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View Full Version : [News/Announcement] PhidgetSBC - Phidgets Linux Based Single Board Computer



DresnerRobotics
09-29-2009, 02:34 PM
Phidgets (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/Phidgets.aspx?a=blog) have long been a favorite for computer software developers due to their ease of use, wide selection of sensors and I/O boards, and solid API offering for a variety of programming languages. The one thing that has always been a requirement however, is a physical connection to a computer via USB cable.


All of that is a thing of the past now with the introduction of the PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog); an Arm9 based embedded Linux computer (it runs a custom Linux Distro built using Buildroot) combined with the tried and true Phidgets 8/8/8 IO Board. (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgets-888.aspx?a=blog)


http://blog.trossenrobotics.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/P1070.jpg (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog)
So what does that mean to you? In its simplest form and function, it effectively cuts the cable of your Phidgets projects and allows you to access your Phidgets devices over ethernet or the included Wifi dongle. The onboard computer acts as a server for the variety of APIs that Phidgets offers, and this enhanced 'mobility' opens the doors to a much wider variety of applications. The PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog) can function as a wireless extension of your PC, a Wifi enabled Robot Controller, or even a standalone Robot Controller. That's right, the PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog) is fully programmable; there is an easy to use interface that allows you to load custom C or Java code directly to the board and have it run autonomously, without the previously required PC link. If that wasn't enough, more advanced users can modify the Linux build to their hearts content, host other USB based Phidgets devices by simply plugging them into the PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog), and has integrated support for streaming a web cam feed back to your PC. I'm really just skimming the surface here, for more details check out the (as always) very well documented product manual. (http://www.phidgets.com/documentation/Phidgets/1070.pdf)

The PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog) will run you $243.90 USD and we are currently accepting pre-orders for this as we anticipate it to be a very high demand product. Given that the development kits for the onboard computer used here usually run in the ~$150-200 range, this price is a VERY good deal to anyone looking to take their Phidgets projects to the next level. Initial quantities will be limited and orders are filled on a first come first serve basis, so get your pre-order in ASAP to snag one up!

LinuxGuy
09-29-2009, 05:44 PM
Phidgets (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/Phidgets.aspx?a=blog) have long been a favorite for computer software developers due to their ease of use, wide selection of sensors and I/O boards, and solid API offering for a variety of programming languages. The one thing that has always been a requirement however, is a physical connection to a computer via USB cable.

All of that is a thing of the past now with the introduction of the PhidgetSBC (http://www.trossenrobotics.com/p/phidgetSBC.aspx?a=blog); an Arm7 based embedded Linux computer (it runs a flavor of Debian) combined with the tried and true Phidgets 8/8/8.
OMG! Now you have me reconsidering Phidgets.. :happy:

What is the manufacturer/model of the main CPU, and how fast is it?

How much main memory?

What does it use for mass storage, and how much storage does it have?

I could be content with a Linux SBC that just works and allows me to get to writing software for my robots. Is all development done right on the SBC? Does Python come already installed? Since it runs a flavor of Debian, I'll assume for now that the usual package repositories and apt-get are already available for things not included that somebody like me might want. :happy: I'm very familiar with Debian and distros based on it like Ubuntu/Kubuntu.

I'm digging into the user manual for this gadget right now. So many toys, and so little money to spend on them.. I think I've already got my gadget money spent up through Jan of next year. :eek:

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
09-29-2009, 06:03 PM
It's an ARM9 @ 266Mhz, 64MB/64MB

[edit: link removed. If you have the original manual please shoot me a PM] Page 34

apt-getting ARM9 binaries?

sam
09-29-2009, 06:06 PM
It looks like pretty interesting stuff. Could easily find stuff to do with that!

jes1510
09-29-2009, 06:49 PM
This would make a groovy little controller for things like assembly lines and such.

LinuxGuy
09-29-2009, 08:21 PM
apt-getting ARM9 binaries?
apt-get is part of Debian and any Debian derived distro. No, apt-getting LINUX binary packages. :happy:

8-Dale

Adrenalynn
09-29-2009, 08:29 PM
There's no such animal as a "linux binary package".

There's an i386 binary package for xxx distro of Linux. Or an x64 binary package for xxx distro of Linux. Or a sparc binary package for xxx distro of Linux. Or a MIPS binary package for xxx distro of Linux. Or a ...

But a MIPS binary isn't going to run on an i386 processor. And an x64 binary isn't going to run on an ARM9. We've got some pretty basic incompatibilities going on there.

patrick
10-02-2009, 11:46 AM
The PhidgetSBC does not run Debian - I'm not sure where that came from. We did look into running Debian, but there's not really enough space in the 64MB of onboard Flash. This means that we also don't have an onboard package manager. Version 2 of the SBC will probably run Debian and have apt, more Flash, etc. Debian does provide full ARM binaries, which makes it ideal for embedded arm applications.

-Patrick

Adrenalynn
10-02-2009, 12:16 PM
The PhidgetSBC does not run Debian - I'm not sure where that came from. We did look into running Debian, but there's not really enough space in the 64MB of onboard Flash. This means that we also don't have an onboard package manager. Version 2 of the SBC will probably run Debian and have apt, more Flash, etc. Debian does provide full ARM binaries, which makes it ideal for embedded arm applications.

-Patrick

apt-get OS binaries? Sure. apt-get 3rd party apps? Not the vast majority. It's the pretty rare project that goes out of their way to build for cell phones. ;)