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 …

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Build & Customise OpenWrt for Raspberry Pi

OpenWrt Raspberry Pi Subtarget

OpenWrt is an open source operating system based on Linux especially designed for embedded & networking devices. This OS is well known for its lightweight footprint, standardized configuration approach (using LUCI interface), easy to build images, as opkg packages. At the core of OpenWrt is a writable root file system, where the users can add and/or remove packages, modify configs etc…. without having to re-flash the entire firmware/operating system. This is achieved by overlaying a read-only compressed SquashFS file system with a writable JFFS2 filesystem using OverlayFS. You can install pre-built packages from OpenWrt repo (which contains approximately 3500 packages) using opkg package manager. The Build Process Below steps cover the required pre-build environment and how to build OpenWrt from the source tree for Raspberry Pi board. Even though OpenWrt recommends Debian for the build machine, I built it successfully on Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop. Setup Build Environment Build OpenWrt Fetch the source tree from Openwrt git repo Move to OpenWRT …

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NComputing RX420(HDX) Raspberry Pi 4 Thin Client Works with Citrix HDX

RX-420 HDX Raspberry Pi 4 Thin Client

NComputing RX300 Raspberry Pi 3 thin client was launched in 2017 with support for the company’ vSpace Pro desktop virtualization solution for Linux and Windows, and I tested it accessing a Windows Server 2006 host located in Singapore, and performance was pretty good for a remote system as I could play 1080p YouTube videos, browse multiple tabs in Chrome, etc.. relatively smoothly.  This type of solution is aimed at businesses, for which it may be easier and cheaper to handle a fleet of devices using thin clients and servers, instead of traditional PC’s. Beside its vSpace Pro RX300 thin client, NComputing also introduced another Raspberry Pi 3 thin client that same year with RX-HDX using a design similar to RX300 but instead integrating support for Citrix HDX virtualization technology. NComputing now unveiled an update for the latter with RX420(HDX) thin client based on Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with 2GB RAM. Hardware-wise, NComputing RX420(HDX) thin client is basically a Raspberry Pi …

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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 …

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Year 2019 in Review – Top 10 Posts and Stats

Happy New Year 2020

2019 is closing to an end, or you may already be into 2020 while reading this post. In any case, that means it’s time to look back at 2019 and look forward to the events and new products to take place next year. While 2018 was a boring year for new processors, 2019 brought us some interesting new chips such as Amlogic S922X / A311D, or the first Arm Cortex-A55 only processors such as Amlogic S905X3. Rockchip RK3399Pro was promising when it was announced last year, but it never really took off. It was a pretty quiet year for Allwinner as well. RISC-V architecture has been ramping up with the first general-purpose RISC-V MCU: GD32V, WCH CH572 Bluetooth LE MCU, the launch of more SiFive RISC-V cores, and Kendryte K210 RISC-V AI processor announced last year has found its way into more and more boards. There have also been the usual launches of mobile Arm processors from Qualcomm, Samsung, and …

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NanoVision & NanoBerry Miniature Computer Vision Evaluation Kits Released For Arduino & Raspberry Pi Platforms

NanoVision and NanoBerry evaluation kits

AMS (Austria Mikro Systeme) known for their array for micro sensing solutions and most importantly the NanEye, a Miniature CMOS image sensor which is designed for applications where size is a critical factor has also launched a set for evaluation kits called the NanoVision and the NanoBerry for the development of solution based on the AMS NanEyeC miniature image sensor. NanEyeC Camera Sensor The NanEyeC comes in a footprint of just 1mm x 1mm surface mount, and it can produce 100kpixel resolution up to 58 frames/s. It seems the NanEyeC is based on the NanEye series, which typical (NanEye) features a 249×250 resolution with a high sensitive 3um x 3um rolling shutter pixel and capable of a high frame rate of about 43fps to 62fps. The NanEyeC sensor is based on the high-speed LVDS data interface. The sensor is assembled with a unique lens and cover glass, which fits in an endoscope with a diameter of <1.1mm. LVDS interfaces ensure …

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Some Interesting Talks from FOSDEM 2020 Schedule

FOSDEM 2020 Schedule

We wrote about IoT devroom call for proposals for FOSDEM 2020 a little while ago, and as the free open-source developer meetup is getting closer, FOSDEM 2020 organizers released the schedule. So I’ll look at some of the talks in the relevant devrooms such as the Internet of Things, hardware enablement, Embedded, Mobile and Automotive, as well as RISC-V and others to compose my own little virtual schedule for the 2-day event. Saturday, February 1 10:30 – 10:50 – How lowRISC made its Ibex RISC-V CPU core faster – Using open source tools to improve an open-source core – by Greg Chadwick Ibex implements RISC-V 32-bit I/E MC M-Mode, U-Mode, and PMP. It uses an in-order 2 stage pipe and is best suited for area and power-sensitive rather than high-performance applications. However, there is scope for meaningful performance gains without major impact to power or area. This talk describes work done at lowRISC to analyze and improve the performance of …

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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 – …

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