Pc With Embedded Ezb?

 
#1

It might be because it is really early, but another thread got me thinking (fantasizing actually) about something... Since PCs are getting smaller and cheaper all the time, how feasible would it be for EZ Robot to develop a mini itx type PC/Pi with an embedded EZB in it? An all in one solution kind of deal... Would it be easy to develop? How about cost?

There could be more IO ports and more power to run peripherals.... Yeah, I know... Dream on right? But robotics are moving towards the PC anyway, right?... I could really see something like this being used for David's Rafiki, inMoovs and other large indoor/out door robots that would otherwise need multiple ezbs and a computer on board anyway.... Ok, cost might be too high and with a possible USB version of the EZB it may be moot.... Just dreaming anyway LOL

#2

I like the idea. It may take time to come to fruition, if ever (as you say a possible v5 may have USB), but I could see this as not only a compact and great solution to larger mobile robots we build, but also for the die hard "Arduino only" users who don't get the current v4 concept. Your concept could go along way to converting them with what they are used to, to using something far more dynamic and powerful.

Hey, some dreams do come true... sometimes. Winky

#3

Hi Richard and Steve,

I still say a "PLUG IN EZB" is the easy way to go. This way a mini computer of your choice plugs in (usb) and allows as much or as little power as you want. I had mentioned a "piggy back" idea a while ago. This way you add and maybe daisy chain what ever additions you want. I had also thought about an I/O hub for more communications.
This way no big re-design / tooling costs. just plug in and add as you go.
Anyway there is my two cents to the discussion.

Ron R

#4

Yeah, I'm really keen on the USB idea, and really looking forward to the v5's release if indeed it will have USB connectivity. But I still like Richards idea as an all in one unit, and more ports.

#5

Yeah, it's a nice wish. I also agree, a small all in one will be the future. I think design / manufacturing costs right now would be somewhat high. The way things are going, in a few years someone will have a computer on one chip.. LOL.. and sell them for $20. 00. We already can get a computer for $100.
(EZB v6 or v7 ?)

Ron R

#6

Richard, Did you see the CHIP ? $9.00 usd. I didn't watch the whole youtube video on the unboxing and running, but I have a feeling it may be the answer to what you are proposing. I was joking about a computer on a chip but, here is something almost there, and the price is right.

Ron R

#7

Personally, I prefer separate entities. Even if the price for such a thing comes way down, there is still the maintenance aspect. Blow a part of the embedded EZB-X and you have to replace the whole thing. That means reinstalling all the software on the computer part as well. Not too bad if you have an up-to-the-moment backup of everything on it, but who has that? You would likely have to reinstall many files piecemeal. We all know what a hassle that can be. Same for the other way around. Sure, the PC card may not have many plugs but now you have to unplug everything on the EZB as well when all you wanted to do was replace the computer part.

Now, a premium EZB with more ports, audio output, and USB3 (Still want the WiFi too) I could go for. A better way to hold it in the power base would be good as well.

#8

I think a USB attached EZ-B would be awesome. I think an on-board one would be cool. I like options for different things. In all honesty, most people are putting atom based tablets onboard their robots if they are using an onboard computer. It doesn't seem like it would be hard to build an onboard communications channel between an atom based board and an EZ-B and place them on the same board. It would be cool to include some other features also like touch screen type headers. I do think it would be really cool if both of these ideas merged into an EZ-B that could be plugged into a EZ-B branded Atom computer that would use a USB as this communications channel. This becomes the best of both options.

An easy to replace wifi module that would allow you to then use USB instead of wifi would be cool also. I am sure that there are reasons that this would be difficult, but that would be really cool and kind of solve everything.

#9

The EZB/Wifi is a love and hate relationship.

When the kids play with EZB they play in the living room (wifi router), so not a big issue.

When i try to demo something in my office, i start to have wifi issues,

The best connections i got so far was with the original cable router which i think they are tuned to max the signal outside of the standards (is a guess) but feature limited (VPN Passthrough and other NAT features).

also there are too many wifi networks near by me, right know i've found at least +30 ssids, and most of them are strong, alternating the channels.

I don't have issues with the laptops, recent androids but i have with ipad 2 and iphones 5 and EZB.

Something with USB, would work as plan B, but is a different concept.

#10

Great comments everyone... I realize that the most likely scenario will be an usb enable ezb of some sort... I was thinking about the Pi as well... Nice little computer but IO sucks... So slapping an ezb on a raspberry Pi type computer would be an awesome match... The ezb has the IO and the PI has the computer inputs with multiple USB ports, microphone/speaker, video etc... I do have an ACER w3 but as you all know it has only one mini usb port so it is a little limiting when it comes to adding computer peripherals...

Anyway I am stoked for a usb version of the EZB4.... Smile