May 6, 2013

UDOO: $109 single-board computer is like an Arduino crossed with a Raspberry Pi

Arduino boards are small, inexpensive devices that let you build things with sensors (to control anything from a robot to a home automation system). The Raspberry Pi is a small, single board computer that can run Linux-based software.

But what if you want a board that can do both of those things? That’s where the UDOO comes in. It’s a single-board Arduino-compatible computer which has a faster processor than the Raspberry Pi, support for Android or Linux.

The developers launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project a few days ago, and have already blown well past their goal. That means the first UDOO units could hit the streets as early as Sepetember, if all goes according to plan.

The UDOO is powered by a Freescale i.MX6 ARM Cortex-A9 processor and features 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot for storage, gigabit Ethernet and WiFi, 2 USB ports, 2 mini USB ports, HDMI, and audio ports.

It also has the same SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 chip as the Arduino Due, and support for any shields that will work with the Arduino Due.

Not only is the whole project kind of cool, but the makers of the UDOO board have put together one of the best videos I’ve ever seen showing what you might actually want to do with an Arduino board — especially one that also has its own on-board computer.

Examples shown in the video include a video game system that receives input from homemade controllers (like foot-pads for a racing game), a motion sensor that you can wave your hands in front of to control music playback, or a remote control robot that lets you follow your dog around with a camera while streaming the video over the internet to a tablet.

There will be two models of the UDOO board. The UDOO DUAL has a i.MX6 dual-core processor and a $109 price (although early bird Kickstarter backers can snag it for $99), while the UDOO QUAD has an i.MX6 quad-core processor and a SATA connector. That model will sell for $129, but early backers can reserve one for a pledge of $119.

Since Freescale offers plenty of documentation for its i.MX6 chips, these systems should be pretty hacker-friendly, and the developers say they’ll support Android and Linux.

via CNX-Software


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