Today we speak with Bob Martin, a Senior Staff Engineer with Microchip. Bob is also known as ‘the wizard of make’, and today he’ll discuss his AltiumLive Keynote on October 11th in San Diego where he’ll teach on how to go from prototype to production with Arduino Board, transitioning it into a production-ready board that you can manufacture.

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Show Highlights:

  • Bob graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 1987 and spent his entire career in embedded systems, ending up at Microchip Technology with the unusual job title ‘Wizard of Make’ which originated at Atmel.
  • The title ‘Wizard of Make’ comes from a discussion to progress his job description at Atmel. Being enamored with makers, and a maker himself - he has attended every maker fair in the Bay Area since its inception. The word ‘wizard’ came from describing some of his talents.
  • Bob’s talk at AltiumLive will encompass the many facets of Arduino which enable rapid prototyping and doesn’t require starting designs over during transition to production. He will detail mostly the hardware aspects and how to make the transition to production easier.
  • Because of the complexity of systems and the need for rapid prototyping today, the ease of using products like Arduino are becoming more prevalent. You need to be able to talk to your electro-mechanical designer and be more involved in systems-down thinking.
  • Quick paths to production through Arduino: there are things that you need and others that you don’t and the keynote will explain what to keep and what to discard to ensure lower production costs.
  • Ben will also discuss concepts of testing: where to put test points and why they’re more cost-effective, as well as lowering BOM costs.
    Pete Wilson, from Microchip, will do another talk about dropping pre-certified RF models on designs.
  • The ecosystem of products like Adafruit, CircuitMaker, SparkFun, Pololu, MikroElektronika are all very easy to use, relatively inexpensive and almost plug and play, once again enabling rapid prototyping.
  • The name ‘Arduino’ is the name of a bar in a town in Italy where Massimo Banzi taught and they used to gather there to discuss the product. Arduino’s software system made things easy, leveling the embedded field.
  • Who would this talk be of interest to? Anyone who is interested will be enlightened about what, hardware-wise, makes an Arduino platform, and receive an extension of their knowledge about ACE (Arduino Component Elements).
  • What is a professional maker? The pro-maker could be an electrical or mechanical engineer or some other technologist who has recognized a problem or has an idea, using Arduino or a similar system to implement a solution, but in the back of their mind, there’s always the matter of the implications of going into production.
  • Eric Bogatin’s talk ‘A Downside of Open Source Designs’ fits in very well with Bob’s regarding the software component and what to look out for when using open-source designs.

Links and Resources:

History of Arduino
Jeremy Blum - Handheld shaper tool video


Learn, connect, and get inspired at AltiumLive 2019: Annual PCB Design Summit.

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