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About OHO Open Hardware Observatory

From OHO - search engine for sustainable open hardware projects

What is OHO?

www.oho.wiki (OHO) is a platform that supports, improves and publicises sustainable Open Hardware projects. Open Hardware refers to technologies and products whose documentation (plans, parts lists, etc.) are freely available so that individuals and companies can replicate and further develop them. OHO was founded with the support of the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and is a spin-off of the non-profit organisation Source Ecology Germany e.V.

Why does OHO exist?

The starting point of OHO is the fact that there are thousands of Do it Yourself and Open Hardware projects worldwide. These projects can make an important contribution in terms of sustainable development and job creation in small enterprises. However, more than 95% of these projects are poorly documented or not documented at all. This means that there are no construction plans and parts lists. Therefore other people cannot rebuilt or modify them, or only with great effort. In addition, many of these projects are published on small unknown websites, are only published in one language, and are therefore difficult to find.

On the other hand, there is a huge need for good Open Hardware projects, e.g. in the fields of renewable energies, environmental technologies, technologies for small industries, etc. Here, Open Hardware projects can give important impulses for sustainable economic activity and create millions of new jobs. Especially in developing countries, where access to affordable technologies and product ideas is much more limited than in industrialized countries, Open Hardware can be an effective strategy for technology transfer and sustainable economic growth.

What does OHO do?

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OHO aims to contribute to this in the following ways:

  • Development of standards for the documentation and certification of Open Hardware projects e.g. through the DIN Spec 3105, developed together with the German Institute for Standardisation.
  • Registration and categorization of Open Hardware and Do it Yourself projects through a specially developed search engine.
  • Creation of CAD files, technical drawings, and parts lists of selected Open Hardware projects.
  • Certification of the selected projects, where the projects are checked by experienced designers for safety, quality, robustness, licensing, etc.
  • Promotion and dissemination of the selected projects together with other organizations, such as Wikipedia, etc.

Achievements of OHO so far?

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The following milestones have been achieved since OHO was founded in 2019:

  • Development of the OHO search engine.
  • Development of DIN Spec 3105
  • Development of the OHO certification platform
  • Development of the OHO Standards for Technical Documentation.
  • Cooperation with various governmental and private organizations
  • Acquisition of first grants
  • Establishment of the OHO CAD Centre with several experienced engineers

What happens next?

Projects

We are currently in the process of documenting and certifying the first reference projects. By the end of 2021, we will put as many well-documented open hardware projects as possible online on OHO. One focus will be the area of renewable energies.

Community

We will lay the foundation for the OHO community, and try to get as many hardware developers as possible to publish their projects cleanly documented under free licenses.

Publication of projects

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An important goal is that as many people as possible have access to the information on OHO. To this end, we will cooperate with a number of other organizations, such as Wikipedia. Furthermore, we will set up various social media channels that will allow us to connect directly with the developers and users of Open Hardware.

The vision

Our vision is to create an international community of people that - similar to Wikipedia - builds and develops a knowledge platform for free sustainable technical knowledge. And that this platform in the same way as Wikipedia is available to all people worldwide in many languages and thus contributes to making technical and economic development on our planet more sustainable.

The key objectives of OHO are:

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Target groups

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Individuals who

  • would like to replicate projects for their own use
  • would like to develop projects further

Start-ups, small or medium-sized enterprises who

  • want to replicate and market projects
  • want to further develop existing products

Organisations from the fields of

  • Open Source Hardware, Do it Yourself, FabLab etc.
  • Sustainable development
  • Development cooperation, Development aid
OPEN HARDWARE OBSERVATORY 2020
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