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Posts Tagged ‘raspberry pi’

NanoPi is a $16 WiFi and Bluetooth LE Linux Development Board

July 25th, 2015 21 comments

NanoPi is a new Linux development board powered by Samsung S3C2451 ARM9 processor with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, connectors for a camera and an LCD display, as well as two expansion headers including a 40-pin “Raspberry Pi compatible” header.
NanoPi
NanoPi specifications:

  • Processor – Samsung S3C2451 ARM9 @ 400Mhz
  • System Memory – 64M DDR2
  • Storage – micro SD slot
  • Connectivity – AP6210 module for 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0
  • USB – 1x USB 1.1 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port for power and data (serial or Ethernet)
  • Display I/F – LCD Interface: 0.5mm pitch SMT FPC seat, support full-color LCD (RGB: 8-8-8)
  • Camera I/F – DVP Camera Interface: 0.5mm pitch FPC connector, including ITU-R BT 601/656 8-bit, I2C and GPIOs
  • Debugging – Serial Port
  • Expansion Headers
    • “GPIO1” – 40-pin header including UART, SPI, I2C, GPIO pins (Raspberry Pi compatible)
    • “GPIO2” – 12-pin header including I2S, I2C, UART pins
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port or headers
  • Dimensions – 75 x 30 mm

NanoPi_Board

The board is said to run u-boot, a Linux distribution based on Linux 4.1 and Qt, as well as Debian. You can download firmware images, source code, and schematics (PDF only), and checkout the Quick Start Guide to find out how to get started with a PC running Ubuntu.

NanoPi launch is planned for the 1st of August, and it will sell for $16, although I’m not sure whether shipping is included. Visit nanopi.org for details.

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Gesto is a Wearable Gesture Motion Solution for Makers (Crowdfunding)

July 5th, 2015 No comments

A while ago I wrote about an open source prosthetic arm controlled by signals generated by your arm’s muscles. It used an Arduino board, a bio-feedback shield by Olimex, and inMoov Hand for the arm and hand. It worked, but lacked accuracy. Gesto is a solution based on boards powered by Atmel MCUs that looks somewhat similar, but with higher accuracy (over 100 gestures have been tested), and the project has now been launched on Crowdsupply.

Two kits are available:

  • Gesto Stella Gesto Stella
    • EMG circuit – ADS1294
    • MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p
    • 2x EMG cables connector
    • Through holes with GND, PWR, MOSI, MISO, CLK and SC
    • Dimensions – 35 x 20 mm
    • Includes 16 disposable electrodes and relevant cables
  • Gesto Caelum
    • EMG circuit – ADS1294
    • MCU – Atmel ATmega1284p
    • Sensors – 3-axis accelerometer (MMA8652FC)
    • Connectivity – Bluetooth (RN42-HID)
    • 2x EMG cables connector
    • USB – Micro USB connector
    • Programming – ICSP connector
    • Power – Battery connector
    • Dimensions – 40 x 40 mm
    • The kit also includes 8 reusable dry electrodes with cables, a 3.7V rechargeable battery, a micro-USB cable for recharging, and an elastomeric band. The smartphone setup app and a 3D model for a modular band will also be provided.
Gesto Caelum

Gesto Caelum

Gesto Stella is designed to interface to other boards such as Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards, and sends raw muscle data via its SPI interface. Gesto Caelum is more of a standalone, ready-to go solution, as it integrates Bluetooth communication, so you can simply configure the gestures in your Android or iOS smartphone to get started right away.

Prosthesic arm controlled with Gesto

Prosthesic arm controlled with Gesto

Gesto can handle three types of gestures: singular gestures (static), air drawing gestures, and directional gestures (rotations, up and down, etc…). The technology making sense of the muscle raw data is called “DualBurst” which combines muscle patterns and motion patterns for better accuracy. I assume motion patterns are not available with Stella, but only with Caelum. An SDK, smartphone apps, and 3D printer file (for arm band) will be provided.

Gesto Stella costs $99, and Gesto Caelum $149, with delivery scheduled for March 2016. Shipping is free to the US, and $15 to the rest of the world.

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Raspberry Pi Model B+ Price Drops to $25

May 16th, 2015 4 comments

When Raspberry Pi 2 was launched, Raspberry Pi Model B+ kept getting sold for $35 despite the lower specifications, but a week later resellers started selling Model B+ for as low as $30 shipped.
Raspberry_Pi_Model_B+_Discount

But the Raspberry Pi foundation now announced an official new price for Raspberry Pi Model B+, which now sells for just $25 on RS Components and MCM Electronics with other resellers to soon follow. This makes R-Pi Model B+ relevant again for applications that do not require the extra horse power or memory brought by R-Pi 2 quad core processor and 1GB RAM.

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Windows 10 IoT Preview for Raspberry Pi 2 and MinnowBoard Max

April 30th, 2015 9 comments

When Raspberry Pi 2 Model B was released, we were promised a Windows 10 image for the board, and today, Microsoft released “Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview” for both the Broadcom BCM2836 based Raspberry Pi 2 and Intel Atom E3800 series based Minnowboard MAX boards.

Windows 10 IoT Default App for RPi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Windows 10 IoT Default App for RPi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

To get started with either board, simply go to Windows IoT – Getting Started page. I’ll quickly go through the instructions for Raspberry Pi 2.

Beside the board, you’ll also need a PC running Windows 10 Insider preview (Virtual machine not supported), a 5V power supply, a HDMI cable (optional but recommended), an Ethernet cable, and a 8GB micro SD card, class 10 or better.

The you’ll need to configure a connect account, where I had to accept two EULA including “Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview EULA”, and once this is done the area of the page for EULA should just be blank, and you can go to the Download page where you’ll find a few download links:

Windows_10_Download_Raspberry_Pi_2

Select “Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview Image for Raspberry Pi 2” to download Windows_IoT_Core_RPI2_BUILD.zip (482.62 MB), which you need to extract to get flash.ffu. Now insert the micro SD into your Windows 10 PC, open a prompt, find your SD card physical device with:

diskpart
list disk
exit

And flash the image as follows:

dism.exe /Apply-Image /ImageFile:flash.ffu /ApplyDrive:\\.\PhysicalDriveN /SkipPlatformCheck

where N is your SD card number found with diskpart.

Now insert the  micro SD card into your Raspberry Pi 2, connect the relevant cable, and upon boot, the board should start “DefaultApp”, as shown in the screenshot at the top, showing its IP address. There’s no Metro interface, since that’s the IoT version of Windows, and you need to develop or use app developed for Windows 10 IoT.

The next step are setting up PowerShell to remotely control R Pi 2, install Visual Studio 2015 Preview on your PC, and learn how to blink an LED.

[Update: Somebody tried… Boot time is at least 1m40s.. The video below just shows the first boot.

]

Thanks to Bruce for the tip.

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$10 Digistump Oak ESP8266EX Board is Arduino Compatible, Connects to the Cloud, and More (Crowdfunding)

April 25th, 2015 2 comments

A few years ago, I wondered why adding Wi-Fi to Arduino had to be rather expensive ($40+), and why there weren’t any low cost and small form factor Wi-Fi boards for embedded applications. But we’re now in 2015, embedded is “dead” giving rise to IoT, and I’m left wondering how it’s possible to make IoT Wi-Fi modules that cheap, and whether people will ever stop churning out cheap Wi-Fi boards, as I’m flooded with such news weekly… So when I saw yet another ESP8266 board on Kickstarter I was about to dismiss it, but since it was made by Digistump, that has an active community with their other products like DigiSpark Pro or DigiX, I decided to have a closer look.

Digistump_OakDigistump Oak hardware specifications:

  • MCU – Espressif ESP8266EX 32-bit microprocessor @ 80MHz (overclockable up to 160MHz)  with 1MB ROM (~300KB available for user code), 64KB RAM, 512 bytes EEPROM
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi radio
  • USB – micro USB for power
  • Expansion Headers – 2x 9-pin headers with 11x digital I/O Pins (interrupts on 10 digital pins) including SPI, UART and I2C, 1x analog input pin, with PWM available on all digital pins (up to 6 at a time)
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port,  Sleep and Deep Sleep modes for low power usage
  • Dimensions – 23.4 x 30 mm
  • Certifications – FCC/CE
Oak Pinout Diagram

Oak Pinout Diagram

The board is compatible with most of the company’s Digispark Pro shields so you might be able to add Bluetooth, RF, GPS, sensors to the board relatively easily. Programming can be done with the Arduino IDE, or RootCloud IDE, a web based development environment that allows to write code from any browser, and upload & debug the code over Wi-Fi.

RootCloud IDE

RootCloud IDE

The board also supports RootCloud, a REST API based cloud platform for communicating between  devices, applications, APIs, and so on. The cloud service is optional, and can be self-hosted if you prefer, for example in a Raspberry Pi board. You’ll be able to visualize the data on neat custom dashboards as the one shown below.

Oak_DashboardFinally, the company will also provide iOS and Android app to control Oak remotely. The project will be open source hardware with the design, firmware, libraries, API tools, and a local version of the API server to be released publicly, probably via Digistump github account, and documentation hosted on their Wiki.

The project has already raised over $50,000 from nearly 1,700 backers on Kickstarter. The early bird reward is an Oak board for $10, after which it will be $13, with other rewards including multiple quantities and kits with some shields and components. Shipping is free to the US, and $5 to the rest of the world, and delivery is scheduled for September 2015.

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Tizen OS Ported to the Raspberry Pi 2

April 20th, 2015 7 comments

Tizen may not be overly used in devices, but there has been ports of the operating system on various ARM platform, mostly development boards, powered by Allwinner, Rockchip, Freescale SoCs, and more… Seeing the popularity of Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, Samsung Open Source Group decided to port Tizen to the latest version of the hobbyist board.

Raspberry_Pi_2_Tizen

The full instructions are rather long, and provided in the link above, but the main steps – using a Linux based computer – can be summarized as follows:

  • Create a local copy of tizen-distro
  • Add Raspberry Pi 2 BSP Meta repository
  • Initialize the environment and modify some config files
  • Start the build with Yocto: bitbake rpi-hwup-image. This should make a minimal headless? image
  • Create an SD card image with tmp-glibc/deploy/images/raspberrypi2/rpi-hwup-image-raspberrypi2.rpi-sdimg using dd, an optional resize the parition with gparted or fdisk/resize2fs.
  • Insert the SD card in to your Raspberry Pi 2, and have fun

Don’t try to build the image on the Raspberry Pi 2 itself, as it may take a long time, even possibly over a day, if it can build at all.

Via TizenExperts

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ARDHAT adds Arduino Shield Compatibility, an ISM Band Radio to Raspberry Pi and ODROID-C1 Boards (Crowdfunding)

April 12th, 2015 2 comments

NinjaBlocks created Pi Crust add-ons board adding a 433MHz radio and Arduino compatibility to the Raspberry Pi Model A & B a few years ago, but the product has since been removed from their store. But a startup called ubIQio has now created a similar product compatible with Raspberry Pi Model A+, B+ and B2, as well as ODROID-C1 which also comes with a 40-pin R-Pi header. The ARDHAT board is a HAT compatible add-on board with an Atmel MCU, Arduino headers, as well as an optional long range mesh ISM radio (433, 868 and 915 MHz) and various sensors.

ARDHAT Connected to Raspberry Pi Model A+

ARDHAT Connected to Raspberry Pi Model A+

There are four versions of the board: Basic Ardhat, Ardhat-I, and Ardhat-W and Ultra, which share the following specifications:

  • MCU – Atmel MCU @ 16MHz
  • Headers and I/Os
    • Arduino compatible header accepting 5V Arduino shields
    • 12 ch PWM O/P, 6 ch analog I/P
  • Real-time Clock
  • Programmable Power/Navigation combo switch
  • Programmable wakeup/watchdog
  • ‘Zero CPU’ SmartLED driver
  • Charge status & programmable LEDS
  • Power Supply
    • External 8-28V power input
    • High Power 3A 5V O/P;
    • Full Battery backup/UPS
    • Standard LiPo battery connector
    • Ext and LiPo voltage monitors
    • MPPT solar ready
    • > 1,000 hour sleep mode operation with 1,800 mAh battery
  • Dimensions – 65 x 56.5 mm – RPi HAT standard compliant with EEPROM

Ardhat-I adds a few features to the basic version including a 1,800 mAh battery, support for 9-DOF sensor fusion (MPU9250) with a 3-axis gyroscope, a 3-axis magnetometer (compass), a 3-axis accelerometer, as well as a barometer and thermometer (BMP180). Ardhat-W and Ultra gets all these, plus a long range mesh ISM band radio, respectively HopeRF Electronic RFM69-HCW and RFM69W radio modules.

ardhat_board_descriptionIf you plan to use this board with ODROID-C1 you may need to bend its IR receiver in order to connect Ardhat. The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE just like any Arduino board, but running on Raspberry Pi or ODROID-C1 board. I’d assume Ardhat might also work with other boards featuring a 40-pin R-Pi header.

The project is now listed on Kickstarter, where ubiQio aims to raise £25,000 or more (~$36,600) . Basic Ardhat goes for £19 (early bird)/ £25 standard ($28/$36), you’ll need to pledge £35/£40 for Arhat-I with the extra sensors and battery, and £45 for Ardhat-W and £55 for Ardhat-U with the company claiming 500 meters range for the former and 15 km range for the latter. All rewards include free shipping to US and Europe, but they won’t ship to the rest of the world at all even for boards without radio modules. Shipping is scheuled for August and September 2015.

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Kodi 14.2 Final and Kodi 15 Alpha 2 Released

April 3rd, 2015 2 comments

Kodi developers have recently announced two release for Kodi: the stable version of Kodi 14.2 Helix, which should be the last Kodi 14 release, and Kodi 15 Alpha 2 Isengard with some interesting new features.

Kodi_14.2Since Kodi 14.2 is a minor release, no new features have been added, but they fixed several bugs:

  • Application stopped responding on Windows
  • Gap-less playback on MP3
  • Playback of rtmp protocol
  • Scanning of newly added episodes
  • Fix multipath source scanning
  • Loading external subtitles in some cases
  • packaging of PIL module on Android. This fixes some script error when using weather add-on
  • Fix video playback on all platform after refresh rate change
  • Various bugs that were present in PVR add-ons.
  • Save weather location
  • Fix filtering of foreign add-ons
  • ftps handling
  • Use LastWrite instead of ChangeTime for file system on Windows

As usual, you can download the release via Kodi download page for Windows, Linux. Mac OS X, Android ARM and x86, iOS, ATV2, and Raspberry Pi.

Chapter Selector Window in Kodi 15

Chapter Selector Window in Kodi 15

So now all developments effort are focused on Kodi 15 codenamed Isengard, which some of the new features including:

  • Chapter Selector Window – When you first launch a movie and navigate to the Bookmarks icon in the Video GUI, Kodi will automatically populate all the necessary bookmarks with the name and a picture of each chapter. Disabled by default on slower devices like the Raspberry Pi 1, but you can enable in System->Video->File lists->Extract chapter thumbnails.
  • Audio and Subtitle Lists –  Audio and subtitle streams in Blu-rays are now listed as one big list for easier selection.
  • Language Add-ons and an Expansion of International Options – Kodi 15 allows more much precise control over most of the International settings such as temperature, date/time, etc.. All languages won’t be installed by default as in the case in previous Kodi/XBMC versions, but instead your language of choice will be download as needed. This will allow for faster language updates since you won’t need to wait for Kodi releases.
  • Add-on Manager Improvements – The Add-on Manager should become easier to use.
  • Misc improvements – Some code clean-up, removal of AFP file system, Windows DXVA HEVC hardware decoding support, and so on.

You can download Kodi 15 alpha and nightly builds @ http://kodi.tv/download/#alphabuilds.

Thanks to Harley for the tips.

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