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Posts Tagged ‘sdk’

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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Grain Media 8136S / 8138S are Low Cost HD IP Camera SoCs

June 30th, 2015 7 comments

A few times, my readers told me they really like comments on this blog, and they liked to check recent comments on the left sidebar, and some even subscribed to the Comments RSS Feed, although it might quite busy at times, especially during giveaways. Recently, an interesting conversation started in the comments section about low cost IP camera chips by Grain Media 8136S and 8138S SoCs respectively supporting 720p and 1080p video recording, and cheap enough to make a sub-$10 IP camera board (BoM cost).

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

GM8138/GM8138S Block Diagram (Click to Enlarge)

Beside the maximum resolution supported, GM8136S and GM8138S are mostly similar except the later also supports Gigabit Ethernet against Fast Ethernet for the lower end version, different clock speeds, and some other (minor?) differences. There’s also GM8135S with 512 Mbit RAM (SiP) against 1Gbit RAM (SiP) for GM8136S, and GM8138 including a DDR controller for external memory, while GM8138S including 1Gbit RAM (SiP).

Grain Media GM813x specifications:

  • Processor
    • GM8136S / GM8135S – 32-bit ARM CPU core up to 600MHz
    • GM8138S / GM8138 – 32-bit ARM CPU core with 256KB L2 cache @ 400 MHz (GM8136S) or 800 MHz (GM8138)
  • Memory Interface
    • GM8136S: SiP 1Gb DDR; GM8135S: SiP 512Mb DDR
    • GM8138: 16-bit DDRII/III SDRAM interface; GM8138S: SiP 1Gb DDR
    • SPI NOR/NAND flash boot
  • Video Codec
    • GM8136S: 720P@60fps; GM8135S: 720P@45fps
    • GM8138(S): 1080p@45 fps
  • Video Input
    • MIPI, Parallel, Sub-LVDS. GM8138(S) only: Hispi
    • YUV x 2 for 2-channel 720P; GM8138(S) only: – 4*960H demux
  • Video Capture
    • BT.656 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • BT.1120 input (up to 148.5 MHz)
    • Support 54MHz/108MHz and 72MHz/144MHz byte/frame interleave modes
  • Image Signal Processing – Temporal and spatial 3D-Denoise filtering; Digital-WDR; WDR sensor; tone mapping; low lux sensitivity to ISO6400; embedded IVS engine
  • Display Interface
    • Built-in BT.1120 digital output; GM8138(S) only: RGB digital output
    • Support composite/parallel up to FHD output
  • Peripherals
    • GM8136S/GM8135S: 10/100M Ethernet MAC; GM8138(S): Gigabit Ethernet MAC
    • USB 2.0 OTG, USB 1.1 Device (Note: The latter is not listed for GM8138(S)).
    • 2x SDIO
    • I²S
    • I²C, UART
    • GPIO
  • Operating Voltage
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – Core: 1.1 V; DDR: 1.5/1.8 V; I/O: 3.3 V
    • GM8138(S) – Core: 1.15V; • DDR: 1.5 V; I/O: 3.3 V
  • Package
    • GM8136S/GM8135S – 128-pin EPADLQFP
    • GM8138(S) – GM8138: 256-pin BGA;  GM8138S: 196-pin BGA

There’s not much information about software support and devkits on the company website, and that’s an understatement, but the company allegedly provides a (Linux?) SDK and an hardware platform for less than $1,000, with the price including factory support.

If you’d like to evaluate the platform before spending money on the SDK, and possibly working around high MOQ requirements of distributors, you could purchase a camera based on Grain Media SoCs for evaluation such as TVT Digital TD-9433T IP camera featuring GM8138S SoC.

TD-9433T IP Camera

TD-9433T IP Camera

GM8136S SoC combined with Espressif ESP8089 Wi-Fi SoC should cost less than $6 in larger quantities, and for smaller quantities, GM8136S should cost around $7. You’ll also need to add an SPI flash to have a complete design. I don’t have price information for GM8138(S) solutions.

You can find some more information on Grain Media’s GM8136S / GM8135S and GM8138S / GM8138 product pages.

[Update: A company called SAC Group recently launched IP camera solutions based on Grain Media 813x SoCs. The link (in Chinese) shows some combinations of chips for their solutions (flash memory, DDR3 chips, drivers, IR LEDs and so, as well as the board pictured below.

GM813x_IP_Camera_Board

They also mentioned Grain Media GM8139 chip that supports 1080p60 encoding]

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Android 5.1 SDK Release for Rockchip RK3128 Based FirePrime Board

June 29th, 2015 1 comment

T-Firefly has just announced the release of Android 5.1 SDK for their newly announced Fireprime development board powered by Rockchip RK3128 quad core Cortex A7 processor.

FirePrime

You can get the SDK (fireprime_android5.1_git_20150612.tar), a 6.1GB download with full source code for the board via Baidu or Google Drive, and then upgrade it to the latest version with git pull on the company’s bitbucket account as explained in the Wiki. The SDK must be specific to Fireprime board, but it should be feasible to use to create / modify Android 5.1 firmware for other RK3128 products.

If you don’t need the source code, but would just like to install the firmware for Android 5.1, and the other image recently released (Ubuntu 15.04 Desktop or Server, or Android 5.1/Ubuntu 15.04 dual boot image)  via the links provided in the announcement.

Thanks to Nanik for the tip.

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Tronsmart Draco H3 TV Stick Firmware and SDK Released

June 14th, 2015 18 comments

Tronsmart Draco H3 is a low cost HDMI TV stick powered by Allwinner H3 quad core processor. At $35, the device costs about $5 more than Amlogic S805 based sticks like MK808B Plus with about the same specs (quad core Cortex A7/A5, 1GB RAM, 8GB flash, HDMI out..), but with the added benefit of 4K @ 30Hz support.

Tronsmart_Draco_H3Tronsmart has now released some firmware files as well as Linux kernel and an Android SDK.

Two firmware files have been released:

Please note that the resolution will only affect the user interface, and when you play videos you should get the resolution selected in Android settings. So if you play a 4K videos it will truly show as a 4K video on your TV, even though the user interface is only 720p, at least that was my experience when I tested 4K videos on various Android TV boxes.

Since Draco H3 normally updates its firmware over the air (OTA), the firmware files should only be useful in case sometimes goes wrong, or if you want to change the user interface resolution. You need PhoenixSuit (Windows) to flash the firmware. I’m not sure whether LiveSuit (Linux) supports Allwinner H3 yet.

Tronsmart also releases the source code for their stick via two downloads:

If you want to experiment with the source code you can go ahead, but bear in mind that in the past Tronsmart SDK releases were several months old and lacking the latest bug fixes. So it will probably build and run on the device, but this is unlikely to match the latest firmware, unless they changed their ways.

The Linux source code for Allwinner H3 has also been released for Orange Pi 2, and since the board runs Linux, you might also be able to adapt the Lubuntu, Raspbian or Debian image to run on Draco H3, although I assume 3D acceleration and video hardware decoding won’t work in Linux desktop distributions.

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ESP8266 SDK 1.1.0 is Now Released Under an MIT License

May 29th, 2015 7 comments

ESP8266 is the now famous dirt-cheap Wi-Fi SoC used for IoT applications. It can be used by hobbyists and companies alike. But for the later, there was a licensing issue as Espressif ESP8266 SDK was initially released under the GPLv3 license. GPL code is great and lots of open source projects are released under the most common open source license. But since proprietary, closed source software has still its place in the market place, some other more permissive licenses such as LGPL are used for library, and Android for example has an Apache License 2.0.

ESP8266_MIT_License

So previously, if you developed an application using ESP8266 SDK, you’re code would have to be GPL too, since the license is viral. It would also cause issues if you had released your application under an Apache or MIT license.

But now, all is well, as Espressif released ESP8266 SDK 1.10 under an MIT license, and also fixed various bugs in the process. That means that to make sure you don’t have licensing issues in your project, you should probably update to the latest version of the SDK.

Thanks to Paul and Jon for having brought up the issue, and help convince Espressif to change the license.

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Allwinner H3 Based Orange Pi 2 Board Price Drops to as Low As $25

May 27th, 2015 21 comments

As Raspberry Pi Model B+ price got reduced to $25, some competitors also decided to bring their price down. Shenzhen Xunlong Software, the maker of Orange Pi board, decided to decrease their Orange Pi 2 and Orange Pi 2 Mini boards by $5 to respectively $30 and $25 plus around $2 shipping.

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Both boards are based on the same PCB, but the mini version lacks WiFi. Let’s refresh our memory with the specs:

  • SoC – Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 @ 1.6 GHz with 256KB L1 cache, 1MB L2 cache, and an ARM Mali-400MP2 GPU up to 600 MHz
  • System Memory – 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – micro SD card slot (up to 64GB)
  • Video Output – HDMI (CEC and HDCP support), AV port
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, AV port, on-board microphone
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi (Realtek module, not found on mini version)
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x micro USB OTG port
  • Camera – CSI Interface
  • Expansions – 40-pin Raspberry Pi Model A+/B+ (mostly) compatible header with 28 GPIOs, UART, I2C, SPI, PWM, CAN, I2S, SPDIF, LRADC, ADC, LINE-IN, FM-IN, and HP-IN
  • Debugging – 3-pin UART header for serial console
  • Misc – IR receiver; Power, reset, and u-boot buttons; Power and Ethernet LEDs
  • Power Supply – 5V/2A via barrel jack (micro USB OTG cannot be used to power the board).
  • Dimensions – 93 x 60 mm
  • Weight – 46 grams
You can currently download Android 4.4.2, Lubuntu, Debian server, and Raspbian images for the boards, as well as Linux and Android SDKs. The board has been launched at the end of March, but I can’t find any independent reviews online yet. Feedback on Aliexpress is however mostly positive. The platform is more powerful than Raspberry Pi 2, so from the hardware point of view it should be a better deal, but as usual they won’t be able to match Raspberry Pi’s software and community support.
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FireWRT is an OpenWRT 802.11ac Board Powered by Mediatek MT7621A Processor

May 14th, 2015 10 comments

There are plenty of low cost 802.11n routers or boards supporting OpenWRT, even starting at $10 or less such as A5-V11 mini router, but if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful with 802.11ac connectivity, options are much more limited, especially if you need something at a lower cost. One option is Xiaomi MiWiFi router based on Mediatek MT7620A with 64MB RAM, and T-Firefly team is now working on FireWRT board based on the more powerful MT7621A processor coupled with 512 MB RAM, and 16 MB SPI flash.

FireWRTFireWRT specifications:

  • Wi-Fi SoC – Mediatek MT7621A dual core MIPS 1004Kc processor @ 880MHz
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3 (Beta version: 256 MB)
  • Storage – 16 MB SPI flash memory, 2x SATA 3.0 ports, micro SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi
    • 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4GHz up to 300Mbps
    • 802.11 a/n/ac @ 5 GHz, up to 867Mbps (AC1200 class router)
    • External High-Gain Antennas – 2x for 2.4GHz, 2x for 5GHz
  • Ethernet – 2x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet), 1x WAN (Gigabit Ethernet)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Expansion
    • mini PCIe slot (multiplexed with SATA), on the back of the board
    • 2x 32-pin headers with GPIO, I2C, I2S, UART, NFC, JTAG, RGMII, 12V, 5V, 3.3V, GND
  • Misc – Power, WPS and reset keys. LEDs for Ethernet, WiFi, SATA, and power
  • Power – 12V/2A
  • Dimensions – 125 x 93.5 mm

OpenWRT_SATA_USB_3_PCIeThe boar runs OpenWRT, and the company has already released binary images, source code (U-boot, OpenWRT SDK), schematics (PDF), and mechanical files on the project’s download page, as well as some WIP documentation on the Wiki.

You can’t purchase the board directly on Aliexpress yet, but the company launched a beta program to allow developers to purchase a $69 kit including FireWRT board, a 12V/2A power adapter, an acrylic enclosure, a SATA cable, an heatsink, and a USB TO TTL UART Module. Please note that this beta board only has 256 MB RAM instead of 512 MB for the final version.

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Orange Pi Plus (Allwinner H3) Firmware Images and Linux SDK Released

May 12th, 2015 12 comments

Orange Pi Plus is a development board based on the new Allwinner H3 quad core Cortex A7 processor that supports 4K video output and decoding. The boards comes with 1GB RAM, 8GB eMMC, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, SATA and more, and sells for $49 on Aliexpress. When I first covered the board in February, it was already listed on Aliexpress, but I could not find any firmware image, or source code, but this has now changed.

Orange Pi 2 (Click to Enlarge)

Orange Pi Plus (Click to Enlarge)

There are now four firmware files:

  • Lubuntu_1404_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0_.img.xz – Lubuntu 14.04 image
  • Raspbian_For_OrangePiplus_v0_8_0.img.xz – Raspbian for Allwinner H3
  • orangepi-plus-debian-server-card-v0.9.img.xz – A Debian server image
  • sun8iw7p1_android_orangepi-plus_uart0.rar – Android 4.4.2 image that needs to be flash with PhoenixCard in Windows (Linux tools are not working yet)

Beside the firmware images, the company also releases a Linux SDK (h3-lichee-1.0.tar.gz) with Linux 3.4 kernel source code, u-boot, and relevant tools.

I assume these should also work on Orange Pi 2, the low cost version of the board without internal flash, nor SATA, and Fast Ethernet instead of Gigabit Ethernet, which goes for $35 on Aliexpress.

Thanks to Jerome for the tip.

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