Re: Makers at large companies
Interesting question. I am an independent consultant any most of my clients are larger companies. Many of them in the medical and biotech instrumentation field. Obviously, anything that needs FDA (FAA, FRA etc) approval or that will be part of regulated process needs to undergo rigorous teting and risk analysis before it goes into production. But, there is a lot of engineering that happens before that.
Most of these companies are geared to think big. They love spending money on expensive development systems and instrumentation. If it is not expensive, then it can't be very good, right?
Working independently, I can be more flexible. I find that off-the-shelf platforms like the Arduino are ideal for prototypes and proofs of concept. They are also great for building test harnesses. You can identify and work out the major design issues before you drop into the formal development process and turn the EEs loose on the ultimate custom FPGA implementation.
The intellectual property angle seems to be an even bigger sticking point than any regulatory issue. I know a couple of corporate IP lawyers and they break out into a cold sweat at the mere mention of open source. As I understand it, most of these companies live and die by their patents, and one of the fears is that bits of open source could get mingled with corporate IP and invalidate a patent.