OSHWA certification - an ambition of the Let's steam project

The Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for open-source hardware, through the creation of a hub of open source hardware activities. It was established as an organization in June 2012 by engineer Alicia Gibb, who had been working on the Open Hardware Summit during her graduate study.

The OSHWA aims to foster technological knowledge and encourage research that is accessible, collaborative and respects user freedom. OSHWA’s primary activities include hosting the annual Open Hardware Summit and maintaining the Open Source Hardware certification, which allows the community to quickly identify and represent hardware that complies with the community definition of open-source hardware.

What is considered as "Open Source Hardware"?

"Open Source Hardware is a term for physical objectsmachines, devices, or other physical things — whose design has been released to the public in such a way that anyone can make, modify, distribute, and use them". Hence, open-source hardware is all about allowing others to build on and improve existing hardware. Making these objects available to others requires two steps: 1) making source files, bills of material, and other information about the hardware available to the public so that users understand how the hardware works, and 2) licensing the hardware in a way that allows others to make use of and build upon this information. Ideally, open-source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware. In the industrial area, open-source hardware gives people the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.

The OSHWA Certification

OSHWA Certification provides an easy and straightforward way for producers to indicate that their products meet a uniform and well-defined standard for open-source compliance. OSHWA certification for open source hardware gives users confidence that the definition of 'open source hardware' used by a specific project matches the community definition of open source. Discover the full list of certified Open Source Hardware by the OSHWA association here:

Open-source hardware in TheDexterLab

In the framework of TheDexterLab, the partners are committed to developing all project materials under open-source licences. Respectively, a deep analysis on the possibility to obtain OSHWA certification for TheDexterLab devices will be performed to enhance the project results dissemination to the large maker and open source community. To reach the commitments required by OSHWA, the partners will work on the 4 following aspects:

  • Hardware - The physical functional elements of the devices will be based on open-hardware components;

  • Software - Any code, firmware, or software involved in the hardware programming and use will be developed in open source and stored in open source repositories;

  • Documentation - Design files, schematics, instructions, etc. will be publicly available, all published in Creative Commons (CC BY SA) licence;

  • Branding - Brand names, product names, logos, and designs will be available as open-source or creative commons content.