Open Source Wrap Up: May 22-29, 2015
Open Source Democratizes Prosthetics Development & Production
There have been a number of open source prosthetic projects that have emerged in recent years including the Open Hand Project and The Open Prosthetics Project. e-NABLE is yet another of these projects and includes more than 5,000 3D printing enthusiasts who volunteer their time and equipment to produce low-cost prosthetic arms and hands to people all over the world. These prosthetics are designed mostly as temporary solutions since they are made of plastic and aren’t very durable, but the low cost, adaptable nature has made them ideal for children who will need regular adjustments to the devices as they grow. Recently, volunteer Albert Manero designed and produced an Iron Man-themed prosthetic arm for a young fan of the series and even got Robert Downey Jr involved in presenting the arm to the boy.
The e-NABLE Community Foundation was recently the recipient of a $600,000 Google.org grant that will be used to expand the efforts of the community. They seek to draw in new designers, developers, producers, and participants in order to broaden the magnitude of their work. Stories like this demonstrate how valuable open source can be to diverse aspects of our society, and it is quite exceptional to see such a diverse range or participants in this project.
Google Releases Roboto Font as Open Source
Google originally released the Roboto font nearly four years ago as a part of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich release. It has since grown to be the default font for Android and Chrome OS, and has played a major role in Google’s Material Design Language. The company has now released this font as open source in addition to everything related to its production. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license which will allow designers to modify and redistribute the font freely.
LibreOffice Viewer for Android Released
LibreOffice is a popular, open source alternative to Microsoft office that can now be used to view their Open Document Format (ODF) documents on Android using a new LibreOffice Viewer app. It has experimental editing functionality that the organization seeks to improve in the future, and it can be downloaded on the official Google App Store or directly from the Open Document Foundation.
Linux and Yocto for Space Travel
NASA recently held a Space App challenge in which they invited people from around the world to develop devices and software to be used in space exploration. Two teams from San Francisco, Team ScanSat and team AirOS, built Yocto-based Linux software using the Intel Edison integrated computer. ScanSat built CubeSat, a satellite designed to launch from an interplanetary spacecraft to inspect the ship and other items of interest. AisOs built a sensor-laden augmented reality headgear device for NASA ground inspection personnel. Both projects are unique uses of both Yocto and Linux.