Recently I contacted Enertion support asking about the availability of the FOCBOX & FOCBOX Unity technical hardware schematics. I have purchased both controllers either directly from Enertion or through a licensed distributor.
I had looked to see if the latest version of the FOCBOX hardware schematics had been published on Enertion’s GitHub account or on the forums but the latest I could find was v1.3.
I emailed Enertion support asking for these directly, and was told to two things.
That they had already released the latest FOCBOX hardware schematics on the forums. They provided these in their email response, but I couldn’t help but notice the date on the Schematics was the same day of my request. Not sure on that, but I appreciate them providing them so I will refrain from further comment.
I was told that the FOCBOX Unity was not a VESC derivative and therefore they would not be releasing the hardware schematics open source.
The exact response from Bara was:
“The Unity hardware will not be released as it is not based on the Vesc.”
Topic 2 is what I would like to have a discussion on. I specifically asked for only the schematics, not the design files, as that aligns with the example that Vedder set with the lastest VESC6 release. For an embedded systems engineer such as myself, this is all I need to be able to contribute.
Now I feel it’s pretty safe to say the original FOCBOX is clearly a derivative of VESC. I also feel it’s safe to say that the FOCBOX Unity is a derivative design based on the original FOCBOX and by association, also a VESC derivative.
I’m not going to talk about legality here. I’m going to talk about what I personally feel is right, based on the tenets of open source philosophy. The goal of these open licenses is to encourage innovation and collaboration from the community involved with the project, not to fork & isolate hardware so that it is no longer part of the original open source project.
Given my experience in embedded systems as well as my contributions to the open source robotics community over the last decade, the claim that the FOCBOX Unity is not a VESC derivative comes across as inaccurate and potentially misleading, and I fear there’s a clear conflict of interest here.
@onloop I ask that you weigh in on this.
You have benefitted monetarily on the open source work published by Mr. Vedder. I feel it is against the spirit of the open source work in which you have directly benefitted from to create a closed fork and not contribute your improvements.
If you claim that the FOCBOX Unity is not a derivative of the FOCBOX, which is clearly a VESC derivative: I would be more than happy to volunteer my skillset to shedding some more light on this claim as I have a Unity in my possession and creating an empirical and quantifiable comparison to look further into this is well within my reach. It’s about a weekend at most of my time, which I’d gladly donate to support the open source VESC project.
Thanks for taking the time to read. I hope my intentions here are clearly understood.