The Oak product family from Toradex is a range of USB interfaced sensors and actuators that can be connected to a wide variety of different USB host devices, instantly extending the host’s capability to interface with the environment.
Over the last few years, the wide variety of different Oak products have found their way into a diverse range of applications. We have had close contact with different customers using them for all sorts of purposes, from professionals in laboratory automation to hobbyists interfacing them with the latest Android smartphones. This has given us the opportunity to gain a large amount of feedback and understand what our customers would like to see us do next with this product range.
One piece of feedback we received time and time again was that customers would like to be able to modify individual Oak sensors for their own purposes. Whether this is changing the hardware configuration to fit mechanically into a different enclosure or developing custom firmware for the device to support a custom feature, it became clear that it is this flexibility that customers really wanted to see.
So the question to us then became how could we continue to best support our customers with this product line by enabling them to do the various changes and tweaks they would like? We would love to be able to support each and every customer’s request, but unfortunately, even our resources are finite. So, we have decided that in order to best support our customers we are going to make the entire Oak product family Open Source.
That’s right, you read that correctly. From the beginning of December Toradex will be putting the entire Oak product range into the hands of the open source community. We feel that this will really put the power of the Oak product line into the hands of our customers. We will be publishing all design and manufacturing data relating to each and every Oak product on our developer website under the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
This design data will include a wealth of different resources to allow you to customise the devices as much as you like, such as Gerber files and BOM (Bill of Materials) for manufacturer, hardware design schematics, and source code, amongst others.
Customers will be free to take this design data and modify it as required and manufacturer the devices independently. We don’t expect you to give us back any changes you make, or force you to share with anyone else – any changes you decide to make are yours to keep. But if you feel like sharing with other people, then we would be very happy for you to do this as well. The only small thing we ask is that the original work remains attributed to Toradex.
As ownership and maintenance of the Oak product range will now lie with the Open Source community, it does not make sense for Toradex to continue to manufacture and supply any Oak product variants. We will continue to serve customers from stock on a first come first serve basis, but once individual Oak products have sold out, we will no longer be able to supply them in any quantity.
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