Skoobot is a Tiny Robot with BLE Connectivity and Sensors (Crowdfunding)


If you want to get started with robotics either for yourself, or maybe teach children, Skoobot robot could be an interesting option. It’s extra small with a 2.5 cm cubic shape, support Bluetooth Low Energy, and  includes some sensors like ST VL6180 distance and ambient light sensor, and a microphone. Skoobot hardware specifications: MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52832 Arm Cortex M4F microcontroller with 512KB flash, 64KB SRAM Connectivity – Bluetooth Low Energy (built into nRF52832) Sensors ST VL6180X distance sensor (0 to 10 cm range) and ambient light level sensors Knowles microphone for word and beep recognition Two motors and wheels Misc – Buzzer Battery – Yes (no capacity specified) Dimensions – 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm A separate companion board is also provided to handle charging, UART and J-Link mode debugging and programming. The robot can be controlled from an Android app, or a Raspberry Pi board using Python and JavaScript/Node.js programming. The C firmware can also be …

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ARCO is a Real Robot that Lives in Virtual Worlds (Crowdfunding)


Hicat launched HICAT.Livera machine vision board for robotics projects on Kickstarter two year ago. The company second project is still related to robotics and machine vision, but geared towards a different target audience, as ARCO robot aims to offer an augmented reality gaming experience to kids, although it’s still hackable/customizable as we’ll see below. The hardware part is mostly comprised of ARCO ROVER robot, and a Bluetooth controller that can be stored in ARCO’s inner capsule, where it recharges and communicates with ARCO through a magnetic pogo connection joint.  The listed specifications are rather limited: ARCO ROVER Bluetooth connectivity (nRF52 WiSoC) 10 RGB LEDs Battery – Good for about one hour Power Supply – Via USB type C port Dimensions – 8.9 x 7 x 6.5 cm Weight – ~180 grams Controller Bluetooth (nRF52) Sensor – 3-axis accelerometer for motion detection Trigger and rocker Battery – Good for about one hour Dimensions – 5.2 x 3.3 x 2.5 cm Weight …

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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 …

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A Closer Look at NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Developer Kit (Video)

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Developer Kit

NVIDIA unveiled Jetson Xavier module and devkit last month, but the company did not release the full information, and for example we did not get any clear photo of the module and kit. Charbax did shot a video with more details at the time, but NVIDIA has now published more information about their upcoming $1,299 Jetson Xavier Developer Kit, including an introduction video which I’ll  embed at the end of this article. The first thing to understand is that the module is not actually used in the developer kit, and will only used in actual mass-produced products. The main  difference is the thermal solition. The development kit including a large heatsink, while the production module has a thermally conductive plate to let product designer select the most suitable thermal solution for their products. The specifications are still basically the same. For Jetson Xavier (production) module: SoC – NVIDIA Jetson Xavier with 8x 64-bit Armv8.2 processor with 8MB L2 cache and …

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NVIDIA Introduces Jetson Xavier Devkit and Isaac Robotics Software

NVIDIA Jetson Xavier

NVIDIA Xavier was first unveiled in September 2016 as an artificial intelligence SoC with eight NVIDIA Custom 64-bit Arm cores, a 512-core Volta GPU,  8K video encoding and decoding, and a computer vision accelerator (CVA) now called NVDLA (NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator). Earlier this year, the company announced Xavier was sampling,  and DRIVE IX & DRIVE AR SDKs for the automotive market. On the eve of Computer 2018, NVIDIA has introduced Jetson Xavier development kit, as well as Isaac robotics software for autonomous machines. Jetson Xavier key specifications: SoC – NVIDIA Xavier with 8-core ARMv8.2 64-bit CPU, 8MB L2 + 4MB L3 512-core Volta GPU with Tensor Cores 2x NVDLA engines for deep learning 7-way VLIW Processor for vision acceleration VPU with dual 4Kp60 video decoding and encoding System Memory – 16GB 256-bit LPDDR4x | 137 GB/s Storage – 32GB eMMC 5.1 flash Display – 3x eDP/DP/HDMI at 4Kp60 | HDMI 2.0, DP HBR3 Camera 16x CSI-2 Lanes (40 Gbps …

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A 6-Part BeagleBone Webinar for Users, Developers and Education Starts on May 10


The BeagleBone Black and derivatives like PocketBeagle or BeagleBone Green Wireless are still popular development boards, and if you are interested in the platform as a developer, user, or educator, you may learn more about the boards and how to use them in an upcoming BeagleBone webinar series presented by Jason Kridner, the co-founder and board member at Foundation,  and element14. The webinar series will start in about 2 weeks with the following schedule: Introduction to BeagleBone –  10th May 2018 @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) BeagleBone for Linux Users – 24th May 2018 @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) BeagleBone for Embedded Developers – 6th June 2018 @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) BeagleBone for Web Developers – 21th June  2018  @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) BeagleBone Blue for Robotics – 12th July 2018 @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) BeagleBone in the Classroom – 26th July 2018  @ 11:00 AM (CDT)/17:00 (GMT) I understand attending the webinar is free, and …

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Qualcomm QCS603 / QCS605 “IoT” SoCs are Designed for AI and Computer Vision Applications

Qualcommn has unveiled the “Qualcomm Vision Intelligence Platform”, which aims at IoT devices with camera leveraging artificial intelligence and computer vision. The first SoCs part of the platform are QCS605 and QCS603 manufactured with a 10nm process, and equipped with an “advanced image signal processor” and the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, as well Arm CPU cluster, Adreno GPU, and Hexagon DSP. QCS603 & QCS605 specifications: CPU QCS603 – 2x 1.6GHz Qualcomm Kryo 300 Gold cores, 6x 1.7GHz Qualcomm Kryo 300 Silver cores QCS605 – 2x 2.5GHz Qualcomm Kryo 300 Gold cores, 6x 1.7GHz Qualcomm Kryo 300 Silver cores Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine DSP Qualcomm Hexagon 685 Vector Processor 2x Qualcomm Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) GPU – Qualcomm Adreno 615 with OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan, OpenCL support Neural Processing – Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine programming interface with support for Tensorflow, Caffe/Caffe2, ONNE, Android NN; 2.1 TOPS @ 1w Memory I/F – 16-bit LPDDR4x @ up to 1866MHz Connectivity WiFi …

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Getting Started with TinyLIDAR Time-of-Flight Sensor on Arduino and Raspberry Pi

TinyLIDAR is an inexpensive and compact board based on STMicro VL53L0X Time-of-Flight (ToF) ranging sensor that allows you to measure distance up to 2 meters using infrared signals, and with up to 60 Hz. Contrary to most other VL53L0X boards, it also includes an STM32L0 micro-controller that takes care of most of the processing, frees up resource on your host board (e.g. Arduino UNO), and should be easier to control thanks to I2C commands. The project was successfully funded on Indiegogo by close to 600 backers, and the company contacted me to provided a sample of the board, which I have now received, and tested with Arduino (Leonardo), and Raspberry Pi (2). TinyLIDAR Unboxing I was expecting a single board, but instead I received a bubble envelop with five small zipped packages. Opening them up  revealed three TinyLIDAR boards, the corresponding Grove to jumper cables, and a bracket PCB for three TinyLIDAR boards together with headers and screws. So I …

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