FIRST Robotics Open Source Electronics

After spotting an article on MAKE about NASA providing a huge $20 Million grant, i realized that many people might not know that FIRST Robotics now releases their electronic designs in true Open Souce spirit.

I’m no longer involved in FIRST, but during my last year i wrote FIRST a letter explaining how i thought they needed to adopt an open source credo. My letter didn’t cause a revolutionary change, but i did receive a response that was a bit unexpected. It turns out that more than a few were impressed with my letter, and decided to release all their electronics designs in the public domain. Including CAD files, PCB designs, and Schematic diagrams. Like i said, not a huge change, but a step in the right direction.

I’m not sure if their software is still mostly proprietary or not. But, i do think there are multiple programming languages available, and perhaps they are cross-platform. That seems like a step in the right direction too. 🙂

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