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The Mission of Public Invention is to “Invent in the public, for the public.

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Stories specific to a particular invention project

Our progress and plans: An open letter about the VentMon to donors and grantors

— Robert L. Read In June and July, Public Invention applied for and received two $20,000 grants, one from the Mozilla Open Source Software (MOSS) Foundation, and one from Protocol labs, specifically to develop, make, and give away free-of-charge, the “VentMon” tester for invasive and non-invasive ventilators. The MOSS foundation grant had stronger legal language …

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Videos from Vent-Con 2020 Available Now!

The videos from Vent-Con 2020 are available now! On May 21st, Public Invention co-hosted Vent-Con 2020–an Open Source Ventilator Conference–along with Helpful Engineering, Make.co, and Ventilators Collaboration Network. The mini-conference/webinar reviewed the impressive progress, discussed the uncertain present, and forged a path forward into the future for makers, philanthropists, investors, government officials, medical professionals, and …

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The Fuller Scale: A Unit of Humanitarian Invention Impact

Science is about truth; engineering is about compromise. At Public Invention, we do both, but perhaps more engineering than science. Our goal is to have a large positive impact on many people; but time and money are always in short supply.  How, then, to compromise on which projects to prioritize? In order to be able …

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Public Invention Project #40: A Wheel for Painting Very Thin Lines

“Oyarsa”, by Robert L. Read I probably should not have taken up oil painting; I have always admired art done with pen-and-ink, which produces very thin, precise lines. It is possible to make thin lines with oil paint, but it is difficult. One must either have a terribly steady hand with a very fine brush, …

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Project #7: Color-block Font for Writing

Color is vivid. Throughout recorded history, it has been expensive to produce color compared to monochrome design. Writing systems, which have been constantly evolving since their invention initiated recorded history, have generally been monochrome. But now color is cheap or free, which raises questions: Is the next evolution in writing systems in the direction of …

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Project #33: 3D Print Soft Robotics with PVA Molds filled with Silicone

Lately there has been a lot of interest in soft robotics. These tend to use pneumatics or hydraulics in fluid-tight chambers which change shape based on pressure. It is not easy to 3D print with flexible air-tight material. I have done it by using Ninja Flex and then treating it heavily with Methyl Ethyl Ketone …

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