have been involved in a number of custom microscopy building efforts the dissemination efforts behind these projects largely relied on traditional paper publication which greatly restricts the how the important build process can be shared. When we have tried making our plans available it has been through videos of systems and online part lists that don’t allow other builders to fully observe the build process or share their own adaptions.

We are grateful to the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) for funding and advising on our OpenScan project as a fellow project to allow us to investigate this important problem. Over the last year OSHWA has provide the funding and expert support needed for us to focus on making OpenScan a open source system beyond just the software part. OpenScan is an open source platform for controlling laser scanning microscopes and consists of control software and hardware.

Before receiving the trailblazer award the open source concept in our lab (like most in the imaging community) had largely been applied to the software collecting and analyzing our image data and not the complete system with all the necessary hardware. In our field there was already widespread community support for making the protocols for any published scientific study open and carefully documented but the hardware used for most experiments whether homebuilt or commercial is most cases effectively a black box.

We are very interested in pushing forward in our imaging community the concept of releasing open-source hardware designs using OpenScan as example. Open Source Software has been very impactful in our imaging community (and science overall) but open hardware is still an emerging effort. Lots of groups share drawings of parts but when building complex systems, the efforts have been less. Using the open hardware laser scanning platform known as OpenScan our group over the last year evaluated what are the most relevant best practices from open source software that can be applied to hardware and what are unique open hardware criterion needs that have to be implemented for
successful sharing of open hardware.

As well on a personal note interacting with the many great fellows, mentors and leadership of OSHWA including open hardware perspectives from many different fields has given a bigger perspective on shared challenges between open hardware builds. I’ve enjoyed the many interactions at the in person and virtual OSHWA meetings and hope to stay involved with this community.

Find Kevin’s work

The OHCA Website:


Laboratory for Optical and Computational Instrumentation:



Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship Concludes, Delivers Impressive Results

To celebrate the success of this fellowship, we are excited to announce the official launch of the Open Source Creators in Academia website:

October 24th, 2023 — The Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship, an initiative run by the Open Source Hardware Organization (OSHWA), fostering collaboration and innovation in academia, has successfully concluded its program, marking a significant milestone in the world of open source. This fellowship, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, brought together some of the brightest minds from universities and research institutions producing open source hardware. We are proud to announce the availability of the fellowship website showcasing the remarkable deliverables from the program.

Over the past two years the Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship has gathered a diverse group of passionate individuals who are deeply committed to advancing the field of open source creation within academia. These visionaries have diligently worked to develop and share their innovations, contributing to the growth and democratization of technology.

The fellowship program, which was initiated with the goal of advancing open source research in academia, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing, has achieved remarkable outcomes, including but not limited to:

  • Innovative Designs: Participants have designed cutting-edge open source solutions in fields ranging from robotics and electronics to museum studies and environmental monitoring.
  • Open Source Resources: A wealth of educational materials, guides, and documentation has been created, making open source more accessible to the broader academic community and beyond.
  • Community Building: The program has fostered a global network of open source enthusiasts, encouraging collaborative research, idea exchange, and support.
  • Increased Visibility: The fellowship has increased the visibility of open source research in academia, contributing to the global conversation about open science and technology in academia.

To celebrate the success of this fellowship, we are excited to announce the official launch of the Open Source Creators in Academia website: This platform will serve as a hub for the resources generated by the program, including hardware designs, research papers, and guides on utilizing open source in academia.

The website features a rich repository enabling researchers, students, and technology enthusiasts to access, use, and build upon the work of the fellowship participants. It will be a valuable resource for those looking to embrace open source solutions for their academic, research or industry projects and partnerships.

OSHWA is incredibly proud of the work accomplished by our fellows and the community that has grown through the fellowship. This program has served to push boundaries of what it means to create within an academic setting and how we can move forward for a more collaborative and open future. 

For more information and to explore the deliverables from the Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship, please visit

The Open Hardware Creators in Academia program was made possible with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation:

Contact Information: Alicia Gibb Seidle, founder and executive director, OSHWA. Email us at

About Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship: The Open Source Creators in Academia Fellowship is an international initiative that brings together talented researchers and academics to collaborate on open source projects. With a mission to promote open science, innovation, and knowledge-sharing, the program empowers participants to create, document, and share their open designs and research findings. Through collaboration and community building, the fellowship aims to make open source accessible to academics.




Trailblazer Reflection: Miriam Langer

Open Source Hardware for Museums, National Parks  and Historic Sites

Miriam Langer (with Rianne Trujillo and Becca Sharp)

We did not expect to be awarded the Trailblazer Fellowship.  When the call for submissions arrived,  I was  teaching a class called  “Grants, Pitches and Proposals”  for my department at New Mexico Highlands University . I had spent years learning how to write successful grants to  the  small department at my rural, Hispanic-Serviing Institution( HSI). Additional resources for student projects, internships, and travel were always needed, and I thought it was beneficial for our students to get an idea, early on, of how they could support their own work.

The Trailblazer announcement arrived part way through the semester,  giving me the opportunity to write the application with my students in real time. I told them that it was likely to be rejected – the community of Open Source Hardware practitioners was a large and highly accomplished one, working across the sciences, architecture, space research and engineering – my team’s work in open source hardware for museums and cultural institutions would probably not merit the same consideration.

Either way – it would be a useful learning experience for the class- writing the proposal, doing the budgets, and specifying  timelines would clarify  how the requirements and parameters of a funder can help a grantee distill the goals of the work, and consider the time commitment required to achieve them.

What a joy and surprise it was to make it through the three rounds and be granted this generous funding to document the museduino and our work in low-cost, responsive exhibits!

When the Cultural Technology Development Lab’s Museduino project was awarded the Trailblazer’s fellowship for the summer and academic year, the first thing Rianne did was to submit the (long-delayed) documentation for OSHW certification. We were certified in early autumn, and that felt great! Alicia gave us a shoutout on the Trailblazer email list, and I felt like we were on track.

Then the semester got busy, as it does. Accepting this funding  meant committing to the goals and deadlines we had agreed upon with Alicia and Lecia. What seems totally manageable when writing a proposal can become a different story when it’s late fall and  your academic obligations are converging rapidly.

Rianne was our project lead, and she kept the checklist of deliverables and dates. Becca, our graduate fellow, wrote the first two case studies drafts: The Bradbury Science Museum/Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Los Alamos, NM, and the “Breathtaking” exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

We had proposed to write  five case studies out of our many projects – each would be documented with a narrative, code, and schematics. Code and schematics would be posted on github, and the museduino website would be updated with new links and tutorials. The case studies are:

Acadia National Park (Mt. Desert Island, Maine)

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art (Santa Cruz, CA)

The Bradbury Science Museum (Los Alamos National Lab)

“Breathtaking” at the New Mexico Museum of Art (Santa Fe)

Los Luceros Historic Site Visitor Center (Alcalde, NM)

The opportunity to look back at past projects – some of which had been completed as early as 2016,  was invaluable. Becca went back through the documentation, then visited the sites in New Mexico to check on their functionality. More joy! Everything was still working and on display and in use.

We called the locations that were too far to visit (Maine and Santa Cruz, CA), and were able to reconnect with our clients from 2016 and 2018 to confirm that the exhibits were functional there as well.

The prestige of being OSHWA Trailblazers Fellows renewed our confidence to commit to this hardware we’d created – when we needed it to do our work. To many, it may seem simple or basic – but for cultural partners at small museums, parks, and historic sites who want responsive, physical (as opposed to only screen-based) exhibits – an open source, modular, low-cost solution is absolutely necessary. Our past partners were thrilled to tell us how well our work had held up, which, to be honest – we had some fear of asking, as several of these locations had been shuttered for up to two years during the pandemic. 

We at the CTDL  are so grateful for the Trailblazer’s Fellowship award – honored to have been part of such an impressive cohort of academics, thrilled to have been included in the cohort discussions and to feel that representation from a small, rural university was possible. For our case-study partners, it was an opportunity to revisit older projects, discuss what worked well and what could be improved, and for them to see their sites featured in our final documentation.

The work continues – as our fifth and final case study for Los Luceros Historic Site (the wayfinding table developed and built by Becca and Rianne) debuted at the site on October 7th.  We’ll be watching visitors do their best to break it (intentionally or not), but it’s modular, inexpensive, open source and ready to last like our other projects!

Miriam, Rianne & Becca

Department of Media Arts & Technology

New Mexico Highlands University

Las Vegas, NM

Find our work on the Cultural Technology Development Lab site

Full documentation of the Museduino

Our new logo

You might have noticed things are looking a little different around here!

We are happy to announce that OSHWA has gotten a fresh new look for Open Hardware Month with a brand new logo designed with Christopher Wong.

The logo was designed with what OSHWA does to provide the platform for bringing the open source hardware community together, creating the standards, quality control, and documentation necessary for the community to thrive in mind.

The new icon focuses on OSHWA’s development of these building blocks and captures the energy of OSHWA’s work exploding out into the world.

We hope you love it as much as we do!

Open Hardware Summit 2024

We are officially looking for your wonderful, exciting and intriguing pitches for talks, workshops and exhibition tables for OHS2024 in Montreal, Quebec April 26th and 27th, 2024.

Fill out this form to submit your idea for OHS2024.

We are also looking for our Summit Fellows for 2024. If you identify as a marginalized person please fill out this form. We accept 10 Fellows every year and they will receive a travel stipend as well a programming leading up to the Summit.

Learn more and keep up to date on all things Open Source Summit on the official Summit website.

Trailblazer Reflection: Dr. Carlotta Berry

My time as an open-source hardware trailblazer fellow was one of the most enriching and exciting experiences I’ve had in my academic career. This was because OSHWA and the Sloan Foundation allowed me to take a year to focus on projects that were always important to me. I already did open-source robotics work but was not educated on the formal tenets of open-source hardware or software until I joined this community. I was able to execute my vision to use robotics to bring STEM to more people and bring more people to STEM.

My “Robotics for the Streets: From Outreach to Education to Research” project had a mission to improve diversity in STEM by increasing access, knowledge, and inclusion. I was able to create a novel and innovative method for academics to engage in open-source hardware and software to achieve their professional goals. It allowed me to strategize and educate the community about a topic that is not traditionally pursued because of how it is evaluated. This lack of knowledge would hinder many academics from engaging because they are not aware of how to do this work and still be able to be promoted, tenured, and retained. I could show them that there was a way to use robotics to engage in teaching, research, and service.

This journey allowed me to develop an open-source platform that K-12 teachers, professors, and researchers were able to adapt for their individual needs with respect to teaching, service and research. It allowed me to serve as a champion and spokesperson for open-source hardware to bring in non-traditional, and historically marginalized and minoritized communities to appreciate the potential of this work. I was able to do this through social media posts, emails, listserves, YouTube videos, and projects on GitHub, HacksterIO and Instructables. I also gave presentations and wrote papers to educate the community at large about open-source hardware in order to increase visibility and broader impacts on the usefulness of this community. I was also able to give six undergraduate students experiences in research and open-source hardware that they would not have been able to have otherwise. They are now more versed in designing open-source hardware, documenting their designs, writing technical papers and giving technical presentations on this type of work.

Through mentorship and our cohort meetings I was able to learn about documenting the open-source hardware process, getting certified, identifying useful resources for creating my project and how to share it with others in a meaningful and useful way. I have now seen my Flower∞Bots used in engineering design competitions, summer camps, classrooms, research labs, and sold to the community through my NoireSTEMinist® company.

In conclusion, I can never thank OSHWA and the Sloan Foundtion enough for this opportunity. I want to ensure them that the work will continue through publications, keynotes, conference, presentations, and enhancements to the Lily∞Bot, Daisy∞Bot, and Flower∞Bot.

Find Dr. Berry’s Work:

Blog posts

Youtube channel


Social media handles are @DrCABERRY on Twitter, Instagram, Mastodon, TikTok

Open Hardware Summit 2024

OSH2024 branding by Enna Kim @fongkikid

Join us in Montreal, Canada for the 2024 Open Hardware Summit!
Call for talk proposals, workshops, Summit Fellowship applications and more to come…

How did OSHWA pick Montreal?

After OHS2023 we sent out a survey asking people about their thoughts around 2024 and found there following:

– The survey had over 120 responses.

– In general, people thought the most inclusive location would be where the most people lived, however as you can see from the Eventbrite ticket map, our community is spread across the globe. Many people cited needing a city that was less expensive than NYC, but also that had public transit. Many people requested we not host the Summit in a US state that had laws imposing on the safety of LGBTQIA or BIPOC participants.

– Overall, outside the US, Canada had the most responses as to where the next Summit should be. While the US was first, we recognize that response may skewed be because the previous Summit(s) have been in the US, giving more survey responses from that population. 

– A large majority thought the hybrid approach to Summits being both online and in-person was the most equitable and inclusive. OSHWA is committed to continuing our hybrid Open Hardware Summit.

The map below shows where we had OHS2023 tickets purchased from

OSHWA’s Annual Survey

Open hardware Survey

It’s that time of year! We have our annual survey ready to be filled out by all you wonderful people. We have taken some time to revamp the survey to look at different data point this year so please be sure to check it out and take some time to let us know your thoughts.

Overall the time commitment for this survey is between 5-20 minutes depending on how much information you chose to provide. We would be so grateful to have your feedback so we can continue to improve and grow.