Fab Lab Store and H2 MDK Launch the Hydrogen Maker Development Kit


MIT FABLAB & Horizon Fuel Cell Launch Crowd-Accelerated Innovation Initiative Global Alliance combines MIT Fab Lab prototyping lab network, hydrogen fuel cell solutions from Horizon, and open source hardware from Arcola Energy (UK).

San Diego (CA), Singapore, and London – May 18, 2012 – Fab Lab Store in California and Singapore’s Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies have entered into a worldwide distribution and co-development agreement for a new “Maker Development Kit™” named H2MDK™ to roll-out via MIT Fab Labs and available now from Fab Lab Store. Its electronics solution was developed by experts at Arcola Energy, Horizon’s product innovation team based in London.

H2MDK™ is an all-inclusive DIY solution created for product inventors that combines fuel cell system components and hydrogen storage building blocks from Horizon, made compatible with the famous Arduino Uno “do-it-yourself” robotics micro-controller. This new collaboration brings fuel cells into the exciting world of internet-powered crowd-accelerated innovation, tied together with purpose-designed infrastructure made available by the MIT Fab Lab global network.

Horizon, currently the world’s largest micro-fuel cell producer, and Fab Lab San Diego, have been researching ways to adapt the software development toolkit phenomenon present in the PC and mobile industry to any hardware that is electronically controlled or battery powered. Together with the Arcola team in London, we were inspired by the emergence a new and popular maker movement, from which a diversity of new ideas are being generated by simply playing with technologies. Enabled by similar open-source micro-controllers used in MIT’s famous robot competitions, all kinds mind-blowing tech projects are rapidly evolving within a global community of enthusiasts, using the viral power of the Internet.

Horizon, Arcola and Fab Labs saw this as an opportunity to accelerate a viral and creative movement with
hydrogen at its core. Their plan is to reach out to amateur inventors everywhere to help prototype, build and bring to market new fuel cell powered solutions. “The H2MDK™ open-source tool kit will add to Horizon’s existing product innovation capability, that of millions of amateurs working to solve their own particular challenges”, said Dr Ben Todd, Founder at Arcola Energy (UK).

“Fab Labs around the world have worked to enable the Maker in all of us, through distributed innovation. We believe that people everywhere can ‘make almost anything’ – and now we are pleased to announce that we
can power almost anything using fuel cells. We are very excited to join forces with Horizon and Arcola on this implementation, notes Katie Rast, Director of Fab Lab San Diego and Co-Founder of Fab Lab Store.
“By combining open source hardware together with Fab Lab’s distributed fabrication and rapid-prototyping
concept, we have created a socially-accelerated pathway towards clean energy innovation” said Carlos Uranga, co-founder of Fab Lab Store. “We hope to enable a people-driven, grassroots implementation of zero carbon solutions across the globe. Starting with low power products and hydrogen fuel infrastructure solutions such as those developed by Horizon, we hope to further catalyze the creation of a hydrogen-based economy from the ground up.”

“We noticed that some of our products were being disassembled and ‘hacked’ by garage inventors exploring all kinds of ideas, then sharing their creations virally. So we decided to build a commercial product platform created for the people, and by the people” stated Taras Wankewycz, co-founder of Horizon.

The H2MDK TM kit, available via FabLabStore.com and selected global partners, will enable the start of a wide variety of hardware hacks and development projects ranging from hydrogen-powered robots to lawnmowers, including cell-phones, laptops, cameras, lighting systems. The possibilities are endless. A special-purpose video channel has already been set up to spread experience, and the most interesting ideas.

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