It may be 6:30 a.m., but I have not gone crazy! Anyone who thinks the idea of open sources software and Lego Mindstorms are both great ideas, needs to listen to Peter Semmelhack's podcast from O'Reilly's eTech Conference (all podcasts). Most everyone understands that the key concept of open source software is that the technical community freely builds upon each other's work. What is you could do the same when it comes to hardware design for electronic devices?
Give some thought to Legos. If you've used Lego Mindstorms, you will understand the Bug Labs open source hardware concept immediately. Besides, these folks have fun. Watch the short video on their home page. It's a hoot! Seriously, link to their products page and watch some product videos. It will help you understand the concept.
I've added this podcast to the engineering podcast search engine. Learn more via my wiki.