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Thread: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

  1. Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

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    I just posted a new video and blog entry showing how easy it is to control up to 12 standard servos with the Jetson TK1 & Jetduino. The Jetduino is a robotics interface board for the Jetson TK1 embedded supercomputer. It makes it very easy to build robots that can use the parallel processing capabilites of the NVIDIA GPU for vision and neural networks.

    If you would like to be kept up to date on the progress of this project please sign up for my newsletter. I plan to launch a crowdfunding campaign to get the Jetduino produced sometime in March or April, and I will need the help of any makers out there who want to make it easier to build robots or electronic projects with the awesome Jetson TK1.


    Here are a couple of other links describing the Jetduino:
    Jetduino V1 description
    Jetduino V1 test results
    Control 66 digital I/O lines
    Control 24 analog I/O lines

    Thanks
    Last edited by Neurobots; 02-21-2016 at 08:10 AM.

  2. #2

    Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    It makes it very easy to build robots that can use the parallel processing capabilites of the NVIDIA GPU for vision and neural networks.
    I'd be really interested in seeing details of a project that ACTUALLY does that. I know that's the sales pitch -- but I haven't seen anything more advanced than some color-blob detection on the GPU using stock OpenCV, which is something you can just as well do on a Raspberry Pi at 1/10th the cost ...

    how easy it is to control up to 12 standard servos with the Jetson TK1 & Jetduino
    The question will likely come up if you try to crowdfund this: How is using the Jetduino better than plugging an Arduino (or other small board microcontroller, such as Teensy) into the USB port of the TK1?

  3. #3

    Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    how easy it is to control up to 12 standard servos with the Jetson TK1 & Jetduino
    The question will likely come up if you try to crowdfund this: How is using the Jetduino better than plugging an Arduino (or other small board microcontroller, such as Teensy) into the USB port of the TK1?
    I agree. Also if I were to get back into the RC servo world again and needed more than one or two servos, I would more likely use something like an Lynxmotion SSC-32u controller, that I could connect up either through USB or to a TTL serial port.

    But it will be interesting to watch your progress.

  4. Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    I'd be really interested in seeing details of a project that ACTUALLY does that. I know that's the sales pitch -- but I haven't seen anything more advanced than some color-blob detection on the GPU using stock OpenCV, which is something you can just as well do on a Raspberry Pi at 1/10th the cost ...
    There are a lot of examples out there of people using the Jetson for some really cool vision stuff. For example, here is a link to a self-driving RC race car that some MIT students built. Also, JetsonHacks is publishing a YouTube series on how to build your own race car like this. This is just one example.

    Also, I love the Raspberry Pi. It is an awesome, inexpensive little computer. But if you really need processing horsepower there is no way it will compete with the TK1 or TX1. The TK1 has 192 CUDA streams, with a TEGRA optimized version of OpenCV and additional NVIDIA specific VisionWorks algorithsm available.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwatte View Post
    The question will likely come up if you try to crowdfund this: How is using the Jetduino better than plugging an Arduino (or other small board microcontroller, such as Teensy) into the USB port of the TK1?
    The main problem with using the Jetson for robotics at the moment is that it is difficult to directly interface other systems with it because it uses a non-standard 2mm female connector, and all the signals are at 1.8V. This means you need to level shift them before they can be used. The primary purpose of the Jetduino is to level shift all the I/O that is available, and provide Grove and RobotGeek connectors to make it very simple to plug in sensors and motors. The shield for the Due is a bonus that simplifies connecting the Jetson to an Arduino, and communicating with it.

    You could connect the Arduino to the USB port and use it as an intermediary with all your I/O first going through the Arduino. However, if you want to have something talk directly to the serial, SPI, I2C, or GPIO lines on the Jetson, that is not possible without using something like the Jetduino.

    The Jetduino also has a number of other useful features for building a robot as well, like wifi antenna mounts, a HD mount, and power regulation circuitry.

  5. Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

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    I just posted a new video and blog showing how easy it is to control Dynamixel smart servos with the Jetson TK1 & Jetduino.


    Smart servo blog entry: http://neurorobotictech.com/Communit...-Jetduino.aspx

  6. #6

    Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    if you want to have something talk directly to the serial, SPI, I2C, or GPIO lines on the Jetson
    I understand. There are many other boards with the same problem. (And having lots of parallel GPU power is great if you can actually make use of that power!)
    The race car course seems fun, although the linked page had 0 useful information about the project -- what algorithms did they use, how is this better than just plain dead reckoning, how much did they depend on the floor being consistent color and walls being contrasting colors, etc?
    I'm not saying the Jetson isn't fantastic! I'm saying there's a lot of breathless marketing about this kind of thing from NVIDIA, and much less actual, observable, detailed presentations of real projects that matter.

    Anyway, if I have the problem "I need to talk GPIO and I2C and SPI to another device," I can solve that problem today, by plugging a $10 generic USB AVR into the USB port, or perhaps a $17 Teensy 3.2 from OshPark if I want to make sure I have enough processing oomph and DMA to handle the devices at high speed. The actual smarts is put on the Jetson, and the device I/O is put on the USB board.

    This is why the crowd-funding page will have to answer the question: What do I actually win by putting everything on the Jetson, and why is that win worth whatever the cost is of your board?
    I think it would be fantastic if you could crowdfund a useful peripheral for a high-power computing platform, and spread robotics everywhere! To do that, there are some questions that need to be answered. That's what I'm asking in this thread.
    Last edited by jwatte; 02-26-2016 at 11:49 AM.

  7. #7

    Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    if you want to have something talk directly to the serial, SPI, I2C, or GPIO lines on the JetsonI understand.
    There are many other boards with the same problem.
    Yep, here are the ones I have played with:

    Intel Edison - They decided to make a board Intel Edison for Arduino, to expose the pins like an Arduino, such that you can use at least some of the shields out there.

    Odroid XU4 - They decided to build a level shifter board, that brings out the pins to semi match the RPI2

  8. Re: Jetduino: standard servo control with the Jetson TK1

    Thanks for the feedback. I will try and keep that in mind as I put together the Kickstarter page description. I will post up here with a preview when it is ready.

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