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Tuesday, April 1 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Michael Barr,
CTO and Co-Founder, Barr Group
KILLER APPS: Embedded Software's Greatest Hit Jobs

Between 1985 and 1987, in at least 6 distinct accidents, the Therac-25 radiation therapy machine delivered up to 100 times the prescribed radiation dose, resulting in injury and death. These high-profile accidents demonstrated that embedded software can be dangerous, even lethal. In the decades since, and despite increasing regulation, safety-critical system failures have continued to kill people. Safety standards and guidelines have been ratified and promoted, but are not mandated or followed in all industries. As embedded software's size and complexity continue to increase rapidly, user safety increasingly relies upon safe and reliable firmware implementations. Nowhere is this more evident than in the automotive industry, where self-driving vehicles are a much-hyped and potentially invaluable part of our future. Join keynote speaker Michael Barr for an engaging discussion of the past, present, and future of embedded software safety.

Michael Barr is the CTO and co-founder of Barr Group, an embedded systems consulting firm based in Maryland. Mr. Barr is an electrical engineer, experienced embedded software developer, and former adjunct professor. He is the author of three books and more than seventy articles who, from 2001-2003 served as editor-in-chief of Embedded Systems Programming magazine. As an engineer and a consultant, Barr has been involved in the design of products ranging from consumer electronics to safety-critical medical devices. As an expert witness, Barr has testified in high-profile software and products liability litigation, including against Toyota in various unintended acceleration lawsuits.


Wednesday, April 2 | 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Andrew "bunnie" Huang, PhD EE and Hardware Hacker
Author – Hacking the Xbox
Open Source Hardware and the Future of Embedded Systems

The hardware world is entering a new phase as Moore's Law passes the upper inflection point of the S-curve. The day of MHz doubling every 18 months is long gone. As the technology treadmill slows down, new opportunities for value creation arise. This talk discusses these new opportunities and how Open Source Hardware can play a role in building lasting value and user communities around your hardware platform.

Bunnie loves hardware. He loves to make it, and to break it; he loves the smell of it. His passion for hardware began in elementary school, and since then he has garnered a PhD at MIT in EE, and has designed nanophotonic silicon chips, wireless radios, consumer electronics, and robotic submarines, among other things. He was involved in some of the earliest stages of hardware reverse engineering on the Xbox, and his experiences are summarized in his book, "Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering". Bunnie believes hardware is delightful in part because there are no secrets in hardware; you just need a better microscope. Likewise, he is a proponent of open source hardware, and is an active contributor to the ecosystem. At chumby, he designed several open source hardware platforms, some of which had found its way to the shelves of retailers around the world. Bunnie is also an educator; he serves as a Research Affiliate for the MIT Media Lab, technical advisor for several hardware startups and MAKE magazine, and shares his experiences manufacturing hardware in China through his blog. In 2012 he received an Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award for his work in hardware hacking, open source and activism. He currently lives in Singapore.


Thursday, April 3 | 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Zac Nelson,
Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Opening Up the Car for All Makers

Open innovation and ingenuity are part of the culture at Ford Motor Company. Through OpenXC, the company’s open source hardware and software research platform, makers, developers and tinkerers are creating new solutions to unmet needs. But its not just the maker community taking advantage of this platform. Ford engineers like Zac Nelson are harnessing the power of open innovation to break the mold for in car technology. Zac will discuss his journey and how he used some unlikely parts to create a new in-car experience.

Zac Nelson is a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company. He joined Ford in September 2012 through the company's college graduate program. His first assignment was at Ford's Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan where he was introduced to OpenXC. As a rookie Ford engineer, Zac harnessed the power of open-source hardware and software, 3D printing, wireless connectivity and a Microsoft Xbox 360 controller to bring haptic feedback to a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 through a manual shift knob that vibrates at the optimal time to change gears.