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Robert L. Read, PhD, has been a free software fan since 1988, and has taken that passion with him into director-level positions in the software industry and a Presidential Innovation Fellowship. His current project, Public Invention, aims to spur a movement for free hardware inventions, and in the last year, has dedicated itself to a goal of free-as-in-freedom ventilators, to save lives during the coronavirus epidemic.
This talk focuses on Public Invention’s efforts to coalesce the hundreds of attempts to create free/libre solutions for the ventilator shortage. Their conclusion is that the overall effect was mixed in terms of success developing ventilators, but very successful in advancing the global free hardware community.