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billyzelsnack
12-06-2010, 10:20 PM
These might have some potential to use as a robot controller.

Runs Linux.
Display is color 3.5" 320x240 with resistive touchpad.
Board is 454Mhz Freescale i.MX233 ARM9 processor
68MB RAM
USB host port.
Wifi.
FM Radio
3-axis Accelerometer
Mic/speakers
$50!

I did a quick teardown here..
http://billyzelsnack-robotics.blogspot.com/2010/12/insignia-infocast-35-teardown.html

RobotAtlas
12-07-2010, 12:00 PM
So what's the total weight? 170g?
Is touchscreen the only input?
54 MB sounds awfully small, even for ARM. Any other storage?
That USB host is cool.
Maybe Pi robot could use it.

billyzelsnack
12-07-2010, 12:55 PM
Weight of display+board is 77.5g. The other numbers were just an attempt to get a rough idea of each component. That's why I put the "each" in quotes. Yeah.. Kinda confusing.

There is button and a pot for input too! They have some GPIO and other that would be easy to access too..
http://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=1435

Back in my day my microcontrollers only had 4K! haha. There is also a micro-SD card. I don't know how to pop it out though. I think it is either 1GB or 2GB.

Also. There are two USB host, but one is used by the WIFI + whatever one is available on the board holes.

billyzelsnack
12-07-2010, 10:58 PM
I mounted the display onto the board..
http://billyzelsnack-robotics.blogspot.com/2010/12/infocast-35-display-mod.html

I'm thinking that I might build a wifi tethered futbol bot with this. There should be plenty of processor power onboard to handle motions, balancing, etc. The question is if it can also handle transmitting at least one decent resolution camera stream over wifi.

billyzelsnack
12-08-2010, 11:51 PM
I got a webcam working. Performance looks good at this point.
YouTube - Infocast/Chumby-one 3.5" initial webcam action
Next step is to do some trusty old (disgusting) socket coding and see what performance looks like over wifi. It possibly could be a little better since I won't need to do YUYV decoding on the device side. Who knows though.

billyzelsnack
12-11-2010, 06:46 PM
So I implemented both UDP and TCP wifi transmission. Frame rate is not looking good with either. Several to 5 fps. If I watch my network I am getting 800KiB/s which is a theoretical 5.3333 fps for this data. So I believe my code is working proper. The problem is that the entire concept of sending raw data over my crappy network is just not realistic. I should of realized this before I even started. Doh.

I guess now I can be properly impressed at how well video codecs work. youtube can stream a very high quality 640x480 video at 20+ fps at 1/10th of the bandwidth I am using for 320x240 at 5- fps.

So my option is to compress the video before transmission or just not transmit and do the vision work on the device. What I really need to do now is figure out the CPU usage for just reading in the webcam data. Is there an alternative to top, since it is not working while running the app, before I go ahead and write timing code.

billyzelsnack
12-11-2010, 08:08 PM
I just gave a try with a little bit better network setup here..
YouTube - Borderline acceptable Chumby wifi webcam performance on my slow network.
This is right on the edge of being acceptable. Hmm.

billyzelsnack
12-11-2010, 08:36 PM
YouTube - Chumby UDP webcam wifi version
Hmm. Maybe this will work after all.

skcolb
01-05-2011, 09:57 PM
billyzelsnack: Awesome work, and thanks for posting about it here and on your site. That info led me to get an Infocast 3.5" last week to play around with.

What camera are you using?

billyzelsnack
01-06-2011, 12:16 AM
The C510 works and so does this one..
http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.14991
Actually. Every webcam I've tried except for the PS3eye has worked.

lnxfergy
01-15-2011, 10:20 PM
Billy,

Ok, so I got one of these for Christmas, and I've now disassembled it (great notes on how to safely do so, thanks!). I was starting to look at what route to go for software, I don't notice any such discussion on your blog though. Are you using the OpenEmbedded firmware? If not, any pointers on what system/documentation has worked well for you?

-Fergs

billyzelsnack
01-16-2011, 12:38 AM
I use whatever it ships with. You know how to get into it right? Settings->pi symbol in right corner->sshd button. Now you can just ssh in as root. For cross-compiling I grabbed the fbwrite example from the hacking section in the wiki. Drop your stuff into /mnt/storage and you can execute your code.

hash79
01-16-2011, 01:44 AM
Fergs,

Read this document, the Infocast is the same thing repackaged...

http://www.linuxtoys.org/chumbot/chumby_as_robot.pdf

-Hash

lnxfergy
01-16-2011, 08:07 AM
I use whatever it ships with. You know how to get into it right? Settings->pi symbol in right corner->sshd button. Now you can just ssh in as root. For cross-compiling I grabbed the fbwrite example from the hacking section in the wiki. Drop your stuff into /mnt/storage and you can execute your code.

Yep, thanks. I found that out a little while after I posted my question. I also found your thread on using the webcam over on the chumby forum.

-Fergs

lnxfergy
01-16-2011, 08:07 PM
Fergs,

Read this document, the Infocast is the same thing repackaged...

http://www.linuxtoys.org/chumbot/chumby_as_robot.pdf

-Hash

Very useful link, thanks! You might want to link to this on the XV-11 hacking site as well.

-Fergs

hash79
01-29-2011, 01:19 PM
I finally found time to finish this blog post. Detailed instructions on how I configured my Chumby to be used with the XV-11 as a wifi USB -> serial extender.

http://random-workshop.blogspot.com/2011/01/using-insignia-infocast-35-chumby-as.html

If anyone runs through it and finds problems please let me know and I will make corrections. I used a new Chumby out of the box and fresh Ubuntu install so hopefully I caught most everything.

-Hash

rebel
02-25-2011, 03:49 PM
I went through some of the links you have in this post, just one question, do you think that this thing can be a robot controller? For the typres of robots we build in these forums

lnxfergy
02-25-2011, 04:19 PM
I went through some of the links you have in this post, just one question, do you think that this thing can be a robot controller? For the typres of robots we build in these forums

As it generally lacks IO, you'd probably need to chain one of the USB or serial ports to an 8-bit micro to get IO access. This is probably half way between just using an 8-bit micro and moving up to a PC-based bot (FitPC+8-bit IO device or a roboard).

-Fergs

billyzelsnack
02-25-2011, 05:50 PM
What Inxfergy said.

There is a little bit of discussion on the GPIO over at the chumby forums.. http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?id=6116

Though the Linux installed by default is not a realtime kernel. Maybe that's good enough for usable GPIO. Maybe FreeRTOS or something else might work better. I decided to just put a microcontroller off a USB port and skip the research.

rebel
02-26-2011, 10:45 AM
So could I connect my SSC-32 and a camera to it and it be a viable wifi source that would work well for mech warfare??

lnxfergy
02-26-2011, 11:10 AM
So could I connect my SSC-32 and a camera to it and it be a viable wifi source that would work well for mech warfare??

That's a bit of an unknown -- the question would be how well does the little USB wifi in the chumby hold up to high RF interference... I'm not sure anyone could answer that (unless they just happened to be running a chumby at RG last year).

-Fergs

rebel
02-26-2011, 12:07 PM
Cool, we just got to get someone to test that out this year LOL :P

billyzelsnack
02-26-2011, 05:40 PM
So could I connect my SSC-32 and a camera to it and it be a viable wifi source that would work well for mech warfare??

I've done a bit of camera/robot control with it..
YouTube - Untethered robot control with webcam

I've tried several other wifi dongles with it any managed to get them to work. If a wifi dongle does not work you probably can make it work with a little fiddling with drivers. Maybe bring several wifi dongles including ones with external antennas and use the one that works the best.

billyzelsnack
02-26-2011, 05:54 PM
Oh. The thing that I still have not got around to yet is to try my camera than does onboard MJPG and send those frames over wifi. That should allow for [email protected]

emgrobotics
03-07-2011, 09:03 PM
It makes a GREAT robot controller.

I developed a whole free toolkit to make turning your Chumby into a robot easy.
You can even add a web camera and do simple computer vision.

www.EMGRobotics.com

See videos:

YouTube - Chumby Roller in Action

YouTube - Chumby Mechatronics with the Freescale Tower Mechatronics Control Board

YouTube - Controlling RC servos from a Chumby using RobotSee

YouTube - Updated ChumbyRoller video - www.EMGRobotics.com

YouTube - Chumby based Walker uses Freescale MMA7455l to walk and balance

mannyr7
08-09-2011, 12:49 AM
Nothing much to report new, just thought I'd show off a few mods to my Infocast 3.5".

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VDrZTjbW5a4/Tj9lDZPCIpI/AAAAAAAABqc/8uVGI4w3QoI/s640/IMG_20110807_211458.jpg

With bezel mounted push button and rotary pot.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Lg7psydBKrk/Tj9kvgd0brI/AAAAAAAABqU/7gha_s9sXhY/s640/IMG_20110807_211518.jpg

Top down view of (L to R) 3.3V serial, power button, USB, speaker out, and DC in.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-I9aSpgGMRv4/Tj9kiiusHvI/AAAAAAAABqQ/HLy8D1uvvhw/s640/IMG_20110807_211610.jpg

Back view of High density PVC (or whatever it's called, I forget) mounting plate, and external USB extended by 4-wire ribbon cable and attached WFi module. Secured with generous helping of hot glue. :veryhappy:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-yvcgEmZl8co/Tj9kZUYpTnI/AAAAAAAABqM/4e9xPNDJRK0/s640/IMG_20110807_211644.jpg

Kinda blurry, sorry... Side view showing OEM pot relocated and hot glued in place.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-QHXhTNs9FYo/Tj9kFoHkZYI/AAAAAAAABqI/pywzQY5eRas/s640/IMG_20110807_211657.jpg

Another blurry side shot of a standard, off-the-shelf, momentary push-button soldered in place of the original top-mounted 'crash button' More heavy hot glue for stress relief and because I know myself too well! :eek:

So there you have it! Still fully functional and ready to drop in my next 'bots chest!

hash79
08-09-2011, 02:20 PM
Nice job Manny! I like the bezel mounted controls, will be sweet to see it in a robot... Are you planning to run code on it to control your robot, or use it as a wifi extender to another device that will be the brains?

-Hash

mannyr7
08-11-2011, 09:47 AM
I plan to run code on it natively as the brains to a pololu 18 channel micro maestro servo controller.