OSE Update for September 16

Open Source Ecology is busy on many fronts. The first is that our Compressed Earth Brick Microhouse build is almost here.

MicroHouse Build

The MicroHouse foundation is ready for the build September 28-Oct. 4! See  Chris Reinhart’s Log for details on design, progress, and plans for the build. Consider volunteering! Chris has all the details.

One LifeTrac Leads to Another

LifeTrac 5 tractor went to work at Our School at Blair Grocery in New Orleans, tearing up brush and moving dirt. This video, edited by remote editor Owen Smithyman using Latakoo, tells the story:

What we learned from building and testing the LifeTrac 5 has already been incorporated into the design for the LifeTrac 6, and, as of last Friday, the LifeTrac 6 build was underway.

DPV Lucas Warner, LifeTrac 6 product facilitator and long-time OSE supporter, and volunteer James Wise are analyzing the range of motion of the LifeTrac 6 loader arms.

During the 6-in-60 Campaign, a delay in the arrival of steel thwarted our tight production schedule. No more. Steel has been sourced and picked up. Jason Fuston, a local machinist, is helping us knock out some final steel cuts. To find a machinist located just 8 miles from FeF is a huge logistics improvement.


Last week we welcomed  new DPV Emmett McGregor. Emmett will work closely with Rob Kirk, OSE’s Documentation Manager, to capture photos and video of the LifeTrac 6 prototype build, the MicroHouse build, and the work that is done on the Ironworker and Backhoe in October.

Emmett McGregor, Documentation DPV

Meanwhile, the labor-intensive process of producing great documentation for the 50 machines of the Global Village Construction Set continues. Documentation Manager Rob Kirk is pleased about how the Latakoo platform enables remote collaboration. Remote Editor Owen Smithyman, he reports, “was able to take a bunch of raw cell phone video and turn it into a good looking story about the first tests of LifeTrac 5 working at Our School at Blair Grocery in New Orleans” (the video linked above).

At the heart of OSE’s documentation mission, OSE Dozuki site development is in full swing. You can see a wireframe for how our documentation is organized – with machines broken down into modules. Creating great documentation takes time and exacting effort, but it is a crucial tool for making the machines of the Global Village Construction Set a reality, as important as steel and CNC torch tables.

In addition, we’ve established a new Photo archive at Trovebox. We will be uploading our photos to the site and organizing them into Albums. Users can view the photos and even download full resolutions versions. We’re still in the early stages here but this will be a great resource for us and for friends of OSE.

An Invitation to Get Involved 

From Audrey Rampone, OSE’s Technical Community Manager, comes this challenge and ever-open invitation: Be the change … Volunteer with OSE! OSE is seeking volunteers to support design and prototyping efforts for LifeTrac 6, the MicroHouse, the Iron Worker and the Backhoe. Dedicated Project Visit and Work Day opportunities are available. Please contact Audrey for details at

In addition, OSE is continuing to work with volunteers from around the world via Design Sprints.  Design Sprints allow you to volunteer with OSE from the comfort of your home anywhere in the world. To participate in Design Sprints, please complete the Tech Team Culturing Survey.


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