Reeman Playmate is a Robot for Kids Based on Rockchip RK3288 SoC

Rockchip processors are usually found in tablets and TV boxes, but one Shenzhen based company called Reeman has designed Playmate robot for kids powered by Rockchip RK3288 processor, which can take picture, sing, dance, tell stories, be used for video chat, and goes to recharge itself automatically when the batteries are low. The Rockchip processor takes care of a 10.1″ touchscreen display, stereo microphones, speakers, camera, and artificial intelligence which recognizes Chinese and to a lesser extend English language, and take relevant actions, while the motors and sensors are managed by a few ARM Cortex M3 micro-controllers. The robot is still in development, and the company is working on adding a 3D camera to recognize objects, which will allow the robot to find its charging dock among other things. The Android 4.4 robot will be available for 2,999 RMB (~$473) in Q1 2016 in China. Charbax filmed the robot at the company, and also had a tour of the R&D …

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ZeroPi is an Arduino & Raspberry Pi Compatible Motor Control Board (Crowdfunding)

Pi boards keep on coming… As soon as I finished writing about Roseapple Pi board, yet another one popped out on my twitter feed… But that one is of a different kind, as it won’t run Linux, but instead the board is powered by an Atmel SAMD21 Cortex M0+ micro-controller, and can support lots of electric motors including up to 11 micro servos and 8 DC motors – or 4 stepper motors – simultaneously. ZeroPi board specifications: MCU – Atmel SAMD21J18 ARM Cortex M0+ @ 48 MHz with 32 SRAM and 256KB flash I/O pins via 33-pin header, 4-pin temperature sensor, and 10-pin Raspberry Pi header 35 GPIOs 4x 12-bit ADC channels 1x 10-bit DAC 2x UART 2-channel temperature sensor interface DC current per I/O pin- 7mA DC / Stepper Motor control – 4x 4-channel SLOT interface compatible with common parts such as DRV8825 or A4988 Stepper motor driver and TB6612 DC motor driver USB – Micro USB port for …

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2015 Open Source Hardware Summit Program Published

The Open Source Hardware Summit takes places once a year in different location each year. It was at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2013, in Rome, Italy last year, and this year the event will be hosted in Philadelphia in the US, and the organizers just released the program. It will be a one day event (September 19, 2015) with four “tracks” with a total of 23 sessions, and a keynote: Science and Education Open Hardware, Open Minds: The Rise of Open Hardware in Academia and K-12 Education by Ben Leduc-Mills. The Rise and Fall of an Open Source Hardware Company by Nancy Ouyang. Open Hardware in Community/Citizen Science by Peter Marchetto. DropBot: an Open-Source Platform for Lab Automation by Ryan Fobel, Christian Fobel, Michael Dryden and Aaron Wheeler. Making Open Hardware the New Standard in Science by Joshua Pearce. Open Source Robotics Foundation and the Robotics Fast Track by Hugo Boyer. Workflow: From Chip to Product Overview …

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Onion Omega is an Atheros AR9331 Wi-Fi Module Supporting Various Docks and Add-on Boards (Crowdfunding)

There are so many inexpensive Wi-Fi modules running Linux that it would be easy to discard Onion Omega as yet another Wi-Fi module based on Atheros AR9331 WiSoC. However, the developers have tried to bring some added value by making programming easier for web developers, integrating it with a cloud platform (free for non-commercial use), and providing basicor Arduino dock, and add-on boards for Ethernet, OLED, Relay… to make building hardware projects easier too. Let’s go through the hardware first, starting with the module specifications: SoC –  Atheros AR9331 400MHZ MIPS 24K System Memory – 64MB DDR2 400MHz Storage – 16MB Flash Connectivity – 10/100 Mbps Ethernet + 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi up to 150Mbps with PCB antenna w/ uFL connector I/Os –  18 GPIOs USB – 1x USB 2.0 Power Supply – 3.3V; Typ. consumption: 0.6W Dimensions – 28.2mm x 52mm (1.1″ x 2.0″) Since this type of module is not always convenient to use standalone… three docks have been designed: …

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TechNexion Introduces Intel Edison Compatible PICO-iMX6 SoM and DWARF Board

Intel Edison is a board made for wearables featuring an SoC with Intel Atom and Quark CPU cores. TechNexion, an embedded systems company based in Taiwan, has decided to make a mechanically and electrically compatible system-on-module featuring Frescale i.MX6 Solo or Duallite ARM Cortex A9 processor called PICO-iMX6. The company is also providing a PICO-DWARF baseboard that’s both compatible with PICO-iMX6 SoM and Edison board. DWARF stands for “Drones, Wearables, Appliances, Robotics and Fun”, so that pretty much explains what the platform is for. PICO-iMX6 System-on-Module Two version of the modules are available: PICO-iMX6-SD and PICO-iMX6-EMMC, the former with a micro SD slot for storage, and the latter a 4GB eMMC. Both share the followings specifications: SoC – Freescale i.MX6 Solo / Duallite  single/dual core ARM Cortex A9 @ 1Ghz with Vivante GC880 3D GPU and Vivante GC320 2D GPU (Composition) System Memory – 512MB or 1GB DDR3 Storage – PICO-iMX6-SD: micro SD slot;  PICO-iMX6-EMMC: 4GB eMMC Connectivity Gigabit Network …

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GroBotz Interactive Robot Project is Made of Easy to Assemble Smart Blocks (Crowdfunding)

GroBotz makes me think of Lego applied to robotics. The project consists of modules such as motors, sensors, buttons, switches, or cameras that snap together in order to create a robot on wheels, games, toys, a musical instrument, or whatever idea you may have, and the hardware is then programmed using a graphical user interface. A Raspberry Pi board is used for the brain of the robot, and Microchip PIC MCUs for the smart blocks. The software is programmed in C# using Xamarin, the user interface is based on Unity, OpenCV is used for image processing, and during development a plastic part where printed with Makerbot, and schematics and PCB layout designed with CadSoft EAGLE. The company has now come up with a number of modules as shown in the picture below. Your robot can then be controlled over Wi-Fi with GroBotz app which works on Windows, Mac OS, iOs, Android and Linux devices. The software provide a “wire editor” …

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Snappy Ubuntu Core is an IoT Linux Distribution for ARM and x86

Canonical has announced a version of Ubuntu specifically designed for IoT devices running Linux, with a low hardware requirements, and a new package manager called snappy, replacing apt-get for this version of Ubuntu, which provides simpler, faster, and more reliable updates, stronger security, and allows roll-backs in case something goes wrong. Easy firmware updates are something missing in most connected device, which means they are more vulnerable to potential hackers, but with snappy security updates should be able to make it regularly, so that if something like heartbleed occurs again, you know your router, home automation gateway, connected washing machine, or robot will be soon patched automatically. Let’s go through the hardware requirements first: Processor – 600 MHz processor (ARMv7 or greater, or x86) System Memory – 128 MB RAM or greater (The system itself uses 40 MB RAM) Storage – 4GB flash / storage for factory reset and system rollback So the hardware requirements are not quite as low …

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Linux based BPI D1 HD Camera Module Features Anyka AK3918 ARM9 Processor

SinoVoIP BPI-D1 is a tiny 720p30 camera module running Linux, and powered by Anyka AK3918 ARM9 processor. It’s a standalone module that can be powered by micro USB (5V), or an external Lithium battery, and it also includes various GPIOs, a micro USB interface, a micro SD slot to boot Linux, optional Wi-Fi connectivity, and more.. BPI D1 specifications: Processor – Anyka AK3918 ARM926EJ processor @ 400 MHz System Memory –  64MB DDR2 Storage – 16 MB SPI Flash + micro SD flash up to 32GB. Camera: CMOS Image Sensor 720p @ 30fps, visible light with 940 nm two-way infrared lens filter, with infrared night vision function Lens – M7*P0.35 EFL=3.0mm/F.NO=2.8/View Angle=60° Video Recording –  H.264 / AVI hardware encoding at 720p 30fps for up to 120 hours of video data on a 32GB micro SD card Audio Formats – MP3/WMA/AAC Audio Input – Microphone Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n (AP or client mode) with Realtek RTL8188EUS WIFI module (D1 Pro …

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