Two Open Hardware Robotics Companies Near $1 Million in Revenue

Open Hardware Creative Commons

Phillip Torrone (senior editor of Make Magazine) and Limor Fried (aka Lady Ada), both of AdaFruit Industries, gave a talk at O'Reilly's Foo Camp East 2010 that unveiled the financials of two robotics-related open hardware projects.  First, DIYDrones -- founded by Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson and makers of open hardware UAV components like autopilots and IMUs  -- is approaching $1M in revenue (est. 2010).  Second, MakerBot -- an open hardware 3D printer and purveyors of an online 3D design repository called Thingiverse -- has surpassed $1M in revenue.  Looks like open hardware is really starting to gain momentum.

For those not in the know, open hardware (aka "open source hardware") is a relatively new movement in the open-source community that takes openness to a whole new level: all design elements (electrical, mechanical, firmware, and software) are broadly disseminated free of charge using an "open source" license such as creative commons.  Honestly, learning tricks and tips by scanning functional open hardware designs is one of the best self-education resources available, whether learning robotics or electronics.   Just a few examples include: Arduino, SparkFun, Chumby, Beagle Board, AdaFruit Industries, DIY Drones, MakerBot, Maker Shed Store, etc.

Check out Phillip's / Limor's talk below, or view the slides.


Here are the two slides of note:

DIY Drones' Open Hardware Revenues

MakerBot's Open Hardware Revenues