Presented by

  • Jonathan Oxer

    Jonathan Oxer

    Jon has been hacking on both hardware and software since he was a little tacker. Most recently he's been focusing more on the Open Hardware side, co-founding Freetronics as a result of organising the first Arduino Miniconf at LCA2010 and designing the Arduino-based payloads that were sent into orbit in 2013 on board satellites ArduSat-X and ArduSat-1. His books include "Ubuntu Hacks" and "Practical Arduino", and he produces the "SuperHouseTV" DIY home automation / assistive technology channel on YouTube.

  • Chris Fryer

    Chris Fryer

    Chris Fryer is a maker, writer and entrepreneur from Melbourne, Australia. He has many hobbies including, computer aided design, programming, gaming, robotics, gardening, bonsai and more. He has designed everything from aircraft to rovers, doorknobs and dinosaurs and is a self declared Fusion 360 guru. Of course he has very well equipped makerspace in his backyard with 3D printers, a laser cutter, lathe, mill and all sorts machines including way too many model aircraft. When he's not playing computer games he makes YouTube videos, designs stuff and creates assistive devices for the disabled. Chris had the good luck to be born five minutes before his identical twin, Nick. At age seven both had the misfortune of being diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy a life threatening muscle wasting disease. Many of the devices they developed jointly and use every day. In 2014 Chris started a makerspace in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, called Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Hackers or MESH. MESH currently meets once every two weeks at Swinburne’s Wantirna Campus, 369 Stud Road, Wantirna. You can find further information on MESH's website or page or any social media platform. Chris strongly believes in the power of open source software and hardware, anything he designs is made available under the GPL-3.0 licence. Chris is also believes in the power of technology to make the world a better place. The world is swiftly becoming a better place (don’t believe the nightly news) - free trade is always a better deal than more explosive ways of dealing with our differences. Everybody in this world matters equally and all of us have the capacity to do amazing things. Individuals have never been more powerful than we are right now with the sum of human knowledge at our fingertips, trivial global communications and increasingly accessible fabrication technologies such as 3D printing and Laser Cutting. On the second of October 2018 Chris lost his twin brother to complications resulting from Muscular Dystrophy. When Chris is not talking about himself in the third person he can be found in his shed continuing the legacy of his brother Nick and also working on his multitude of personal projects with his carers and his "assistant" John Oxer. During summer he can be found in his garden telling his carers how to trim his bonsai (it's not that hard). Chris is 41 year's old.


Learn how Open Source software and hardware can be used to build a custom “button box” which can be adapted to suit the needs of an individual, and allow them to control a computer by acting as a keyboard, mouse, or game controller. Then through their computer, they can control their world. Physical disabilities can take many different forms. Everyone has a unique body and needs, but medical devices are extremely expensive to develop due to the overhead of regulatory compliance. The economies of scale that can be achieved with mass market consumer goods just don’t come into play when it comes to devices designed to help with specific physical problems. There is no “one size fits all”, and in many cases it’s necessary to design and build one-off devices to suit a specific individual. With traditional approaches this is prohibitively expensive. Open Source technologies including Arduino and 3D printing have opened the door to low-cost DIY solutions that can be customised to suit the individual. For some people with disabilities it can be much easier to navigate in the virtual world than in the physical world. Co-presenter Chris has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and when he’s not using his computer he is very limited in his ability to interact with his physical environment, but he can do almost anything on his computer with the use of custom-built input devices. Combining these custom input devices with computers acting as his intermediaries, we have worked together on projects that allow him to reach out and control his physical environment in a way that hasn’t been possible for most of his life. Linux Australia: YouTube: