BRL-CAD Customer Profile: Ronja
by Kyle Bodt
Ronja (Reasonable Optical Near Joint Access) is an innovative piece of equipment that utilizes reliable optical data links to create a current communication range of 1.4 km and a speed of 10Mbps full duplex that can be used as a general purpose wireless link for virtually any networking project. This is a very important project for Twibright Labs, a small group of computer science graduate students operating out of Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic. The group specializes in the usage of Free Software and User Controlled Technology Development.
The primary output for the Ronja project is a design. The lab does not intend to manufacture and sell the hardware that is being designed but wants to engage in open source development of the technology. The philosophy surrounding User Controlled Technology is the ideal that the end-user is provided with unrestricted access to the intellectual property surrounding the technology, including the tools that are being used to create it. One tool playing an integral part in the development of the Ronja designs is BRL-CAD. All of the models that Twibright labs use to display the different variants of their Ronja concept were created with the help of BRL-CAD. BRL-CAD has allowed the members of Twibright labs to create instructional diagrams so that the users and builders of their open source technology will be able to have the latest information with regard to the proper construction of a Ronja unit. The interactive geometry editor and ray-tracers in BRL-CAD are an integral part in the communication of design plans for Twibright labs and enables them to connect with the users, who are the driving force behind the User Controlled Technology ideal.