SmartCow Apollo – A Jetson Xavier NX devkit for conversational AI, computer vision

SmartCow Apollo is an audio/video AI engineering kit based on NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX computer module designed for applications with conversational AI capabilities, such as speaker recognition and sentiment analysis. But considering a camera is included, computer vision applications should also be possible.

The development kit comes with a 128GB NVMe SSD, four microphones, two speaker terminals, two 3.5mm phone jacks, an 8MP camera module, and a 2.08-inch OLED display with everything housed in a frame that keeps the module and accessories like that camera upright.

Jetson Xavier NX conversational AI devkit

SmartCow Apollo specifications:

  • NVIDIA Jetson Xavier NX system-on-module
    • CPU – 6-core NVIDIA Carmel ARMv8.2 64-bit CPU with 6MB L2 and 4MB L3 cache
    • GPU – NVIDIA Volta architecture with 384 NVIDIA CUDA cores and 48 Tensor cores
    • Memory – 8 GB or 16GB 128-bit LPDDR4x
    • Storage – 16 GB eMMC 5.1 flash
  • Display
    • 1x Mini DP port
    • 7-pin SPI header for OLED display (included)
  • Camera – 15-pin FPC connector for 2-lane MIPI CSI-2 camera module (IMX179 module included)
  • Audio
    • 3.5mm Line-In Jack, 3.5mm Line out jack
    • 2-pin header for speaker
    • Mic in – 4x built-in MEMS microphones
  • Networking – 1x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port
  • USB
    • 1x USB3.2 Gen1 Type A
    • 1x USB2.0 Type C (OTG only)
  • Expansion
    • 12-pin header with UART (Debug only), power LED, and auto-power-on
    • 40-pin header with 1x UART, 2x I2C, 1x SPI
    • 1x M.2 2280 Key M socket
    • 1x M.2 2230 Key E socket
  • Misc
    • Recovery, Reset, Power, and 2 programmable buttons
    • 2-pin header for RTC plus CR2032 Battery
    • 4-pin fan header
  • Power input – 12V DC input with DC Jack (40W adapter included)
  • Dimensions – 85 x 69 x 122 mm
  • Temperature Range – Operating: 0°C ~ 50°C; storage: -25°C ~+80°C
  • Storage Humidity – 95% @ 40°C (non-condensing)

SmartCow Apollo Devkit

The development kit supports NVIDIA’s JetPack, DeepStream, and RIVA on Embedded SDKs, all of which are pre-installed on the 128GB SSD provided with the kit. I’ve heard of the first two, but I don’t think I ever read about the Riva on Embedded SDK, probably because it’s distributed via an early access program, and requires the signature of an NDA.

Nevertheless, the Riva on Embedded SDK is designed to help developers use Jetson hardware to build conversational AI applications such as chatbots and virtual assistants “that leverage RIVA speech skills and deploy them on the edge”. SmartCow team provides several demos with the kit including text-to-speech and sentiment analysis, language translation, and others. Speaker recognition, not to be confused with speech recognition, and sentiment analysis are showcased in the presentation video below.

YouTube video player

You’ll find everything to get started on the documentation website. They may have limited stock initially, as currently, it’s only possible to express your interest and/or pre-order the kit via a Google Form. Shipments are scheduled to start on April 8th.


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