$13 Orange Pi Zero Set 6 Kit Could Make an Inexpensive DIY Google Home Alternative

Since Google released the Google Assistant SDK for Raspberry Pi 3, and other ARMv7 boards, I thought I should it try myself on one of the tiny headless boards I have, as you just need audio output and a microphone. I first planed to use NanoPi NEO board with NanoHAT PCM5102A audio board, a cheap USB microphone, and pair of speakers, but this morning, I’ve come across Orange Pi Zero Set 6 kit that looks perfect for this applications and sells for just $12.95 plus shipping ($18.27 in total for me) with Orange Pi Zero board, Orange Pi Zero interface board, and a case. Orange Pi Zero board is powered by Allwinner H2+ quad core Cortex A7 processor with 512MB RAM, and can run the required Ubuntu/Debian distribution using one of the Armbian images, and connected to the Internet over Ethernet or WiFi, however if you want to use the latter, be aware that stability and performance issues have been …

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Helios4 Personal Cloud DIY NAS Supports 3.5″ Hard Drives, RAID, and More (Crowdfunding)

A few months ago, we covered GnuBee Personal Cloud 1, a NAS that runs on open source software, and that supports up to six 2.5″ SATA drives. The crowdfunding has been successful – after lowering the funding target -, and backers should hopefully get the NAS right after summer. But at the time, some people complained about the  memory capacity (512MB),  the lack of support for 3.5″ drives, and a few other items. A new project called “Helios4 Personal Cloud” addresses many of those concerns. It comes with 1 to 2GB RAM, enclosure supporting four 3.5″ drives, supports RAID, and is powered by Marvell ARMADA 388 processor that has been specifically designed for this type of application. Helios4 NAS specifications: SoC – Marvell ARMADA 388 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ up to 1.866 GHz with RAID5/6 acceleration engines, security acceleration engines, etc… System Memory – 1 or 2 GB DDR3L Storage – 4x SATA 3.0 ports, 2x HDD power …

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$6 LicheePi Zero ARM Board Runs Linux 4.10, Supports Lots of Add-On Boards (Crowdfunding)

We’ve already covered LicheePi One board powered by Allwinner A13 processor, but it was not for sale out of China, and the developers are now back with LicheePi Zero board/module, slightly bigger than an SD card, featuring Allwinner V3s processor, and offered for as low as $6, or $8 with WiFi via an Indiegogo campaign. LicheePi Zero specifications: SoC – Allwinner V3s ARM Cortex A7 processor @ up to 1.2 GHz with an ARM Mali-400 GPU, 512Mbit (64MB) DDR2 on-chip Storage – micro SD card slot, SPI flash (not 100% clear if it will be populated when shipped to backers) Display – FPC40 RGB Connector with support for 800×480 RGB LCD Audio – Audio codec USB – micro USB OTG port Expansion 2x 15 headers with 2.54mm pitch, breadboard friendly with GPIOs, 2x UART, 1x SPI, 2x I2C,ADC, 1x PWM 2x  30 half-holes with 1.27mm pitch with OTG USB,MIPI CSI,EPHY,RGB LCD, more GPIOs RGB connector can take add-on boards for …

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Open Surgery Initiative Aims to Build DIY Surgical Robots

Medical equipments can be really expensive because of the R&D involved and resulting patents, low manufacturing volume, government regulations, and so on. Developed countries can normally afford those higher costs, but for many it may just be prohibitively expensive. The Open Surgery initiative aims to mitigate the costs by “investigating whether building DIY surgical robots, outside the scope of healthcare regulations, could plausibly provide an accessible alternative to the costly professional healthcare services worldwide”. The project is composed of member from the medical, software, hardware, and 3D printing communities, is not intended for (commercial) application, and currently serves only academic purposes. Commercial surgical robots can cost up to $2,000,000, but brings benefits like smaller incisions, reduced risks of complications and readmissions, and shorter hospital stays thanks to a faster recovery process. There have already been several attempts within the robotics community to come up with cheaper and more portable surgical robots, such as RAVEN II Surgical robot initially developed with …

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Olimex Teres I A64 DIY Open Source Hardware Laptop Kit Design Complete, To Sell for 225 Euros

Olimex has been working on an open source hardware Olimex A64 laptop for a little over a year, and the company has now complete thed hardware design of their TERES I laptop, and are working on finalizing the software design before accepting orders for 225 Euros for TERES-A64-BLACK and TERES-A64-WHITE models. As explained in the instructions manual, Olimex laptop will not be sold assembled, but as a kit to let the users assemble the following parts themselves: TERES-006-Keyboard QWERTY keyboard TERES-023-Touch touchpad with TERES-022-Touch-Cover and TERES-010-Touch-Btns TERES-014-Screw-Set with 42 pieces of different kind of screws. TERES-PCB3-Touch PCB TERES-PCB2-IO PCB with headphone jack, micro SD slot, and a USB port TERES-PCB4-Btn PCB for the power button together with TERES-009-Pwr-Btn plastic and TERES-013-LED-pipe TERES-PCB1-A64 motherboard based on Allwinner A64 processor. TERES-PCB5-KEYBOARD keyboard control board Display parts: TERES-008-LCD-Back, TERES-016-Hinge-Set, TERES-007-LCD-Frame, and TERES-015-LCD 11.6″ LCD panel TERES-019-Camera & TERES-020-Camera-Lens for the webcam Speakers, battery,WiFi antenna, and a few flat cables to connect all the …

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MacroFAB FX Development Board is an Open source Audio Electronics Prototyping Platform (Crowdfunding)

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a Linux multi-effects guitar pedal, and if you are interested in such audio projects, another company called MacroFab, specializing in manufacturing & assembling PCBs & electronic device, has now designed open source FX development board for audio electronics prototyping, that can be used for audio effects “guitar” pedals, and let you design your own tones. Key features of FX development board: Potentiometers 9V battery holder ¼” Input and output jacks connected to breadboard True bypass 3PDT switch User selectable power supply connections Dual solderless breadboards with power rails selectable by jumpers Adjustable 9 V power supply Power supply with 2.1 mm dc input jack for use with AC-to-AC wall wart; +/- 15 volt @ 200 mA power supplies with over-current protection; +1.25 to 9 V @ 150 mA adjustable power supply; Split voltage rail (1/2*9 Volt Rail) @ 15 mA for use as a virtual ground The board can be used for …

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