Pulurobot is a Low Cost Open Source Raspberry Pi based Load Carrying Autonomous Robot

Earlier today I wrote about FOSDEM 2018 schedule, and among the various talks I selected for my virtual schedule was “How to build an autonomous robot for less than 2K€”.  Some excerpt from the abstract including a short description of the project, and its “open-sourceness”: PULUrobot solves the autonomous mobile robotics complexity issue without expensive parts, without compromise. By fearless integration and from-scratch design, our platform can do SLAM, avoid obstacles, feed itself, and carry payload over 100kg, for less than 2,000 EUR. Application ecosystem can be born around it, as we offer a ready-made Open Source (GPLv2) solution in a tightly coupled HW-SW codesign. So I decided to have a closer at this project, which can be used as a robot maid/helper of sort, and other applications. The robot was made by a brand new (July 2017) startup called Pulu Robotics Oy and based in Finland. They have three models: Pulurobot S – Small version capable of carrying up …

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AcSiP S76G/S78G SiPs Integrate LoRa, GPS, and MCU into a Single 1.3×1.1 cm Package

LoRa has been combined with GPS in several products such as Rakwireless RAK811 LoRa tracker board, or Dragino LoRa/GPS HAT board among others, with all designed for far based on a LoRa module, plus a GPS module. LoRa GPS tracker will soon even smaller as AcSiP has developed S76G and S78G systems-in-package (SiP) that combine LoRa, GPS and an MCU into a single 1.1 x 1.3cm package. The two new modules are not listed on the company’s IoT-LoRa products page yet, but they appear to be an evolution of their S76S / S78S LoRa + MCU SiP released in 2016, so the new modules should have the following features: MCU – STMicro STM32L073x Arm Cortex M0+ MCU with up to 192 KB of Flash memory and 20 KB of RAM LoRa AcSiP S76G – Semtech SX1276 supporting global 868 MHz or 915 MHz ISM-Bands. AcSiP S78G – Semtech SX1278 supporting global 433 MHz or 470 MHz ISM-Bands GPS I/Os – …

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Octo SPI / HyperBus Interface is Designed for High Speed Serial Flash, RAM, and MCP

So far, if you needed high speed storage with low pin count in your MCU based board, you could use QSPI (Quad SPI) NOR flash, but earlier this month I wrote about STM32L4+ MCU family, which added two Octo SPI interfaces. I had never heard about Octo SPI previously. Those two interfaces can be used with single, dual, quad, or octal SPI compatible serial flash or RAM, and  support a frequency of up to 86 MHz for Octal SPI memories in STM32L4+ MCU. STMicro OctoSPI interface also supports Cypress/Spansion Hyperbus mode to connect to HyperFlash or HyperRAM chip, or even HyperFlash + HyperRAM Multi-Chip packages (MCP), and variable or fixed external memory latency as defined by the Hyperbus protocol specification. The latter reveals Hyperbus supports performance up to 400 MB/s (provided the controller support 200 MHz), and relies on either 11 bus signals using 3.0V I/O (Single-ended clock CK), or 12 bus signals using 1.8V I/Os (differential clock CK, CK#). …

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Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Development Kit 2 Becomes Open Source Hardware

Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset and development kit started to ship in summer 2014. The DK2 is kind of VR headset that is connected to a more powerful computer via USB and HDMI, includes hardware for positional tracking, a 5″ display ,and two lenses for each eye. Since then the company has been purchased by Facebook, and they’ve now decided to make the headset fully open source hardware.   The release includes schematics, board layout, mechanical CAD, artwork, and specifications under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, as well as firmware under “BSD+PATENT” licenses which you’ll all find on Github. The release is divided into four main folders: Documentation with high-level specifications for the DK2 headset, sensor, and firmware. Cable with schematics and high level specifications for the cables. Custom assembly that would be hard to recreate from source. Allegedly the most complex part of the design Sensor with electrical and mechanical CAD for the positional tracking sensor. Sadly …

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WizziKit is a DASH7, LoRa and Sigfox Wireless Sensor & Actuator Network Kit

Over the last few years, I’ve written several article about LoRaWAN, Cellular IoT, and Sigfox based long range low power IoT solutions. DASH7 is another LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) standard that operates on the same 868 and 915 MHz ISM bands as LoRa and Sigfox, but has much lower power consumption, and the cost of a shorter range up to 500 meters, instead of the 5+km associated with LoRa or SigFox. The DASH7 Alliance Protocol (D7A) is an Open Standard, and if you want more details you can download version 1.1 of the specifications on DASH7 Alliance website. I’m writing about DASH7 today thanks to an article on ST blog about Wizzilab’s Wizzikit, an evaluation kit and framework for DASH7 with a gateway, and several nodes that can also optionally support LoRaWAN and Sigfox protocols. The kit is comprised of the following items: WizziGate GW2120 Ethernet/Wifi/Dash7 gateway – based on GL-iNet AR150 router –  with antenna for the selected band …

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Wio LTE GPS Tracker Board Comes with a 4G Modem, Supports Espruino Firmware (JavaScript Programming)

Seeed Studio launched Wio GPS tracker with a 2G GSM module a few months ago, and while it should work in some countries, others are phasing out 2G networks, and only support 3G or 4G. The company has now launched an update with Wio LTE board with the same form factor, and most of the same features except they replaced the 2G/Bluetooth/GNSS module with a 4G LTE/GNSS module, and Atmel SAMD21 ARM Cortex M0+ microcontroller by an STMicro STM32 ARM Cortex-M4F MCU. Wio LTE board specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32F405RG ARM Cortex M4F MCU @ 168 MHz with 1MB flash, 192+4KB SRAM Storage – micro SD slot Connectivity via Quectel EC21-A (America) module LTE Cat.1 modem: FDD LTE: B2/B4/B12 WCDMA: B2/B4/B5 AT Command: 3GPP TS27.007 and enhanced AT Commands Data – LTE-FDD Max 10Mbps(DL) Max 5Mbps (UL) NanoSIM card 2x u.FL antenna connectors GNSS – GPS/BeiDou/GLONASS/Galileo/QZSS with 1x u.FL GNSS antenna connector Audio – 3.5mm audio jack with mic and …

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Linux 4.13 Release – Main Changes, ARM & MIPS Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 4.13 and a kidney stone…: So last week was actually somewhat eventful, but not enough to push me to delay 4.13. Most of the changes since rc7 are actually networking fixes, the bulk of them to various drivers. With apologies to the authors of said patches, they don’t look all that interesting (which is definitely exactly what you want just before a release). Details in the appended shortlog. Note that the shortlog below is obviously only since rc7 – the _full_4.13 log is much too big to post and nobody sane would read it. So if you’re interested in all the rest of it, get the git tree and limit the logs to the files you are interested in if you crave details. No, the excitement was largely in the mmu notification layer, where we had a fairly last-minute regression and some discussion about the problem. Lots of kudos to Jérôme …

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Husarion CORE2 STM32 Board for Robotics Projects Works with ESP32, Raspberry Pi 3, or ASUS Tinkerboard

Husarion CORE2 is a board designed to make robotics projects simpler and faster to complete with pre-configured software and online management. Projects can start using LEGOs, before moving to 3D printed or laser-cut version of the mechanical parts without having to spend too much time on the electronics and software part of the project. Two versions of the board are available: CORE2 combining STM32 MCU with ESP32 WiFI & Bluetooth module, and CORE2-ROS with STM32 instead coupled to a Raspberry Pi 3 or ASUS Tinkerboard running ROS (Robot Operating System). Both solutions share most of the same specifications: MCU -STMicro STM32F4 ARM CORTEX-M4 MCU @ 168 MHz with 192 kB RAM, 1 MB Flash External Storage – 1x micro SD slot USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port with 1A charging capability; 1x micro USB port for debugging and programming via FTDI chip Expansion Headers hRPi expansion header for CORE2-ROS –  a single board computer Raspberry Pi 3 or ASUS …

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