Canuckles are built with ABS plastic and are designed to be the LEGO of alternative energy. The first project is a highly accurate solar tracker which can be built for only a few dollars.



Contraptor is a work in progress aiming to create an open-design construction set, with CNC and Cartesian robots in mind. It consists of perforated aluminum angle of various lengths (Erector-style) and linear sliding elements actuated by belts and threaded rods. One of the goals is manufacturability at home with basic tools, using inexpensive materials and parts readily available in hardware stores and online.


AVR Butterfly Logger

The AVR Butterfly Logger utilizes Atmel AVR Butterfly hardware and open source tools to create a cost-effective, standalone data logger capable of logging various sensor values, including light, temperature, and voltage. It is highly customizable to fit your specific needs and requirements.

Logging Data on the Cheap with AVR Butterfly

For makers and hobbyists looking for an easy and budget-friendly way to log sensor data, the AVR Butterfly Logger provides an intriguing open-source option. Built around Atmel’s AVR Butterfly development board featuring an ATmega169 8-bit AVR microcontroller, this versatile data logger can easily be customized using free tools and code.

Out of the box, the AVR Butterfly Logger comes pre-loaded with firmware to support logging temperature, light, voltage levels, and even music playback. But the real power lies in its expandability – with a little DIY effort, the Butterfly can log data from virtually any analog sensor. Its ATmega169 MCU provides 16KB of flash storage alongside a 16-bit counter and four analog voltage inputs.

Setting up the logger is straightforward using the onboard RS232 bootloader or an ISP programmer like AVRDUDE. The open-source AVR Butterfly Logger software lets you configure logging intervals ranging from ticks to hours. A simple joystick menu system enables on-the-fly adjustments.

Once up and running, the AVR Butterfly can operate completely standalone. Data downloads are equally painless, using any serial terminal program via the built-in RS232 level converter. The versatile logger can be powered over USB or a standard 9V battery.

For squeezing maximal functionality out of minimal hardware, it’s hard to beat the hackability of Atmel’s tiny AVR dev board. Add a regulated power supply and rugged enclosure, and the AVR Butterfly Logger provides an accessible entry point into the world of custom data logging on a tight budget.



SpiffChorder is the ultimate platform for building your own USB-based chording keyboard and customizing it to your exact specifications. With its advanced chord maps and versatile pointing devices, SpiffChorder is the perfect tool for experimentation and customization, allowing you to create a keyboard that perfectly suits your needs and preferences.

Chording into the Future with Open Source Keyboards

For those searching for an alternative to traditional typing, chording keyboards offer a unique method of input using chords rather than individual keys. Two open source projects, SpiffChorder and FeatherChorder, enable hobbyists and developers to build their own customizable chording keyboards.

SpiffChorder: The USB Chording Keyboard

SpiffChorder provides an open source platform for constructing a USB-connected chording keyboard using an Atmega168 microcontroller. It offers schematics, code examples, and a community forum to aid builders in programming and configuring the keyboard. Using C, C++, and Assembly language, developers can create firmware that sends chord presses as USB HID events to a connected computer. This allows the chording keyboard to work as a plug-and-play input device.

The project enables endless customization, allowing users to design their ideal chording keyboard. From key mappings to additional inputs like joysticks, the possibilities are limited only by the builder’s imagination. For those seeking a unique USB chording keyboard, SpiffChorder provides the perfect starting point.

FeatherChorder: The Wireless Wonder

On the other end of the spectrum, FeatherChorder utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy to connect wirelessly to devices. Built on the Adafruit Feather development board, it combines the ease of Bluetooth with the flexibility of an open source build.

While SpiffChorder focuses on a USB wired connection, FeatherChorder’s wireless approach delivers a clean, cable-free chording experience. And like its wired counterpart, the Bluetooth FeatherChorder design can be fully customized as well.

Build Your Own Chording Keyboard

Whether preferring wires or wireless, these open source projects showcase the possibilities of chording keyboards. Turning chord presses into key inputs gives typists an ergonomic and efficient way to write. For those seeking a customizable input device, building a chording keyboard provides a fun, fulfilling DIY adventure.

So grab your soldering iron, load up your coding IDE of choice, and start chording your way to typing bliss. The world of input innovation awaits.


Semitone Dimmers

Different dimmers for lighting. “The aim of this project is the development of comfortable standalone digital light dimmers for home use, which are inexpensive, easy to build, yet very feature-rich and highly configurable. All development details, such as the microcontroller operating systems (firmware), schematics, and documentation, are freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2.”

The term ‘semitone dimmers’ is frequently utilized in open-source digital light dimmer projects. These projects strive to develop autonomous digital light dimmers for household use, frequently based on microcontrollers. For example, the ‘Semitone Diamond’ series boasts 20 channels. These projects are abundant in features and are definitely worth exploring for anyone interested in open-source lighting controllers and dimmers.


MIT Vehicle Design Summit 2.0

Vehicle Design Summit aims to create a 4-passenger, 200 MPGe, high-performance industry-standard car with minimal life cycle costs and wide appeal both in developed and developing countries.

The Future of Sustainable Transportation Takes Shape at MIT

Cambridge, MA – The best and brightest minds in transportation technology assembled at MIT this week for the second iteration of the Vehicle Design Summit. This summit aims to catalyze innovation in vehicle efficiency, performance, and accessibility across developed and developing nations alike.

Dubbed “The Model T of the 21st Century” by organizers, the vehicle under design targets a 200 MPGe fuel efficiency – drastically higher than any production vehicles today. Yet its four seat configuration and high performance profile distances this initiative from stereotypical electric commuter cars.

“We want to prove desirable and sustainable vehicles are not mutually exclusive,” said Dr. Michelle Banks, Head of MIT’s Vehicle Design Lab. “Everyone deserves access to safe, clean, exhilarating transportation.”

Indeed, the vehicle under design intends to balance advanced perception algorithms for eventual autonomous capabilities with affordability and manufacturability.

To realize this vision, the summit convened transportation leaders from public, private, and non-profit sectors across 30 countries. Collaboration and idea sharing took center stage.

“Pushing boundaries requires outside-the-box thinking and cooperation across disciplines,” noted sociologist Dr. Neil Greenberg in his keynote speech on equitable mobility.

With electrification and automation trends accelerating, many called this vehicle a harbinger of broader disruption to come. If successful, the initiative may provide a blueprint for highly efficient, high performance, affordable and sustainable mobility worldwide.


AX84 Firefly

The Little Amp That Could: The Story of the AX84 Firefly

In a world of high-powered rock amps, the AX84 Firefly stands out for its minimalist design and vintage tone. This diminutive tube amp was created for bedroom players and practice spaces, delivering classic tube overdrive at the turn of a knob.

The Firefly was designed in the early 2000s by the AX84 Cooperative, a collective of open-source amp enthusiasts. Their goal was to create a simple, affordable tube amp design that anyone could build at home. The Firefly was born out of this DIY ethos.

At just 1-3 watts, the Firefly is very much a “low and slow” amp. It uses a single preamp tube (12AX7) and output tube (EL84 or 6V6), a recipe for creamy, compressed distortion. The circuit is stripped down – just the essentials of a tube amp. There’s a single-ended power stage, solid-state rectifier, and basic 3-band EQ. No frills or bells and whistles here.

But less is more with the Firefly. Its lack of power lets the amp breathe and distort naturally. You can wind up the volume at home without shattering windows. The dynamics are reactive and touch-sensitive, cleaning up nicely when you roll back your guitar’s volume knob.

In true open-source fashion, Firefly builders have modded and tweaked the original design extensively. Versions exist with added gain stages, master volumes, effects loops, and more. It’s a great platform for DIY tinkerers. The amp’s simplicity and flexibility have spawned hundreds of spin-off designs.

Today the little Firefly holds cult status among bedroom warriors. It nails vintage tones from blues to rock to indie, with plenty of character. For the guitarist who wants warm tube tone without the volume, the Firefly is a low-watt treasure. It proves great things can come in small packages.


AVR Butterfly MP3 – Open Innovation Projects

The AVR Butterfly MP3 player is an innovative open source project that allows hobbyists to build a fully functional MP3 player from scratch.
It demonstrates how the powerful AVR Butterfly microcontroller development board can be turned into a customizable personal audio device with just a few additional components.

At the heart of the project is the AVR Butterfly board from Atmel. This compact board contains an ATmega169V 8-bit AVR microcontroller running at 10MHz, along with interfaces for a display, buttons, battery power, and expansion ports. The ATmega169V provides more than enough processing capability to decode MP3 audio files in real-time.

To handle the MP3 file decoding, the project incorporates the VS1001 chip from VLSI Solution. This specialized decoder chip takes care of unpacking the compressed MP3 audio so the microcontroller only needs to feed it the encoded data. It can handle files up to 320kbps, providing excellent audio quality.

The VS1001 connects to the AVR chip via an SPI interface. To store the audio files, a microSD card slot is added to the Butterfly board. A simple headphone jack provides the analog stereo audio output. The microcontroller can drive the LCD screen and buttons built into the Butterfly board to allow the user to navigate and select songs.

One of the appeals of the project is its simplicity and low cost. The total bill of materials can be less than $20. With basic soldering skills, the VS1001, microSD slot, and headphone jack can be integrated onto the development board. The open source code handles the graphics, file system, and MP3 decoding.

Overall, the AVR Butterfly MP3 player provides an easy entry point into DIY audio projects and embedded systems. Following the step-by-step instructions, anyone can build a fully functional MP3 player with hours of storage in a tiny package. It’s an exciting example of leveraging open source software and affordable hardware for custom projects.



OpenBeacon provides cutting-edge technologies for tracking and transmitting data, including hardware specifications such as a 3D accelerometer for real-time movement detection and a proximity and tracking protocol. The project is built on open-source software and a flexible, open design, utilizing the nRF51822 chip, which is fully compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for RFID tracking. OpenBeacon provides an open source crystal-controlled QRPp beacon transmitter that outputs slow-speed modes, such as CW, QRSS, DFCW, and Sequential Multi-tone Hellschreiber. Our project welcomes new ideas for setups and firmware improvements. In addition, OpenBeacon offers hardware for low-power scanning and wireless notifications. Follow our Twitter account @OpenBeacon for updates and developments.



iRobot is the undisputed leader in the robotics and consumer products industries, having sold over 40 million robots worldwide. iRobot produces the Roomba® Vacuuming Robot and the Braava® family of mopping robots to assist with household tasks. Our history of innovation includes using our robots for various purposes, such as exploring the Great Pyramid of Giza and aiding in crisis situations. iRobot is dedicated to inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists through its educational outreach initiative, iRobot STEM. This program brings the world of robots into the classroom with online resources, demonstrations, and more. iRobot offers the iRobot Home App, which allows for enhanced maps, custom routines, and intuitive smart home integrations to control its robots. iRobot Education empowers learners, educators, and the community with our educational robots, resources, and STEM programming. Our mobile robot development platform for learning ROS 2 and the Create 3 educational robot showcase our expertise and competence in the field. Join us in revolutionizing education with cutting-edge technology.