Open Source Hardware Camp 2017 & Wuthering Bytes, 1st-10th September

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Andrew Back

Jun 2, 2017, 4:09:34 AM6/2/17
to Milton Keynes makerspace

The programme has just been announced for Open Source Hardware Camp 2017, with 8 talks and 6 workshops confirmed and a few more TBC. As ever, some really great topics being covered.

Should you be interested in giving a talk please drop me a line off-list via

As in previous years, there will be a social event on the Saturday evening and OSHCamp is once again being hosted to coincide with the Wuthering Bytes technology festival. You're encouraged to check the website for details of other participating events, as some are likely to be of interest.

We have some fantastic talks lined up for Festival Day, including a keynote from Dr David Hartley FBCS on the early history of computing in Britain, and one on particle accelerators (with live demo!)




    Open Source Hardware Camp 2017

On the 2nd September 2017, 09:00 Saturday morning - 16:00 on the Sunday
afternoon at The Birchcliffe Centre, Birchcliffe Road, Hebden Bridge,
West Yorkshire, HX7 8DG, UK.


Open Source Hardware Camp 2017 will take place place in the Pennine town
of Hebden Bridge. For the fifth year running it is being hosted as part
of the Wuthering Bytes technology festival.

Hebden Bridge is approximately 1 hour by rail from Leeds and Manchester.
Budget accommodation is available at the Hebden Bridge Hostel which
adjoins the venue, with private rooms available and discounts for group
bookings. Details of other local accommodation can be found at

There will be a social event on the Saturday evening from 8PM.

*** Saturday :: Talks ***

— An introduction to RISC-V, a Free and Open RISC Instruction Set

An Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) defines the interface between a
computer's hardware and software, the valid instructions that the
machine may execute. Unlike other ISAs (such as those from ARM, MIPS,
Intel, etc.), the RISC-V ISA is provided under an open-source licence,
giving anyone the freedom to create a RISC-V implementation.

This freedom has enabled a proliferation of RISC-V implementations for a
wide range of applications, from small 32-bit embedded cores up to
complex 64-bit multicore superscalar designs. As RISC-V is a relatively
new ISA, there are many parts of the ecosystem such as compilers,
assemblers, simulators, debugging tools, and other supporting
infrastructure in rapid concurrent development.

This talk gives an overview of the RISC-V ISA, and takes a look at some
of the more interesting RISC-V cores. We will take a short look at the
present state of the RISC-V software ecosystem, and try to predict where
we will see RISC-V implementations used in the future.

* Dr Graham Markall has a background in languages and compilers for
scientific computing, and is well known for his work on the Numba
project. He is part of Embecosm’s GNU tool chain team, where his current
projects include the implementation of security enhancements to the GCC
and LLVM compilers for RISC-V and ARM, and the development a GCC-based
toolchain for a customised RISC-V processor.

— Artificial intelligence and Machine learning for embedded systems

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) allow technology
to automate what was previously considered unique to human intelligence,
we already see this in big data with image classification, speech
recognition and sentiment analysis to name just a few applications. How
will this effect embedded systems and hardware, what part can open
source play in this emerging area by embedding intelligence or intuition
into future products.

Alan will provide an overview the current state of machine learning and
inference techniques used within embedded applications, he will show how
open source software and hardware can be used to apply these ML
techniques into embedded and robotics and projects.

Areas covered will include Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), Recurrent
Neural Networks (RNN), Reinforcement Learning (RL) along with
differences between training and inference deployments. Alan will also
discuss some emergent AI hardware areas such as energy efficient
neuromorphic computation and processing which can perhaps commodify AI
over the coming decades.

With both open source software and hardware we are poised to rapidly
advance both education, experimentation and development of machine
learning into working embedded automation, there could not be a better
time to get into this emerging area of technology.

* Alan Wood has been working with parallel distributed programming for
several decades. His recent work includes smart grids, 3D printers,
robotics, automation and biotec diagnostics. His current research is
focused on machine learning for embedded automation using FPGA, CSP and
Neural Turing Machines. He is a long term advocate of open source
communities, a moderator (aka Folknology) for xCORE, the co-founder of
myStorm open hardware FPGA community, as well as a co-founder of Surrey
and Hampshire Makerspace.

— So you decided to run a workshop

Over the past year many fixes/improvements/bug reports have been made
for the NetBSD workshop to run smoothly. This talk covers the changes
which go in to a project to insure a workshop goes smoothly on the day,
how a workshop evolved, and what was done to prevent the same issues

* Sevan Janiyan is founder of Venture 37, which provides system
administration & consultancy services. As a fan of operating systems and
computers with different CPU architectures, in his spare time he
maintains builds of open source software on a variety of systems
featuring PowerPC, SPARC and armv7l CPUs. He hopes to own a NeXTcube &
OMRON LUNA-88K2 one day.

— An Introduction to Open Source for Film production : From Sensor to Post

This discussion will be based on the future of Open Source and its
relationship wth Film & TV Production. New colour developments through
ACES (Academy Color Encoding System) and new approaches by vendors such
as Blackmagic and, of course, Blender, we are seeing a wider adoption of
Open Source.

We will discuss ACES and Apertusº Axiom OS camera and see where the
future may lie regarding OS and Film Production.

* Daniel Mulligan started in cameras (assisting and focus pulling),
before then graduating up the ranks to Camera Operating for F1, BBC
Dramas then 2nd Unit Cinematography for Feature Theatrical Productions.

Daniel also started and privately ran a rental house supplying digital
cameras, plus an onset/location company providing location post and
digital camera workflows. This culminated just recently with a 2-3 year
stint at Technicolor as their locations digital dailies supervisor,
looking after projects such as Jupiter Ascending, Mortdecai and The Man
from UNCLE.

Now running new Companies for Open Source Cinema and an imaging research
Company called Cine Imaging Lab, Daniel is also writing new Courses for
the University of Portsmouth for both Undergraduate and Masters Degree
in Imaging Science and consulting for image workflows for Post
Production and VFX Houses.

During this time Daniel has seen a few changes and re-iterations of the
current digital workflows and it has struck him over time how much we do
rely on proprietary systems for most delivery. And perhaps quite rightly
so, as the delivery requirements for VFX to DI, to onset LUTs and more
need that service.

— Some micro:bit stories

Lawrence recently helped the BBC and a consortium of partner companies
produce the micro:bit. He thinks there are some stories worth telling
about the instigation and development of the product.

- BBC micro:bit grew from the passion of real people, not publicity
- Asking for a few million pounds is quite fun
- Shenzhen may be fast, but ShenFen is pretty good too
- Engineers like the probably-impossible
- Some cost and design decisions
- Your support would be much appreciated

* Lawrence Archard grew up among heterodyne whistles of an amateur radio
rig hand-built by his grandad, who started him off building a
two-transistor musical oscillator. That led to him studying Music
Technology at Keele University, then Electronics primarily as an excuse
to stay there. After a spell designing synthesizers, he had to get a
'proper job' with a consultancy developing high-volume, cost-sensitive
products across a range of industries - music, toys, construction,
medical, office and kitchen appliances. He became an early proponent of
IoT (but not for the fridge ordering milk) and left to work with an
informal group of associates in 2000. As DevelAngel, Lawrence acts as
interim CTO or project manager for angel and VC-funded startups. For
mainstream R&D-for-hire, there is sister entity uPBeat Product Development.

— Robot Operating System

Robot Operating System is 8 years old, and despite the fact that it
isn't actually an operating system has become the default platform for
robotic research in Universities around the world.

I will talk about the recent version of their turtlebot platform that
has made the hardware side much more open, and may attempt a live demo.
It might even work this time. In addition I will also talk about ROS2,
the next version that is currently in development.

* Nick Weldin initiated the first public Arduino course in the UK in
2005, because he didn't want to program PIC chips on the accounts
computer at work after everyone else had gone home any more, and he
couldn't get his boss to send him to the Arduino course that was running
in Spain. When Tinker London started up he joined them and ran courses
teaching Arduino wherever anyone was interested. He is co-author of the
Arduino Cookbook and now works for Middlesex University.

— BuggyAir for mobile personal pollution exposure monitoring

Last year we did a trial of a consortium project called BuggyAir for
mobile personal pollution exposure monitoring. This was based on GSM
comms using a smartphone for that and GPS. This year we have made a
second version with LoRaWAN comms and tested this in London. We have
also demonstrated an initial version with a choice of the two comms
approaches. We are about to do another trial in Cambridge and our
partners are also working on another version of the hardware to make it
smaller and lighter without compromising the sensor precision.

* Paul Tanner is a consultant, developer and maker in wood, metal,
plastic, electronics and software. His day job has evolved from IT-based
business improvement for SMEs to a specialisation in Internet of Things
system development. By night he turns energy nut, creating tools to
optimise energy use and for "assistive" applications. Paul graduated in
electronics and was responsible for hardware and software product
development and customer services in several product and service
start-ups, forming his consulting firm Virtual Technologies in 2000.

— Computer Science from the Ground Up

As computers become increasingly sophisticated, it is difficult for
students of computing science and electronic engineering to gain a broad
enough understanding of the technology to fully grasp the underlying
principles of some modern devices. In his presentation, Ken takes you
back to when computers were much simpler, and proposes that with the
help of practical learning by doing, and a bottom up approach, there is
a better way of teaching the next generation of engineers.

* Ken Boak built his first computer from a kit, aged 17 when he should
have been revising for A Levels. Despite mediocre A level grades, Ken
got a 1st class degree in electronic engineering in 1986 and went on to
work on early experimental HDTV systems at BBC Research Department. In
the last 30 years, and 10 subsequent jobs, Ken has encountered much of
the fabric of the Digital Revolution - but chosen to ignore 95% of it -
and now spends quality time on a narrow boat in Hebden Bridge.

*** Sunday :: Workshops ***

— Debugging and Troubleshooting Projects with OpenScope MZ

Participants learn how to connect a portable multi-function programmable
instrumentation module to computer (through WiFi or a USB cable) to
acquire, analyze, visualize, and control signals from circuits, sensors,
and other electronic devices.

Run by: engineers from Digilent

— An introductory workshop to NetBSD on embedded platforms

An introductory workshop to NetBSD in the context of developing embedded
platforms. NetBSD is a fully featured operating system with great
agility that has been around for many many years. This workshop is
intended to introduce some of the features which are available in the
operating system as standard. We'll explore how to go from obtaining the
source code to building the operating system, cover features which
simplify working with the system, how accessible it is without resorting
to installing third party software or writing any C.

In this workshop participants will learn how to use the LoRaWAN
development shield based on the Microchip RN2483 LoRaWAN module. This
comes with a number of basic sensors, while the shield also includes
additional Arduino headers so you can add your own sensor shields and

Topics we will cover:

1. Cross compilation support with
2. File tamper detection / execution prevention with Veriexec
3. High-level access to subsystems e.g exploring GPIO via Lua
4. Rapid development with Rumpkernel

Participants should bring:

* A laptop (Macos, Linux or Windows (windows 10 specifically))
* ARM board (Pi or BeagleBoneBlack and such)
* USB->TTL for serial access

Run by: Sevan Janiyan

— Robot Operating System - a practical intro

This will be a practical hands on session getting started with using ROS
to get robots to do things. You will learn about what a ROS system is
how to ineract with it, and write basic code to work within a ROS
system. We will look mostly at mobile robots, and will spend time
looking at mapping and autonomous navigation.

We will have a few robots and sensors on hand to get practical
experience with. You will also learn about using robot simulators with
ROS, so that you can carry on experimenting after the workshop even if
you don't have access to a robot.

You will need to bring a computer to work with. ROS currently runs
primarily on Ubuntu. We will have virtual machine images with ROS
installed that you can use.

No knowledge of ROS is assumed, but some experience using the command
line and python would be useful.

Run by: Nick Weldin

— Open Source Applications for Feature Film Workflows: Demonstrating an
entire 4K/HD workflow from the sensor to dailies and Post Production

We will firstly be demonstrating the Axiom 4K Open Source camera from
Apertusº. The camera has a 4K CMV12000 sensor that is entirely Open
which allows us the opportunity to create a camera unencumbered by
proprietary restrictions.

Recording live 1080p30 video and capturing 4K images as RAW snap12 files
we can demonstrate how the RAW imaging can be processed and turned into
usable 4K images with correct colour applied for Post. We can process
then to Log-C encoded imaging for full information for the Grading

Next will be a look at the imaging as it is processed digitally. By
using a digital Lab system we can then playback the captured images and
produce our final desired deliverable.

Run by: Daniel Mulligan

— Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

This workshop will take participants through an ML/AI based embedded
application, you will need a Raspberry Pi and something to communicate
with it (Laptop etc..).This will provide a lightning hands on intro to
using embedded AI.

Run by: Alan Wood

— Assembling the OSHCamp kit

Get help with soldering this year's kit.

* Chelsea Back is a trainee engineer and is working towards a degree in
Electronic Engineering. She enjoys building microcontroller projects and
teaching people how to solder, is a student member of the IET and a STEM


* There are separate tickets for Saturday and Sunday.
* A light lunch and refreshments will be provided each day.
* Please aim to arrive between 09:00 and 09:15 on the Saturday as the
event will start at 09:20 prompt.

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