MarsCat is a Bionic Cat Powered by Raspberry Pi 3 (Crowdfunding)

MarsCat

Elephant Robotics MarsCat is a robotic cat that tries to mimic the behavior of actual cats through artificial intelligence. It can have a life of its own roaming the house, and you can also interact with it as it will play with toys/teasers through its camera, and you can send voice command to ask it to walk, run, look at you, be quiet. etc… but the trick is that it may not always obey like a real cat, and its personality will evolve depending on how you interact with it. Beside being a bionic pet, MarsCat can also be used to teach/learn robotics as the company will release an open-source SDK allowing you to change the Python code running on the Raspberry Pi 3 board powering the cat, and access API’s to control the camera, microphone, touch sensors, as well as the 16 servos connected to a Microchip ATMega2560 MCU via two servo boards. Visual programming for the robot will …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

MNT Reform 2 Open Source DIY Arm Linux Modular Laptop Coming Soon (Crowdfunding)

MNT Reform 2

We first covered MNT Reform in fall of 2017, when it was a prototype for a DIY and modular laptop powered by NXP i.MX 6QuadPlus processor, and with plans to eventually use i.MX 8 hexa-core processor. Last year they designed several beta units of Reform to get feedback for a dozen users, and have now fully redesigned the laptop based on an NXP i.MX 8M system-on-module with the crowdfunding campaign expected to go live in February on Crowd Supply. MNT Reform 2 specifications: SoM – Boundary Devices Nitrogen8M SOM with SoC – NXP i.MX 8MQuad quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz, 1x Arm Cortex-M4F real-time core Vivante GC7000Lite 3D GPU System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – Probably none Networking – Atheros Ethernet MAC chip (AR8035) 200 pin SO-DIMM edge connector exposing USB 3.0, PCIe, MIPI DSI, etc… Dimensions – 67.6mm x 48.4mm Motherboard Storage – SD card slot, M.2 SSD support Video Output Texas Instruments SN65DSI86 MIPI DSI to …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Variscite Introduces i.MX 8M Mini and Nano SoM’s, Symphony Carrier Board

NXP i.MX 8M MINI/NANO Development Kit

NXP i.MX 8M Mini and i.MX 8M Nano are lower cost and lower power variants of NXP i.M 8M processors manufactured using a 14nm FinFET process, and cutting some features such as HDMI and embedded DisplayPort, or hardware video decoder. NXP i.MX 8M Mini has been announced for over two years, so we’ve already written about many boards and systems-on-module (SoM) including Boardcon EM-IMX8M-MINI SBC, TechNexion XORE LGA SoM, or Congatec conga-SMX8-Mini SMARC 2.0 module among others. NXP i.MX 8M Nano is more recent, and we only covered a few announcements so far namely iWave Systems iW-RainboW-G34M-SM SoM and Conga-SMX8-Nano SMARC 2.0 computer-on-module. There’s now at least a third company working on a “Nano” module with Variscite announcing VAR-SOM-MX8M-NANO SoM together with a “Mini” version called VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI, and Symphony carrier board and development kits. VAR-SOM-MX8M-MINI & VAR-SOM-MX8M-NANO Modules Both modules are part of Variscite VAR-SOM Pin2Pin family, and share the following key features & specifications: SoC MINI – NXP i.MX8M …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Raspberry Pi 4 Powered Open Source Hardware Robot Paves the Way for Robot Maids

Raspberry Pi 4 Open Source Hardware Robot

Eventually, we all expect robots to do chores and other manual tasks performed by humans such as preparing and serving food at restaurants, carry objects over rough terrain as opposed to just inside the warehouse with a flat floor, or even moves pieces on a chessboard when other humans are no here to play with us. I’m fully expecting to eventually own a robot maid of sorts to wash dishes, mop the floors, and perform other tasks on my behalf. We are not there yet, but Raspberry Pi 4 powered Pollen Robotics’ Reachy open source-hardware robot is getting us closer to the goal as it can handle small objects and via two robotic arms and a dual-camera head, and can also interact with humans using a microphone and a speaker. Key features and specifications of Reachy robot: Main body SBC – Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 2GB according to a teardown on Tom’s hardware AI accelerator – Google Coral AI …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Kobol Helios64 RK3399K SBC & 5-Bay NAS Pre-Orders to Start Next Week

We covered Rockchip RK3399K processor a few months ago, as a version of RK3399 processor qualified to run at 2.0 GHz, or supporting a wider-temperature range (-20 to +85°C) at 1.8 GHz. We found out about the new processor, as Kobol was working on a Helios64 SBC designed for NAS that featured RK3399K SoC. At the time, we just had a drawing of the board and some specifications, but now the company has announced pre-orders for the board and a complete 5-bay NAS kit will start next week and the actual shipping start in March. Kobol Helios64 SBC Specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399K hexa-core processor with 2x Arm Cortex-A72 cores @ 2.0 GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.6 GHz System Memory – 4GB LPDDR4 Storage – 16GB eMMC 5.1 flash, 5x SATA 3.0, 1x M.2 SATA slot shared with one SATA 3.0 port, MicroSD port Connectivity – 1x 2.5GbE port, 1x Gigabit Ethernet port USB – 3x USB 3.0 ports, …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

Banana Pi BPI-F2S Industrial SBC Launched for $58 with Linux 4.19 based Debian or Fedora OS

Banana Pi BPI-F2S

Last month we covered Banana Pi BPI-F2S single board computer (SBC) for industrial, IoT, and smart audio application that was powered by the intriguing SunPlus SP7021 “Plus1” processor featuring four Cortex-A7 cores, one ARM9 ARM9 real-time core, and one 8051 I/O controller core, as well as up to 512MB built-in DDR3 RAM. At the time, the board was not available, and we had limited information about software support, except the company would Yocto-based Linux distribution. The good news is that you can now buy Banana Pi BPI-F2S industrial SBC on Aliexpress for $58 and Taobao for 390 RMB, and the company released source code and OS images for the board. Here’s a reminder of Banana Pi BPI-F2S specifications: SoC – Sunplus SP7021 “Plus1” with a quad-core Cortex-A7 processor @ 1.0 GHz, one Arm A926 microprocessor, an 8051 core to handle I/Os, and 128MB or 512MB DDR3 DRAM. Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot Video Output – HDMI 1.4 …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

RAK7244 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway Combines Raspberry Pi 4 with LoRa HAT, Optional 4G LTE Connectivity

Raspberry Pi 4 LoRaWAN LTE Gateway

After launching RAK831 Lite LoRaWAN gateway based on Raspberry Pi 3 board in 2018, RAK Wireless introduced Pilot Gateway Pro RAK7243 gateway with the more recent Raspberry Pi 3B+ SBC earlier this year. But with the launch of Raspberry Pi 4 last June, the Raspberry Pi 3B+ has become much harder to procure, so RAK has now launched an updated LoRa gateway featuring Raspberry Pi 4 SBC together with the company’s RAK2245 Pi Hat Edition LoRaWAN gateway concentrator module. RAK7244 LoRaWAN Developer Gateway specifications: SBC – Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 2GB RAM Connectivity LoRa RAK2245 Pi Hat LoRaWAN gateway concentrator module with 1x SX1301 baseband processor, 2x SX125x Tx/Rx front-ends LoRaWAN v1.0.2 support Support for 8 channels and spreading factors SF7 to SF12 Bands – 433MHz, 470MHz, 865MHz, 868MHz, 915MHz, 920MHz, 923MHz Tx Power: 27 dBm Max RX Sensitivity: -139dBm Cellular – Optional 4G LTE support via RAK2013 Cellular Pi HAT (Quectel EG95  LTE CAT4 module) GNSS – …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon

ROCK Pi SATA HAT Targets ROCK Pi 4 & Raspberry Pi 4 NAS

Raxda ROCK Pi 4 is a single board computer (SBC) powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and inspired by Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. The company has now designed ROCK Pi SATA HAT expansion board to design 4-bay NAS based on Raspberry Pi 4 and ROCK Pi 4. There are 3 models with support for 2, 4 or 5 drives: Dual/Quad SATA HAT connected over two USB 3.0 ports and working with both boards Penta SATA HAT connected over PCIe and compatible with ROCK Pi 4 only ROCK Pi Dual/Quad SATA HAT Specifications: 2x or 4x SATA connectors supporting 2.5″ or/and 3.5″ HDD/SSD 2x USB 3.0 port to connect to RPi 4 via one or two JMS561  USB to SATA controllers Storage Features – HDD suspend mode, UASP, software RAID 0/1/5 Misc Fan and heatsink header for Raspberry Pi 4 CPU cooling Optional PWM control fan for HDD heat dispatching Optional OLED display for IP Address/Storage info Power Supply 1x …

Support CNX Software – Donate via PayPal or become a Patron on Patreon