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Author Topic: Finding a small PC Motherboard for 6 wheeled robot  (Read 2242 times)

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Offline guruTopic starter

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Finding a small PC Motherboard for 6 wheeled robot
« on: June 02, 2009, 05:20:15 PM »
Hi guys,

I am trying to find a good PC based motherboard for my robot. I am looking for the most cpu speed per watt. The task of weeding through all the motherboards out there is a daunting one. Dollars and physical size are a factor too, but not as much as power requirements vs cpu speed. 1GHz would be minumum speed. 2GHz would be really nice, and useful for AI tasks, but if it takes 120 watts (cpu+mb) to power, that would go through a 2.2Ah battery in about 13 mins!

Anyone have a PC main board they found to be perfect for robotics?

The robot will be a 6 wheeled autonomous and I plan for 2x12v lead acid batts. I have a ATX DC-DC power supply adapter. The robot will be similar to these types:
http://www.themachinelab.com/MMP-40.html

THe ATX DC-DC adapter I have is 200W:
http://www.mini-box.com/PW-200M-DC-DC-power-supply?sc=8&category=981


Offline Soeren

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Re: Finding a small PC Motherboard for 6 wheeled robot
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2009, 05:34:27 PM »
Hi,

Nothing really beats the Pico-ITX when it comes to size: http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/spearhead/pico-itx/
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 guruTopic starter

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Re: Finding a small PC Motherboard for 6 wheeled robot
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2009, 11:11:13 PM »
I was looking at that exact one, plus the 1.5GHz Nano-ITX too. They are certainly small enough. My robot enclosure is 16.5 inches by 9.5 inches, I could fit a MicroATX in that space. There are some Jetway motherboards in MicroATX that could take a green 2GHz single-core AM2 cpu (45w) I have on the shelf. However, with the Jetway MB and fan I am up to about 65watts. A far cry from the PicoITX you mentioned at 14-18watts (idle-full) @ 1GHz.

I also need wireless network. I guess a 802.11g usb key could work with the Pico-ITX.

Here is a ZOTAC GF8200-C-E Mini-ITX that takes a AM2, It also has integrated WiFi. It idles at 30watts and max cpu+gpu at 90watts for a dual core 2.5GHz (45watt cpu)! Thats pretty good, and MB is $120.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article902-page6.html

The Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi, takes a a 65W TDP dual-core, idles at 35watt but peaks cpu+gpu at 65watt! I dont really get that, it's a 65 watt  CPU, so the MB doesnt take any power? :) But, the reviewers process is good.
http://www.silentpcreview.com/article943-page5.html

I think I am down to the Pico-ITX and one or the other Zotac. If I can find the right batteries to power the Zotac than it is the most bang/buck. I think that is where I will look next. For 4 hours operation, I need about 16Ah batteries to power the Zotac if I expect 50watts avg usage.

I was thinking, since the video will not be used, that I could use the graphics GPU to process AI data. Implementing a shader to calculate perceptrons or something from texture input data. It shouldnt be that difficult and from what I know from a little shader programming it fits the capabilities of a GPU well.

Colin

 


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