Arduino Clone Wars

Arduino clones are now everywhere.  Often on websites such as Amazon it is difficult to know definitively whether you are buying an official one or not.  But Arduinos are open-source right? So what’s the problem?  Well I never really thought that hard about it until I read this on the Arduino web site.

Note [from Massimo]: We stress the fact that the Smart Projects boards are made in Italy because in this globalised world, where getting the lowest possible price for products sometimes translates into poor pay and working conditions for the people who make them, at least you know that who made your board was reasonably paid and worked in a safe environment.

It is the word sometimes that causes the trouble.  Cheaper doesn’t have to mean poor working conditions, just as higher prices don’t always mean inefficiency.

As consumers we need to demand more information.  We need to make the reason for our choices more explicit – to send a clear message.  What we buy is as important as who we vote for.




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