NanoPi M4 Raspberry Pi Inspired RK3399 Board Launched for $65 and Up

NanoPi M4 Heatsink

As expected, FriendlyELEC has now launched NanoPi M4 board, a lower cost version of NanoPC-T4 Rockchip RK3399 SBC, and mostly following Raspberry Pi form factor. How much you may ask? That would be $65 plus shipping for the 2GBRAM version, and $95 for the 4GB RAM version, which means it sells in the same ballpark as RockPro64 board. NanoPi M4 board specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3399 big.LITTLE hexa-core processor with  2x Arm Cortex-A72 @ up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 1.5GHz, a Mali-T864 GPU with support OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL, DX11, and AFBC, and a VPU with 4K VP9 and 4K 10-bit H265/H264 6decoding System Memory – Dual-channel 4GB LPDDR3-1866, or dual-channel 2GB DDR3-1866 Storage – eMMC module socket, micro SD card slot Video Output HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDCP 1.4/2.2 support 4-Lane MIPI-DSI connector Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI digital audio output, microphone header Camera – one or two 4-lane MIPI-CSI …

CHOETECH 24W Foldable Solar Charger Review

Foldable Solar Charger Charging Smartphone

A short while ago, I wrote about  a tri-panel waterproof solar power bank that delivers up to 4 Watts and comes with 10,000 mAh capacity. I’ve now received a sample of a somewhat similar product, except CHOETECH told me it can deliver up to 24 Watts, which should be more suitable for charging devices like smartphone daily. CHOETECH 24W Solar Charger Unboxing The gadget is supposed to be fitted on larger backpacks as we’ll see below, but it comes in a relatively small package. The thing just looks like some purse or wallet out of the box. Once it’s unfolded we’ll see four solar panel, six hoops around the design, and some pouch / pocket on the right. The “junction box” includes a micro USB to USB cable, some silica gel, and four metal hoops to hook around some of the 6 fabric hoops The text on the photo above explains cloudy weather and indirect sunlight may cause the phone …

PiMecha Humanoid Robot Based on Raspberry Pi Sells for about $500

SB Components introduced PiMecha humanoid robot powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero (W)/ A+ / 2 / 3 (B+) board, and offering 17 degrees of freedom (DoF) on Kickstarter a few months ago. But with KS backers expecting their rewards in September, the company is now taking pre-orders on their own website for the robot for 399 GBP, or about $511 at today’s exchange rate. The company has apparently not published any detailed specifications of the robot on their website. But the robot is basically comprised of an outer shell comprised of removable metal pieces, and precise smartbus servo motors. Your chosen Raspberry Pi board would be fitted to the robot’s chest together with PiMecha shield add-on board handling the servo control. PiMecha can be easily customized with a Pi camera, an LCD display, your own sensors an so on. SB Components provide software to program the robot in order to make it walk, dance, ride a bike, fight, or …

TableX Arm Linux Tablet Runs Armbian Ubuntu, To Launch for 89 Euros

TableX Arm Linux Tablet

If you want an Arm Linux laptop, you have already some choices with products such as Pine64 Pinebook,  or Olimex TERES-I open source hardware laptop,  but if instead you’d rather do without keyboard, and get an Arm Linux tablet, choices are much more limited, if any at all. Back in 2012, Allwinner A10 based PengPod 700 & 1000 tablets were available for the company has since folded, and this year, RasPad case launched to allow you to build your own thick tablet with a Raspberry Pi 3 (B+). However, if you want to normal looking tablet, your best option right now is to get an Android tablet and mess around to install Linux on it. That’s not for everyone, and the good news is that what looks like a proper – albeit low-end – Arm Linux tablet is coming to market soon with TableX. TableX preliminary hardware specifications: SoC – Allwinner A33 quad core Arm Cortex A7 processor with Mali-400MP2 …

MuxPi Board Relies on NanoPi NEO to Enable Remote Testing of Development Boards

MuxPi Remote Testing Board

Product development often occurs in different location over the world, there may be one team in Asia, and another in Europe and the US. At the beginning, the number of working samples for a board may be limited,  so the project manager may have to decide who gets the boards since those may not be available to all teams. So it would be great if somehow there was a way to do remote testing of boards, so maybe the team in Asia could setup the testbed, used it during there time, and once they are back home, the US team can take over remotely to carry on their own development work on the hardware. That’s exactly what MuxPi board is all about. The solution provide remote access via the Ethernet port of a NanoPi NEO board, and connects to the DUT (Device under Test) via HDMI, Ethernet, USB and other interfaces. The (micro) SD card is muxed to either boot …

Kohler Novita “Therapy Bidet” Bluetooth LE Enabled Toilet Seat Works with Android & iOS Smartphones

Smart bidet toilet seat

If you’ve ever been to Japan, and to a lesser extend in Korea, you’ll probably have used one those toilet seat that sprays water, and ends with a gentle drying once you’re done with business. That’s all good, but you’d still need to press the buttons to activate it, and who knows what kind of germs may be on those buttons. But with Nordic Semi nRF52832 powered Kohler Novita “Therapy Bidet” (BD-TE80M) you don’t need to worry about third party germs, since it can be controlled over Bluetooth LE with your very own smartphone contaminated with your very own germs. The toilet seat bidet supports three different spray modes (active, silky, and mist) aka “water experiences”, as well as dual dry air blower combined with far infrared for “better skin care” and improved blood circulation. An auto-customization mode is available for ladies during the thing that normally happens every moon or so. Beside the smartphone app, the bidet can also …

Samsung Introduces Exynos i S111 NB-IoT Modem + GNSS Chip

Samsung has just announced their first NB-IoT solution with Exynos i S111 chipset with a single chip integrating an NB-IoT capable LTE modem, RF IC, an on-chip security sub-system, and a PUF (Physical Unclonable Function) security solution along with various components such as CPU, and SRAM. The chip apparently also integrates GNSS hardware with support for GPS, Galileo, etc… Exynos i S111 specifications: CPU – Arm Cortex-M7 @ 200MHz On-chip Memory – 512KB SRAM Modem – LTE Release 14 NB-IoT GNSS – GPS, Galileo, GLONASS, BeiDou Interfaces / Peripherals – USI, UART, I2C, GPIO, eSIM I/F, SDIO (Host), QSPI(Single/Dual/Quad IO mode), SMC Security – eFuse, AES, SHA-2, PKA, Secure Storage, Security Sub-System, PUF The chip is also said to features Samsung’s “advanced algorithms for wider coverage”. Many NB-IoT GPS trackers currently implement a two modules solution, so the latest Exynos chip should enable more compact designs. Samsung did not publish numbers about power consumption, apart from the usual 10-year battery …

μArt is a Universal USB to UART-TTL Adapter with Safety Features (Crowdfunding)

μArt USB to UART-TTL Adapter

I’ve never had specific issues with USB to TTL debug boards personally, but potentially you could damage the target if you select one with the wrong voltage, and for more advanced use cases often do not include GPIOs. μArt USB to UART-TTL Adapter aims to solve those issue with wide voltage range (1.8 to 5.4V), safety features like galvanic isolation or over-current protection, and one header exposing I/Os. Key features: Universal TTL-UART – 1.8 – 5.4 V, up to 3M speed, standard & non-standard baudrates, pins for handshaking and flashing various MCU families, wide OS-support Galvanic isolation, integrated pull-ups, signal- and power-filters Over-current protection, reverse-polarity protection, ESD protection, mechanical protection Voltage-autosensing, LEDs, GPIOs, software-configurable Dimensions – 58 x 33 x 14 mm Weight – 16 grams Everything is also packaged in a case contrary to most (all) other boards in the market. uART-USB-TLL-Board The developer provides drivers for Windows, Linux, MacOS, etc…, although currently GPIO support only works with Linux …