The CEB automation for the Liberator Beta 2.0 open source CEB press builds on other open source projects. We are using: (1), power drivers from the RepRap project for driving the solenoid valves; (2), Arduino as the controller-brain for the brick-pressing logic; and (3), a Ubuntu 8.04 Linux laptop for programming the logic. The advantage of this approach is that utilizing existing modules builds on mountains of prior work and documentation. In the limit of an open source economy – one would in principle be able to take well-documented and available parts, components, and modules to become a Maker of all the surrounding world. This is a deep part of autonomy and of evolution to freedom.
Here is a video on how the different modules are used in the prototype 2 electronics for the CEB press. You can buy the Arduino and the driver from Makerbot Industries. We use Hall effect sensors to detect the position of the hydraulic cylinders.
These electronics are then packaged in a waterproof electrical box:
The drivers are red, and the Arduino is attached below the green breakout board. The design is transparent and modular, and allows for easy access and disconnection of components for trouble-shooting. We will test this in the field shortly, so that our first CEB press product can move out the door.