Author Topic: The Asus EEE as a robot brain  (Read 4521 times)

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Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« on: January 01, 2008, 11:17:19 AM »
This idea occured to me moments ago.

A bit of backgrodun.

The Asus EEE is a 7 inch screen super small ultra mobile pc for approximately 400 (my model slightly under, around 350). It has no hard drive (steady state memory) so increased battery life, built in wi-fi, 3 usb ports and an sd card slot. It comes loaded with Xandros Linux but can run most linux distros, Windows XP, and rumors of Mac OSX running on it. It omes with 512 mb of ram, easily upgradeable, and has a 900 mhz intel celeron processor. Some come with a built in web cam (not mine).

You can read more about it here: http://eeepc.asus.com/global/

I got one for Christmas, and just now it occured to me - this could be a very powerful robot controller for 400 dollars. The USB ports can power pretty much any sensors you want (but not motors) and can also be used to control the robot's systems. The EEE can be set up to run programs like RoboRealm or Windows Robotics Studio or any programming language you can think of - it is more than powerful enough.

What are your thoughts on this gentlemen? I wish I had the money to do this, but I may experiment it to prove a point down the road.

Offline airman00

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 01:23:45 PM »
Looks awesome

But that would probably be used on a very very advanced robot, for anything else its overkill!  ;D
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

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Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 02:08:41 PM »
Agreed. We're talking about an internet enabled self contained vision enabled robot.

I'm pondering now how to talk a professor at my college to give me a budget to buy another one just to use for a robot :-D.

Anyone on the board think they'll be trying it? I might end up trying to get this to control a robot via roborealm and see what I can get it to do.

Offline dunk

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 03:41:35 PM »
interesting link.
under the Battery section it says:
Quote
4 Cells: 5200 mAh, 3.5hrs*

now presuming it's using Lithium-ion batteries that gives it an average power draw of 5.5Wats which is pretty good for a 900MHz intel celeron board.

i can't seem to get to the Downloads section of their website at the moment which is where i presume the proper DataSheet is.
how big is it? i know the screen is 7inches but when closed, how much space are we talking?
i don't suppose you have opened it up to see how big the mother board is without the rest of the laptop...?

i'm always looking for low power processors which will run Linux built onto boards that will fit on my bot.
i suspect the Asus EEE would do the job but it's not perfect. powering down the screen and other peripherals until needed would probably drop the power draw to around 4Watts which is close to the power budget i have allocated to a CPU.
it's still a bit on the large size as is but maybe the motherboard is smaller than the casing.

my project is a bot that will carry a video conference screen and drive autonomously to the person you are trying to contact on command via a web browser.
the CPU i really want is something small (20cm or 8 inches square), under 3Watts, must have USB host ports and run Linux.
the more processing power the better as map building and SLAM are notoriously processor intensive and the quicker the bot can process map data the less time it spends sitting thinking about which way to drive.

i have yet to find a board i like with all these features with much processing power.
gumstix.com come closest now they have USB host working but the horrible mechanical design of those boards puts me off.
that and the limit of only one USB host port making you use a USB hub which will cause bottle necks in data flow.

anyway, this is all a bit off topic.
so i'll bear this platform in mind if my current on board processor proves too slow.
keep me informed if you decide to bolt wheels to it.


dunk.

Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 03:54:17 PM »
From eeeuser.com's wiki (a user site of all people who love this platform)
http://wiki.eeeuser.com


Specifications
    *  Display: 7″ WVGA (800×480) TFT-LCD with LED backlight13)
    *  Processor: 900MHz Intel Celeron M ULV 353
    *  Chipset: Mobile Intel 910GML Express
    *  Graphics: Intel GMA 900 (integrated) with external VGA-out connector
    *  Memory: 512MB non-upgradeable, 512MB, or 1GB single-channel DDR2-400 (PC2-3200) SDRAM14)
    *  Storage: 2, 4, or 8GB SSD (non-upgradeable15) except 8G)
    *  BIOS: American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI)16)
    *  OS: Customized Xandros Linux with Easy Mode and Desktop Mode
    *  Wired communications: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet (Atheros L2)
    *  Wireless communications: 802.11b/g Wi-Fi mini PCI express card: Atheros AR5BXB63
    *  Ports: 3 USB 2.0, MMC(plus)/SD(HC) card reader, microphone and headphone
    *  Webcam (on 4G and 8G models only): VGA (640×480) @ up to 30 fps
    *  Audio: 5.1-channel High Definition Audio (Realtek ALC66217)); built-in stereo speakers and built-in microphone
    *  Battery life: 3.5 hours (4-cell Li-ion: 7.4V, 5200mAh, 2S2P) for 8G and 4G models; 2.8 hours (4-cell: 4400mAh) for 4G Surf and 2G Surf models
    *  Dimensions: 22.5 x 16.4 x 2.15~3.5 cm (8.86 x 6.46 x 0.846~1.4 in)
    *  Weight: 0.92 kg (2.0 lbs)
    *  Colors: Pearl White, Pure White, Galaxy Black, Lush Green, Sky Blue, Blush Pink (varies depending on model)
    *  Prices (North America): $499 (8G), $399 (4G), $349 (4G Surf), $299 (2G Surf)

Battery life is pretty good on it. I think the impressive part is I get 6 hours of battery life with everything on, including wifi. The built in wifi and the ease to use this to network your robot to any wifi network is an incredible feature.

Before realizing this I was looking into ways to have a small robot communicate with my laptop, but this will be better for me.

Can anyone recommend to me a way to read information directly from electronics via a USB port that I can look into?

Offline dunk

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 04:31:53 PM »
Quote
Can anyone recommend to me a way to read information directly from electronics via a USB port that I can look into?

if you are planning on using a microcontroller then i was just talking about this very thing the other day:
http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=2733.msg18884#msg18884

dunk.

Offline Asellith

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 04:23:55 PM »
To get info from digital/analog sources check out Trossen's Phidgets. These are neat little boards. Kinda pricey but 8 analog inputs, 8 digital inputs, and 8 digital outputs for under $80 isn't bad. They work off a usb port and you can chain them together to get more I/O. They also have a 0/16/16 which is an all digital I/O board. They have some relay control boards as well for motors. Needs windows however as of the last time I looked into them. I personally have not used them but others might have

Check them out:
http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store/p/5341-InterfaceKit-8-8-8.aspx

Jonathan Bowen
Jonathan Bowen
CorSec Engineering
www.corseceng.com

Offline airman00

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2008, 06:12:20 PM »
I used phidgets on my butler bot
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline Fredrik Andersson

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2008, 03:31:09 PM »
I have an EEE PC now!

Sorry for this short post, I was just going to bed when I dug up this topic. I'm pretty sure i will use it for a robot some time (would be cool on my hexapod! ) and I'll for sure let you know then.

If there is anything you want to know about the EEE PC I can tell you in a few days (i have to get comfortable on it first you know ).
Current project: Pirrh - Portable Intelligent Round Rolling Hexapod

Offline Half ShellTopic starter

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2008, 11:24:00 PM »
Due to the fact that it ran linux from the get go and had similar hardware specs across its family, the EEE is the most hacked piece of hardware around. There are modifications up the wazoo from touhscreens to bluetooth and GPS and cellular connections. The EE as a robot controller is only natural at this point.

I have the EEE running Arduino and talking to it through serial fine. I'm running XP on it now so soon I will be throwing RoboRealm onto it and playing around with its API.

Offline Trikky2

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2008, 04:38:05 AM »
Hi Folks,

Am new here and found this thread interesting as it is exactly what I am doing with my current project ' Wire ' :



You can see the Eee just below the top deck. It also now has a Logitech Orbit webcam mounted next to the CMUcam 3.

The Eee is in charge of higher level 'thinking' and connected to an OOOPic R which does the lower level control.
It's very much a work in progress :)

After installing XP and the .NET framework I still have around 2Gb of space available for my programming ( C# )

All the best.

Richard
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Offline airman00

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2008, 12:44:55 PM »
Hi Folks,

Am new here and found this thread interesting as it is exactly what I am doing with my current project ' Wire ' :



You can see the Eee just below the top deck. It also now has a Logitech Orbit webcam mounted next to the CMUcam 3.

The Eee is in charge of higher level 'thinking' and connected to an OOOPic R which does the lower level control.
It's very much a work in progress :)

After installing XP and the .NET framework I still have around 2Gb of space available for my programming ( C# )

All the best.

Richard


very nice job

did you buy the chassis or build it yourself?
Check out the Roboduino, Arduino-compatible board!


Link: http://curiousinventor.com/kits/roboduino

www.Narobo.com

Offline ed1380

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2008, 04:52:30 PM »
wow. great chassis. so do freakin want.


dayam airman your sig compensating for something?  :o  ;D
Problems making the $50 robot circuit board?
click here. http://www.societyofrobots.com/robotforum/index.php?topic=3292.msg25198#msg25198

Offline Trikky2

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2008, 04:16:09 AM »
very nice job

did you buy the chassis or build it yourself?

Thanks, the chassis is a a4wd1from Lynxmotion
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Offline Trumpkin

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2008, 08:15:45 AM »
very nice  :o so awsome!!!!!
Robots are awesome!

Offline Soeren

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2008, 02:12:36 PM »
Hi,

For some serious power in a small box, consider the Pico-ITX ( http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=36) a fully functional PC motherboard measuring 10cm x 7.2cm (~4" x less than 3").
I'm considering a couple of those to replace some old PC-104 motherboards (which are quite small allready).
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline Trikky2

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2008, 03:40:33 PM »
Hi,

For some serious power in a small box, consider the Pico-ITX ( http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=36) a fully functional PC motherboard measuring 10cm x 7.2cm (~4" x less than 3").
I'm considering a couple of those to replace some old PC-104 motherboards (which are quite small allready).



Oh yes :) looked at them before going down the route I decided on. But am not as advanced as a lot of people here so just went for the easy solution ( as far as imaging / wifi / programming .. etc goes ).

In terms of the Asus I also get a nice screen that can be mounted on the bot for the telepresence ... But during development I can take it down the pub, which is where I am now by the way :)

Horses for courses :)

All the best

Richard
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My Robot Site

Offline Soeren

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Re: The Asus EEE as a robot brain
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2008, 04:25:01 PM »
Hi,

But during development I can take it down the pub, which is where I am now by the way :)
Then beware that your Fuzzy Logic doesn't get too fuzzy around the edges ;D
Cheers!
Regards,
Søren

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

 


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