Electronics > Electronics

The quest for a tiny, low power PC...

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Nyx:
I found something interesting today:

http://www.norhtec.com/products/mcjr/index.html
http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS6828123924.html

Seems pretty cheap and low power... The CPU is rather weak, and the RAM is not upgradable, but it can have WiFI internet, it can run linux, and it can boot from CF cards. It also consumes only 8W of power, and has a size of (4.5in)^2.

ed1380:
What about them mini macs?

hgordon:
The Norhtec box looks nice for Linux.  Good price !

Nyx:

--- Quote from: ed1380 on February 27, 2007, 06:50:45 PM ---What about them mini macs?

--- End quote ---

Higher power consumption, bigger and heavier (CD drive, HD), higher price, no built in WiFi, probably no serial ports.

I'm currently wondering about the feasibility of using one of those tiny PCs to make a walker robot that is in the 14-20" tall range, and only uses servos to move. My main worry is that battery packs might make this too heavy for servos to be able to handle.

Two webcams, a tiny PC with wifi, the serial 32-servo controller, a serial gyro, lots of servos and some battery packs... And I could be in business... Building my own walker robot for a sub $800 price... And getting something quite nicer than what is currently sold on the market (eg $2500 walker robots with no hands, no wireless and a weak CPU).

JesseWelling:
Gumstix are better for the price and embedded applications IMHO.
This is what I recconmend from Gumstix for Robotics http://gumstix.com/store/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=146

Gumstix are faster but only have 64mb or ram. And no floating point unit.
But they take up way less power and are way smaller. So unless you need
USB I don't see the advantage of the Nortec.

My next robot I'm going to work on a more complex mapping robot and I'm going to use
the gumstix to help manage the IO but I'm going to get a x86 processor to do database
learning and possibly some vision processing. This is what I think I'm going to use:
http://www.logicsupply.com/product_info.php/cPath/49/products_id/600
Much more ram (up to 1gb wich is nice for database+vission) and much much faster than the Nortec (even if you take into consideration the SIS's inline pipeing of instructions because I'm not
sure the linux kernel would be able to take care of this. hardware vs sofware suport kinda issue).

But the Nortec's do look line a good company to keep my eye on. Thanks for the heads up!

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