Might be of interest to some of you electronics hackers out there. 1GHz ARM core + ethernet + usb + linux + lots of IO for $89.

I haven’t been able to find an IO list that’s the only thing stopping me from pulling the trigger.

If you want to do DSP or video stuff, it looks cool.

If you want to do digital or analog I/O, not so hot. I don’t think it has any support.

If you want to do PWM, analog and digital I/O with linux, then Vex is coming out with an ARM9 linux robot controller. I don’t think it is released yet. ( Hey John, when is this coming out ? )

If you want to do PWM, analog and digital I/O without an OS, then the Cerebot 32MX4 and Cerebot 32MX7 board is pretty nice.,396&Cat=8

Little from A and a little from B… It talked about having 3.3V tolerant IO pins. I guess I’ll wait on finding a full list of IO options on it.

I thought the page mentions PWM I / O support.


For only $89, this is one heck of an upgrade from an Arduino… I wonder what I can really make hobby robots do now.

Easily in the $250 range… plus if I recall, that’s been in development for over a year.


I don’t know. I’m guessing 300+ if it is a penny. Last I talked to John he mentioned they got their 1st production batch and they are working to roll it out. I think they have been swamped with growth and it is keeping them super busy. Hopefully it will not be too much longer before it is out. I sure could use some of them.


Considering the price difference, though, it seems that the beagle bone is a real steal for the performance boost over the Vex controller, especially considering all of it’s other add-on possibilities that the Vex lacks, like ethernet and a micro SD card slot.

Can anyone figure out how much it weighs and what its power/voltage requirements are? Work’s firewall blocks the page.

Another similar, but much cheaper board, is also coming out soon. It’s called Raspberry Pi, and you lose a bit of power (700mhz ARM11 but still has a graphics chip) but it has a much nicer price point of $25 (128mb RAM, 1 USB port) or $35 (256mb RAM, 2 USB ports, and Ethernet). The maximum power consumption is supposed to be ~3.5W.

What are you basing this on? There are 60 Digital I/O and the press release mentions other onboard peripherals which according to some blogs include ADC.

This is a very powerful board, the advantages a more expensive vex board would have would be due to being supported by a company rather than a open-source community. Nothing on this board is going to be gift wrapped for you the way VEX will provide source and support but as with Arduino the knowledge base available will grow rapidly.

As part of my day job I was able to play with the onboard microcontroller using one of TIs dev boards (which retails for $1200), this is a powerful chip and is as fast as you are seeing in industry today, the ability to release it in a barebones package at a sub $100 price point is awesome, cant wait to get one.

I agree that the Raspberry Pi is a cool little board but it really isn’t on the same level as this. Besides the Cortex 8 being much more powerful than the ARM11 (there are plenty of good articles comparing the architectures) the Beagle bone is designed to be built around and you will see a lot more support in the open-source community for the beaglebone.

Source? I recall seeing it but I can’t find it again.

The official press release.

Don’t have any detailed specs yet but that mentions the I/O.

How easy do you guys think it’d be to hook two of these up into a Master-Slave configuration for more I/O goodies?

Plus, looking at this from a perspective for possible use in the FRC, it looks like it could end up being a very useful breakout board for more sensors and possible processing a second camera that a team might need if they want to get fancy. What are everyone’s thoughts on this?

Here’s the schematics for the beaglebone I haven’t counted the I/O pins though if someone’s interested they can. They show what’s broken out to the headers.

Well then I stand corrected. The information isn’t easy to find or I’m inept and I have no problem admitting to inept. Seems like the info was too hard to find.

However I saw the schematics posted earlier and indeed it does have pins available for I/O.

You could certainly hook them up in a master slvae configutation, it would be a simple as coming up with a communication proticol (through your choice of ethernet, usb, RS-232, etc).

As far as FRC applications I am still of the opinion that 99% of teams dont need any more processing ability than what the cRIO offers. Teams looking to make a modular posistioning system like what wildstang had at one point could certainly use this (it would be over kill but the price point is right). This board is definitely capable of running a second camera and doing onboard image processing, if a team saw a need to do this then this board is certainly a legitimate choice, however I don’t think that the current setup and difficulty of autonomous mode would warrant making such a complicated system.

I honestly don’t see this as a big deal for FRC applications, a lot of the things that teams would want a second processor to do can already be done with other boards at this price point. This board is very powerful and very cool, however I don’t think that there are many applications that require a board this powerful that offer a great benefit to FRC teams and could be completed during the build season. However I have been wrong before and would be happy to admit I was wrong if it means that a team came up with a cool application for this board.

From a hobby perspective I am excited. I already have one ordered through Adafruit, while I have no plans to do anything with this that would require the hardware it has I plan to use it to replace my Arduinos for quick prototypes and testing.

Information was surprisingly hard to find, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t have it posted on their home page but some digging turned up the info I found, and apparently a little more turned up the schematics I couldn’t find.

Per the schematics there appear to be 8 Analog inputs and 60 digital I/O (though many of these are taken up by the UARTS and other peripherals, it looks like about 30 are available through the expansion headers).