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SciTech gets big push from open source hardware

15 Jan 2015  | Alison Dorantes-Garcia

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Open Source Camera

 AXIOM Open Hardware

The AXIOM Open Hardware and Free Software Digital Cinema Camera

Among some of the projects using CERN's OHL is the Axiom open hardware and free software digital cinema camera. Many people in the DIY cinema community are combining the lower costs and resourcefulness of DIY with rigorous testing and accountability involved in top-tier open source projects.

Brain-Computer Interface

32bit board for the Open-Source Brain Computer Interface

32bit board for the Open-Source Brain Computer Interface. (Source:

Another major open source project is the open Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) project. The 32bit OpenBCI board is a chipKIT-compatible, eight channel neural interface with a 32bit processor. At its core, the 32bit OpenBCI board implements the PIC32MX250F128B microcontroller. According to their website, "the board comes pre-flashed with the chipKIT bootloader, and OpenBCI System Firmware. The trade-off between this kit and the 8bit kit is that the 8bit option is better suited for novice programmers and people already familiar with the Arduino programming environment."

Although BCIs are not new and encompass a wide range of technologies such as fMRI, cochlear implants, and EEG, innovators are improving upon already existing designs. While still expensive, there is potential for this technology to become more widely available—especially within the realm of preventative medical screenings. In addition to the obvious medical implications, these devices are also being used in video gaming. The onus is now on people within the open source community to contribute to this potentially ground-breaking technology.

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