Friday Hack Chat: Open Hardware For Science

From Brian Benchoff on the Hackaday blog:

Friday Hack Chat: Open Hardware For Science

Scientific equipment is expensive. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up a lab. Simply the cost of machines, like data acquisition units or even a simple load cell, can cost hundreds of dollars. This makes research cost prohibitive, and that’s the case even if you do spend a dozen hours a week writing grant proposals. Citizen science is right out, because the cost of the tools to do science is so high.

For this week’s Hack Chat, we’re going to be talking about Open Hardware for science. This is the chat that’s all about Open Source equipment, hardware modular electronics, and Open designs to make the tools that make science.

Our guest for this week’s Hack Chat is [Dr. Alexxai Kravitz]. He has a PhD in Neuroscience from UPenn and completed a postdoc at the Gladstone Institutes in San Fransisco. [Lex]’s research focuses on understanding the reward circuitry in the brain, and his publications use a variety of experiments to examine this, including behavioral testing, in vivo electrophysiology, and optogenetics.

For this Hack Chat, we’re going to about how Open Source has made more science possible. Of note, we’ll be discussing:

  • What Open Source science equipment is being used today
  • The initiatives behind Open Source Hardware for science applications
  • Scientific application that could benefit from Open Hardware

You are, of course, encouraged to add your own questions to the discussion. You can do that by leaving a comment on the Hack Chat Event Page and we’ll put that in the queue for the Hack Chat discussion.

Friday Hack Chat: Open Hardware For Science

DIY Scanning tunneling microscope

MatthiasR is building a scanning tunneling microscope:

DIY Scanning tunneling microscope

At the end of last year i started collecting information about needed system components like the vibration isolation, the tunneling current amplifier, the z-height controller, the coarse approach mechanism and so on

Here’s a video of his DIY vibration isolation system:

DIY Scanning tunneling microscope

Gathering for Open Science Hardware


The Gathering for Open Science Hardware (GOSH) is new annual conference for those building and using Open Source Hardware (OSHW)  for scientific research:

The GOSH movement seeks to reduce barriers between diverse creators and users of scientific tools to support the pursuit and growth of knowledge.

GOSH 2016 took place at CERN last March with an excellent keynote by Javier Serrano:

Open Hardware at CERN – a quick introduction


Video of talks at GOSH 2016:

GOSH 2016 Day 1 part 1: Grand Challenges

GOSH 2016 Day 1 part 2: Grand Challenges


You can apply to attend GOSH 2017, 22-25 March 2017 at the Innovation Centre at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile:

GOSH 2017 Application Form

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Gathering for Open Science Hardware

Portland Science Hack Day begins tonight

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Portland Science Hack Day at XOXO Outpost kicks off tonight after the Open Hardware Summit!  Opening Lightning Talks start at 7:15 pm:

Here are my slides on Open Source Hardware and Science [PDF]:

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Slides are also shared on SlideShare

Portland Science Hack Day begins tonight