this is a similar post request to http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=661.0
but that thread has been dead a long time so i thought i'd start another.
on my current robot project i have been using a Linksys NSLU2 re-flashed to run linux (http://www.nslu2-linux.org/
) as the main processor. while it performs perfectly well as a basic onboard webserver allowing me to connect a USB webcam, wifi and my own USB boards, it just does not have enough memory for the complicated image manipulation tasks i am asking of it. (my projects always seem to get more complicated as they progress...)
using a swap partition is not really an option as constant writes to a flash USB key would destroy it and hard disks are too power hungry.
i have already stripped out the kernel as much as is practical to save memory there.
so, rather than learning how to program more efficiently, i have decided to bite the bullet and get a new processor board.
the NSLU2 has 2 USB host ports, 32Mb memory and an Intel IXP420 processor running at 266MHz.
here are my requirements for it's replacement:
must run linux. (any ARM, Xscale or x86 board will do this.)
less than 2 Watts power draw.
at least 2 USB (1.1 full speed or better) host ports (or only one if the board takes flash memory cards of some description.)
128Mb (or more) of memory.
obviously the power draw is the key. it would be easy to find the other features on a bigger board.
battery life is my main concern on this robot.
there are a few boards out there that seem suitable but trying to actually but one in small quantities proves impossible.
this is the case for a lot of the promising boards mentioned in the http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=661.0
here are the 2 contenders so far:http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/ts7260-spec-p.phphttp://gumstix.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=178
i must say the TS-7260 (the first link) is looking good as it appears a more professionally finished product and runs debian (a very mature linux distribution with huge user base) but the gumstix beats it in raw processor power...
i'd be interested to hear if any one out there has any other suggestions.