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Anyone played with Gumstix?

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Somchaya:
Has anyone played with the Gumstix boards personally? I've been looking at them, and they look pretty neat, but I've heard that students at my school who use it for the embedded systems course are complaining a lot about it.

In particular, there's a new (I think) system that allows USB host: http://docwiki.gumstix.org/Verdex. This sounds really cool to me, but I'd like to hear some opinions about it from people who have had first-hand experience with the device, or Gumstix in general :)

Hmm, I guess my main questions are:

1. Is it easy to develop software on it? They run linux, so it shouldn't be too difficult to code up stuff in C, and gcc it? Is that true, or will I encounter various miscellaneous problems getting things to work?

2. How does interfacing devices on the Gumstix work out? I'm especially interested in attaching a webcam of some sort to the Verdex board, since it has USB host capabilities.

3. Regarding the Robostix, how does working with it feel? I remember reading somewhere that getting when you plug a Robostix into a main board, writing a program that interfaces with both boards is kind of tricky.

Thanks!

Admin:

--- Quote ---I've heard that students at my school who use it for the embedded systems course are complaining a lot about it
--- End quote ---
just out of curiosity, what were their complaints? (just in case one day I decide to use gumstix)

dunk:
ooo. interesting. i've been wondering when gumstix would get USB host working.
also on the specs under features it says "CCD camera signals".

as for developing on the gumstix, it should be straight forward enough.
it's a linux based board so just install GCC can you are good to go.

i'm afraid i can't answer your other questions though.

dunk.

Somchaya:

--- Quote from: Admin on April 21, 2007, 03:33:45 PM ---just out of curiosity, what were their complaints? (just in case one day I decide to use gumstix)

--- End quote ---

This is third-hand information, since I heard it from a friend who has classmates using gumstix..

They said that developing on it was a pain (not much details on that unfortunately), and getting things to work on it was rather difficult. My impression was that connecting to the linux kernel, putting programs and compiling was a problem, and also interfacing with other devices that they connected it to, maybe sensors and such..

JonHylands:
I have used the gumstix in a couple applications so far:

http://www.huv.com/roboMagellan

http://www.huv.com/blog/2007/04/brainbot.html

The verdex (which is the board I have for the humanoid) indeed has USB host - so far I have gotten a USB wifi dongle working with it, and a USB thumbdrive.

I do my gumstix development in Smalltalk, so I am fairly insulated from Linux or the kernel or other low level stuff. On the rover above, I use the serial ports to talk to a GPS and a PIC micro-controller. The PIC handles all the hardware interfacing (sensors and actuators).

On the verdex, I am planning on using USB to talk directly to the Bioloid bus, and wifi to provide a high-bandwidth pipeline back to the PC.

- Jon

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