DIY Hardware with Bug Labs

Wired – Beyond the Beyond: Open-Source Hardware Raises Its Ugly, Homemade Head


This is DIY Radio Shack meets open-source coding in the form of your own personalized “Bug”. What is it? It can be any sort of electronic device you need. For CEO Peter Semmelhack, he needed a wireless GPS device to keep track of his family in the wake of 9/11. They didn’t have those back then and he couldn’t build one either. Out of those kinds of frustrations he founded Bug Labs to enable people to do that. You design your own device from their modular devices and code the hardware together using their open-source, web-enabled, modular software and hardware platform. Homemade iPhone anyone?? I don’t think Apple has anything to worry about . . . just yet.

So it works like this – Starting off with a Bugbase, a minicomputer on Linux, you can add different devices however you want, kind of like adding Lego pieces to create your ultimate monster. A mashup of electronics. They’ll first release a GPS system, camera, motion sensor and LCD screen, with new modules released every quarter.

I sure like Legos, but unfortunately I’m not that technically inclined to write code. I’m keen to learn though. In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep an eye out on what those early adopters out there create. I do think it’s great giving the tools and accessibility for people to create what they want – the ultimate in personalization.

We like them because they share the same philosophy as we do: empowering users to design their own devices. While theirs is hardware, ours is everything but. And thanks, Bruce for your suggestion on making Ponoko shells for their Bugs. What a great idea!