Generally being open source is a description for software and computer programs. What should be called a hardware device, robot, etc. that people could freely take benefits of that and manipulate its operations, algorithms and control mechanisms?

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    I'd still call that open source. The ‘source’ doesn't have to be source code: it can be a source design, mechanism, content, etc. There may be a more specific term that I'm not aware of, but I don't think too many people would look askance at you if you just called it open source. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 6:34
  • @JanusBahsJacquet, Thanks for the comment, but isn't there any problem with this term in the scientific community?
    – Eilia
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:12
  • Not that I'm aware of. There may be in some scientific circles, but none that I've circled in. Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:23
  • Do you mean that everyone can come along and change the same robot, or that everyone can build their own robot using the freely available plans and instructions? Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:31
  • @MaxWilliams, Anyone can submit his designed algorithm (robot control, navigation and path planning) to apply on real robot, then he will receive the result.
    – Eilia
    Commented Jul 7, 2016 at 7:43

1 Answer 1


Open-source hardwareWikipedia

Open-source hardware (OSH), consists of physical artifacts of technology designed and offered by the open design movement. Both free and open-source software (FOSS) as well as open-source hardware is created by this open-source culture movement and applies a like concept to a variety of components.

It is sometimes, thus, referred to as FOSH (free and open-source hardware). The term usually means that information about the hardware is easily discerned so that others can make it - coupling it closely to the maker movement. Hardware design (i.e. mechanical drawings, schematics, bills of material, PCB layout data, HDL source code and integrated circuit layout data), in addition to the software that drives the hardware, are all released under free/libre terms.

The original sharer gains feedback and potentially improvements on the design from the FOSH community. There is now significant evidence that such sharing can drive a high return on investment for investors.

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