Today there are several barriers for the design and realization of novel self-made optical systems by layperson: On the one hand the availability of inexpensive and standardized hardware, on the other hand the usually required expertise/experience in the design of optical systems, and last but not least the currently missing community for the exchange of ideas and applications.
As part of the “Open-Photonik” Initiative launched by the BMBF, broad sections of the population (primarily schoolchildren, students, committed hobbyists) are to be enabled to create their own optics without great effort and thus learn by experiment.
The "BaKaRoS" project, supported by ITO, Fraunhofer IAO, fischertechnik GmBH and T-Systems, develops components, software and optical applications that can be used in schools, university teaching or prototype construction. The aim of the project is to make the field of photonics accessible to a broad public by means of suitable hardware and software. The target groups are given the opportunity to design and build simple to complex optical systems independently and at low cost. The basis for this is a compatibility with the modular system of the project partner fischertechnik and with the common micro-bank system as well. Building on this, "BaKaRoS" pursues an open source approach and has a strong focus on optomechanics, which can be produced with standard desktop 3D printers. The project is also developing an open source expert and simulation system that will enable the target group to design and build optical systems.
The experiences and construction plans are exchanged in an open community. For this purpose, we built the homepage www.bakaros.de. There, several construction instructions of the developed prototypes can be found as well as a list of the already executed and planned events.