This week we have been reading a new paper "Open Hardware: From DIY trend to global transformation in access to laboratory equipment" by Tobias Wenzel. Tobias Wenzel is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile. The paper is linked below.
The author examined global trends in DIY technology use by searching scientific publications using keywords "Arduino" or "Raspberry Pi" and comparing the global distribution to total publications. Interestingly, the author noticed that:
"The countries visibly over-represented among those publishing studies that mention DIY technology tend to be located in regions of the world with fewer science resources" - Wenzel, 2023, PLoS, Biol 21(1)
This suggests that low-resourced countries are adopting DIY technology earlier and/or faster than more well-resourced countries, something we also noticed when we were reviewing Rodeostat publications. The author goes into more detail around possible reasons for this trend beyond affordability. He also covers open hardware trends in biology labs, barriers to adopting open hardware and provides a table of open hardware companies relevant for biology labs, including IO Rodeo! The paper is a super interesting read, we recommend checking it out if you have time.
One of the most fun aspects of developing open hardware is learning how and where our designs are being used. For example, we have learned over the years that approximately half of our network (customers + non-customers) are from countries outside the US, where we are based. The pie-chart below represents our international network from 33 different countries in the last 6 months.
ICYMI: Upcoming presentation
We will be presenting at a GOSH Community Call on Monday February 13th. Registration is open to everyone and is free to attend. We will be talking about our experiences running an open hardware science business.