Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Fundumoto motor shield

The Shield

If you are interested in Arduino robotics, animatronics or powered RC vehicles, you have probably run across the "Fundumoto" motor shield from Keyes. It's incredibly attractive for smaller builds of such things as it combines an L298 h-bridge motor driver, which many motor shields would have two of, with sensor headers for the rest of the unused pins, meaning ma of what you get from a typical sensor shield, at a cost in line with those shields. Since the facilities are perfectly adequate for those small builds, it allows you to do them with half the shields, lower cost, space, weight and power consumption. All good stuff!

Friday, September 15, 2017

Copies, clones & counterfeits

Motivation

In this day and age of miracle electronics at unbelievable prices from overseas manufacturers, the terms copy, clone and counterfeit get used a lot. Some of these items are incredibly popular, meaning there's a lot of money to be made. Some are open source hardware designs, making the legal situation unusual.

People seem to use these terms for emotional loading that reflects their view of the ethics more than from any concern for consistency. I'd therefore like to propose a standard for usage of terms that cover the spectrum of possibilities.

I'll comment on the legal issues as well, but avoid the ethics except for the extreme case. And in each case, provide a little buying advice.