Tim at Outguessing the machine has started an open source SMD pick and place project. So far he has a head design, some scripts for EMC2 and some preliminary optical testing done. He has uploaded the head to Thingiverse. It features a stepper driven head for aligning the parts and an aquarium vacuum pump for picking up parts. The head uses a standard Luer-Lock port for interchangeable needles.
It looks like there is a lot of work to go, but it is a good idea and he has a good start.