Adding Linux to your Design

Linux can solve design problems related to user interface, connectivity, storage, resource management and more while opening up your design to be extended with an endless number of applications. At the same time, it adds complexity you need to manage. Building off BeagleBone Black’s open hardware reference materials can save you time, money and help you deliver the best experience to your end users. I’ll give you some background to help you figure out when you should simply embed an off the shelf Linux computer, build your own design off the latest Android tablet SoCs or start from the BeagleBone reference materials and community.

Hardware Entrepreneur Fairy Tales : Myths, Realities, and Opportunities!

Popular media loves to sell stories about an amazing hardware idea, its widely successful KickStarter campaign, and the line of VCs waiting to fund you. But what if your idea is amazing but maybe not a $250M market opportunity? Join a highly interactive discussion with entrepreneurs like you who have great startups (ideas) to better understand what the real journey and options are for your hardware idea, whether little, big, or just right.

Please note: Space is limited to 40 people for this extended workshop. You must register in advance for the workshop in addition to registering for MakerCon.

Makerspaces Breakout Session

Join a series of presenters who will speak on the subject of makerspaces.

The State of Makerspaces with Christina Hug. This session will present the stats from the 2nd annual State of Makerspaces survey conducted by The Makers Nation. A project that was first presented at the Fab10 conference in Barcelona in 2014. Drawing from survey responses, 1:1 interviews, and independent research projects, this presentation will highlight common business models, outreach tactics, challenges, and successes from makerspace and Fab Lab managers from around the world. Being the second iteration of the study this talk will also hope to identify key areas of progress and growth within participating maker communities.

Makerspaces in Established Organizations with Elizabeth Congdon. Last year, 70-year-old Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab launched a makerspace to spark innovation and help its staff tackle complex challenges in new and interesting ways. How can an established organization incite innovation by building a makerspace for free and open use by its employees? Is it possible to bring innovators across your organization together in one space to “make awesome happen”? How do you do this in an organization whose culture and playbook are decades old? What are the benefits and pitfalls? Come learn how to crash the party and disrupt your organization for the better by building a makerspace at work!

Building the Design/Fabrication Lab with Gary Rohrbacher. The Design/Fabrication Lab is an initiative to build an urban digital fabrication laboratory, school, and factory for the future. Based in Amsterdam, the D/F Lab endeavors to advance the Architecture Engineering Construction (AEC) Industry through applied research, construction manufacturing innovation, and maker-focused education. We envision an urban digital laboratory-school-factory that builds upon Amsterdam’s climate of design-driven, bottom-up, interdisciplinary, pragmatic applications, as well as The Netherlands’ well-established cultural and institutional infrastructure.

Product Design and Development Breakout Session

Tools and technology are changing the way products are designed and developed. This session will introduce you to some examples of DIY design process and tools available for iterating products through the development stages.

DIY Design Thinking: empowering your process with Kathryn McElroy. Learn how Design Thinking can take your DIY project to the next level. Through multiple example projects, you’ll learn specific tools to empower your prototyping and user testing, and improve your end product.

From Prototype to Product: Cost, Quality and Schedule with Scott Miller – So you’ve got a working prototype… now what? Taking your hardware product from garage to factory can be a stressful and costly step with countless unknowns. To successfully build a product, it’s essential to understand and control the manufacturing triangle: cost, quality and schedule. Join us for a discussion on the key factors that affect each point of the triangle and learn strategies to efficiently move through the manufacturing process.

How to Compile 100 pcs Hardware in 1 Day with Eric Pan. Bringing hardware prototype into production is like compiling a executable program, but taking years rather than minutes to accomplish. Open hardware and desktop equipment are enabling us build small batches with less and less efforts. We have been hacking manufacturing for years, now it might be high time to consider 1 day.

Making in Science Breakout Session

A panel of Makers will describe their inexpensive devices and techniques to bring neuroscience experimentation to the masses. These would include devices for direct (wired) neural interfaces to experimental models (like Backyard Brains’ SpikerBox), as well as non-invasive interfaces to the human nervous system, such as EEG recording and transcranial stimulation. In the Laboratory for Neuroengineering at Georgia Tech, we have developed a cape for the BeagleBone Black ARM® Cortex™-A8 processor, called “Puggle” ( to allow the citizen-scientist to both record and stimulate neural tissue cheaply and effectively.

Impact of Making Breakout

Making for Impact: DIY, Sustainability and the Future of Design with Dawn Danby. Energy hacks in Mexico, upcycled electronics in China, and urban agriculture in Cambridge? By pairing clever technology with thoughtful design, makers around the world are responding to shared challenges like energy and water scarcity and climate disruption. We’re facing an unimaginable raft of challenges, but solutions are everywhere: makers are exploring how to apply their new skills to deliver thoughtful, human-centered, environmentally considerate projects.

Outer Space to the Edge of Disaster; building Resiliency at the Extremes with Dara Dotz. Resilience, disrupting supply chains, and making for good in extreme environments. Dara will discuss a variety of projects that demonstrate creative innovation in extraordinary conditions.

Top 50 Game-Changing Technologies for Defeating Global Poverty with Shashi Buluswar. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab—along with USAID’s Global Development Lab, The Lemelson Foundation, The Schmidt Family Foundation, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, The Good Company and OMG—has put together a list of challenges primed for Makers to solve. They call these “Top 50 Game-Changing Technologies for Defeating Global Poverty.” These are summarized in a 20-page list, and then fully explored in the full 600-page report. They shared this list “because the problems we all seek to address require urgent action,” and they invite the problem-solvers of the world (you, dear readers!) to “begin the conversation.”