Visit the forum instructions to learn how to post to the forum, enable email notifications, subscribe to a category to receive emails when there are new discussions (like a mailing list), bookmark discussions and to see other tips to get the most out of our forum!
Everywhere Tech - technology transfer project for open source hardware for humanitarian purposes
  • From
    Everywhere TechOpen Source Hardware Association & Open Materials
    The Everywhere Tech project focuses on connecting universal open source hardware tools/solutions with local specifications to help create resilient communities, starting with the ones with the most pressing needs.RationaleOne of the greatest promises of open source hardware (OSHW) is in allowing local production of goods when and where they are needed. While OSHW is already having an impact in several areas of manufacturing and encouraging local and distributed production, it hasn’t yet been effectively applied to assist communities with the most pressing needs, namely:
    Underprivileged communities and developing countries, which often struggle with poverty while having a wealth of natural resources at their disposal.Disaster areas where goods and services that are normally taken for granted are no longer available and become of vital importance: power generators, connectivity, emergency medical devices, transportation, water testing/filtering devices, etc.
    There are currently a few efforts in place that seek to apply open source hardware towards humanitarian aid, disaster relief and socio-economic challenges, such as:
    Ground Lab (recently deactivated)Akiba’s work with Safecast (open source geiger counter) and an open source weather monitor for Africa (under UNESCO)Open Source Ecology’s Global Village Construction SetRepRap, open source 3D printerJerry, the DIY ServerFairtrade ElectronicsProtei, open source oil-spill cleaning boatsSolarFlower, open source solar energy collectorThe Open Source Washing Machine Project Some efforts to create open source medical devicesLiteracy Bridge’s Talking Book
    However, a few obstacles stand between these endeavors and the communities who need them the most: they don't know that these solutions exist, they may not understand the language the plans are described in, they may not have the appropriate hardware/software to download and read the plans, they may not have the tools and materials nor the skills to build the devices.
    The Everywhere Tech project, created under the umbrella of Open Materials (oM) and the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), seeks to address some of these challenges and respond to local needs with local resources by shipping plans and knowledge instead of fully assembled devices/goods. If the knowledge and skills needed to build devices reside within the communities that use them this will ensure: replicability of the devices, longer lasting devices which can be locally repaired, solutions better adapted to available materials and uses.

  • 3 Comments sorted by
  • We seek to do this by:
    Connecting open source hardware projects with the communities that need them the most.Connecting open source hardware projects with each other to arrive at hybrid solutions.Translating files and instructions into appropriate formats and languages. The goal is to eventually arrive at a graphic-based (IKEA-like) format that can be universally accessed and interpreted.Identifying appropriate platforms for delivering the plans taking into account that CAD software and computers are often not available. Two existing options for this are HowDo and Alchematter.In cases where the required materials are locally available, assist communities in building the first prototype, making sure they can replicate it on their own.In situations where the materials or tools are not locally available, collaborate in redesigning the devices so they're better adapted to local uses and materials. The goal is to make OSHW designs as materials-agnostic as possible. In the process, we also seek to learn about alternative and more sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.Where possible, use hackerspaces as hubs for distribution of knowledge and plans, as well as building sites.Challenges
    Creating and implementing a sustainable business model. The project will kick off with grants, donations from OSHW companies, and crowdfunding, but should become self-sustained as soon as possible. So far, the most common OSHW business model has been that of traditional manufacturing: manufacture goods and sell them. This is one possible way to finance the project. However, different approaches should be explored.
    Making local production possible, efficient and affordable enough. Many humanitarian aid projects found it to be cheaper and more efficient to manufacture goods elsewhere and then ship them to the areas where they are needed. One project in particular opted for having the designs created in the US, manufactured in small shops in China (thus supporting small manufacturers in this country) and shipped to Africa. However, this approach comes short in that it not only creates relationships of external dependence, as opposed to independence and resilience, but also does not ensure that the knowledge and tools needed to repair and adapt the devices are locally available.
    Addressing situations in which there isn’t an appropriate open source hardware project. Possible approaches: 1) Establish partnerships so other OSHW organizations and producers take on the design; 2) Design it in-house.
  • Hello Elifarley and OSE.

    I am keen to get involved with the above work.   I have been coordinating the development of on an open collaboration platform for OSH with Practical Action UK, Green FabLab and IAAC Fablab Barcelona.  A network of distributed innovators, local makers in europe and a plethora of NGO's from around the world are already involved.   

    The ultimate aim is to provide mechanisms to generate local solutions through the OSH development model, to tackle humanitarian issues, generate sustainable and attainable solutions and build on the capacities of local producers everywhere. Our work also embraces concepts of open innovation, mass customisation and local manufacturing,  We are currently programming our beta version called "the-LABs".  How can we collaborate, join forces and generally be of service? I would like to bring what we have done already to the OSE table and see where we can take it. 

    I have an introduction page on the OSE site... I will go back and do some updating
    PS.. not to late to say happy new year! 
  • Some interesting Links and possible supporters:

    This one is from the World Bank .. It looks at maximising the potentials of transfer through Mobile Devices in the global south.
    There is a particularly interesting section on agriculture which could be useful for connecting communities to the GVCS.

    The second doc is by the ITU and is packed full of juicy stats. 

    Love the look of alchematter! 


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Login with Facebook Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID Sign In with Twitter

In this Discussion