(Project proposals involving self-replicating machines have moved to the self-replicating machines page)
2) Atomic force microscope (AFM). An AFM can be built with household and consumer components to explore the world of atoms via sharp, pointed tips. Usually costing $20,000 or more, a cheap, well-designed, open-source AFM would bring global progress to the world of nanotechnology. $2,500.
3) High-Performance Liquid Chromatography. In the do-it-yourself biology community, one of the shared goals is genetic engineering and synthetic biology. The most popular biotech target of genetic engineering is proteins, which must be purified via a chromatography technique. Commercial-grade chromatography machines cannot be 'hacked' and are closed to tinkering, and an open source version will catalyze science in important ways. $4,000.
4) NanoEngineer is the world's first open-source nanotech CAD suite with similar look-and-feel to SolidWorks. Beginning in 2004, Nanorex funded a team of programmers to develop NanoEngineer, eventually closing down in 2009. The software was open-source, and the development environment has since been made completely open source. While the software has a lot of potential, it does require some weekly and monthly dedication to maintaining the servers, fixing bug reports, and directing the future of the platform. We would like to hire 1 or 2 programmers to keep track of this either on a part-time or full-time basis, possibly a member from the Russian Transhumanist Movement organization. $10,000.
on the web: http://nanoengineer-1.com/
5) Wearable computer + heads-up display. A wearable computer with a "scouter" (such as the commercial-grade Myvu glasses) can be built on top of the open Beagleboard platform. While the technology for wearable computers has been around forever, there has been no significant open-innovation community built around the technology. Smartphones have taken the industry by surprise in the past 5 years and will continue to be a dominant market force in future technology. Certain projects unfinished projects can be completed with even ~$500 in additional funding. To execute well, $2500.
6) HeeksCAD ( http://heekscad.org/ ) or BRLCAD ( http://brlcad.org ) is free, open-source CAD. The world of hobbyist hardware development tends to rely on torrented copies of SolidWorks, AutoCAD or Alibre Design. Bringing professional software development would help accelerate bug fixes and bringing HeeksCAD up a notch in quality. $10,000.
7) DNA synthesizer. Synthetic biology has shown that the future of genetic engineering is both reading and writing of the genome. Over 30 companies have pivoted themselves for next-generation DNA sequencing. However, there has been little innovation on the synthesis (or writing) of DNA. In addition, costs are still relatively high at $0.30/bp. Beyond the usual benefits of open source tech, a DNA synthesizer can help accelerate the market towards an open platform and open innovation, including pivoting for next-generation DNA synthesis. $20,000.
8) Spectrophotometer. In a biology lab, a Nanodrop can cost upwards of $10,000 to $20,000. Identifying the spectrum that an object or protein reflects is a common lab procedure. Nathan McCorkle is working on an open-source spectrophotometer that would be assembled and shipped at a target price of $300 to $700 per unit max. While spectrophotometer plans are available on the web, there is no project that is coordinating the development activities or providing a usable system. $2,000.
10) Microfluidics part library. Microfluidics is commonly called "lab on a chip" and offers interesting diagnostic and synthesis capabilities to individuals who cannot afford high-priced lab equipment. A library of physical components like jig-saws can be placed together to form new experiments and productive capacities. John Griessen out of Austin, Texas. $5,000.
12) Full-time employee working specifically on hardware projects. There are a number of candidates for this position. Given a salary and a budget, their task is to build open source hardware projects, DIYbio projects, open transhuman tech projects, and generally contribute to the ecosystem that is developing on the web. For this reason, job candidates must already have a machine shop and lab to work in, as well as a proven track record of open source hardware contributions to the commons. There are a number of different scenarios, like $30k salary with $20k budget and specific project management goals that can be explored prior to funding.
13) BioCurious ( http://biocurious.org/) is a hackerspace for DIY transhumanism projects and open innovation located in the Bay Area. In 2010 they raised $35k on Kickstarter from 200 donators to establish a physical space. More funding is sought to cover rent payments, buy used and new equipment, and hold training/classes. $100,000.
14) Buy a lobbyist to get the National Fab Lab Network Act of 2010 to go through the House of Representatives, and other motions that are in direct support of open source hardware. The Fab Lab Network Act specifically calls for the creation of 1 fablab or hackerspace per 700,000 U.S. citizens, so approximately 407 community hackerspaces by 2015. $150,000??
15) 3D printer for tissue engineering and tissue printing. Jordan Miller, Ph.D, out of University of Pennsylvania's Chen Lab has been working on a 3D printer for tissue engineering, which is coming up for publication in a scholarly journal. The work is open source but not yet commercialized or publicly released. However, tissue engineering has an important future and an open platform can allow an entire industry to spring up around developments on a compatible, open platform. Funding is needed to make bring $50,000.
16) Hackerspace Franchise Kit & Seed Fund. Hackerspaces are growing wildly. The business model is to make a public community for building projects in a collaborative environment. A franchise kit would allow more hackerspaces to be deployed based on standard hardware projects freely available on the web. By franchising this and making it easily accessible, easier to find and apply for insurance, more hackerspaces and opportunities can be created. This could also serve as a hackerspace seed fund to help spaces start up and grow membership revenue. $60,000.
17) Uncertain Future project. This is a web application from Singularity Institute that aims to help people make more rational predictions about the future given different rates of progress in AI, intelligence enhancement and other transhuman technologies. Further development will take Uncertain Future on to the mobile web platform with standard HTML5, verify and improve the fundamental math, and turn the website into a community. $15,000.
Starting in 2008, the project has been written up in at least one scholarly publication, as well as announced publicly on H+ Magazine: