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Why Open Source?

With the prevalence of HIV and the negative stigma that is associated with buying condoms, making condom vending machines easily accessible and available is the goal of the condom vending machine project. These vending machines would help provide anonymity and eliminate the awkwardness of buying condoms. For this reason, there is an even greater importance that these vending machines are able to be manufactured and provided to the Ghanaian community. This is why we decided to continue down the path of the open source condom vending machine.

There are many types of vending machines around the globe today that would be able to get shipped but would have to rely on specific kinds of product packaging that may be difficult to find in Ghana. This would be very expensive to ship. The maintenance of the machine would also be very expensive since materials are not easily and readily available. If Ghanaians relied on us to send them parts of the machine whenever there was a problem, the machine would become ineffective since it would be out of commission and take a long time to fix and a lot of money to ship parts back and forth. Also, the money spent on shipping is getting sent out of the country. With the open source approach, this OSCVM encourages local Ghanaians to benefit from their construction and use as much as possible.This machine could evolve with open source development practices by letting different people from different practices and backgrounds to bring different varieties of this vending machine to the market. By creating a “Creative Commons license”, blueprints, technical specifications, source code, and construction diagrams will be available to anyone in order to trade and share ideas, collaborate, and can even help get a wider variety of products to the market faster than traditional methods. There is possibility for many improvements as people get their hands on the blueprints and are able to edit and innovate based off of our design. When people want to build parts and machines they can ask local small shops for the wood and materials needed. This allows the small businesses to earn money and get richer rather than mass producing and making the rich richer.