Linux Gaming News

Power of Arduino and Raspberry Pi combined in $99 Android/Linux PC

Arduino board uses quad-core ARM CPU for the power of “4 Raspberry Pis.”

The Raspberry Pi is all the rage for hobbyists in search of cheap, credit card-sized computers that can run a full PC operating system. Arduino boards have been around nearly a decade, meanwhile, powering robots and all sorts of other creative electronics projects.

Now, a project called UDOO (“you do”) seeks to bring the best elements of Raspberry Pi and Arduino together into a single mini-PC that can run either Android or Linux.

“With UDOO, we want to combine the winning characteristics of Arduino and Raspberry Pi in one single board. The simplicity of Arduino in managing sensors, combined with the flexibility of a microcomputer based on ARM are integrated in UDOO, giving you a powerful prototyping board able to run Linux or Android,” UDOO project coordinator Bruno Sinopli, a Carnegie Mellon professor in electrical and computer engineering, said in a video on UDOO’s Kickstarter page .

UDOO-based projects demonstrated in the video included a camera-equipped toy car controlled remotely with a tablet, programming education for kids, and a video game involving players running on equipment reminiscent of the Wii Balance Board. Touchscreens and various other types of sensors can be connected to the UDOO.

“Want to build an LED light-controller, a RFID reader, or a creative game controller? UDOO allows you to create any kind of project and share it with the community,” the Kickstarter page states. “Combining the flexibility of Arduino with the power of Android or Linux, you can create and update tons of stand-alone solutions without worrying about the linking between the two worlds and their wiring.”

The UDOO has the same pins as the Arduino DUE, as well as the DUE’s ARM SAM3X processor, which is dedicated to the GPIO pins. Android 4.0.4 or Linux (Ubuntu 11.10) runs on a second processor, a dual- or quad-core i.MX6 Freescale chip, based on the ARM Cortex A9.


UDOO’s Kickstarter page claims the board will have “the power of four Raspberry Pis,” apparently in reference to the quad-core chip. The Raspberry Pi uses a single-core ARM chip. The UDOO also has twice as much RAM (1GB) and Gigabit Ethernet as opposed to the Pi’s 100 Megabit Ethernet. The Raspberry Pi has the UDOO beat on price, though, with models selling for $25 or $35.

The UDOO was seeking $27,000 to jump start development of the computer. It has already received about $95,000 in six days, with pledges being taken until June 8. Pledges of $99 or more will net contributors a dual-core UDOO board, while a $119 pledge will get you a quad-core board. The dual- and quad-core boards will retail for the slightly higher prices of $109 and $129, respectively, the Kickstarter page says. Contributors are expected to get their deliveries in September of this year.

At 4.33×3.35 inches, the UDOO is a little bigger than the Raspberry Pi’s 3.37×2.13 inches. Here’s UDOO’s list of components:

  • Freescale i.MX 6 ARM Cortex-A9 CPU Dual/Quad core 1GHz
  • Integrated graphics, each processor provides 3 separated accelerators for 2D, OpenGL ES2.0 3D and OpenVG
  • Atmel SAM3X8E ARM Cortex-M3 CPU (same as Arduino Due)
  • RAM DDR3 1GB
  • 54 Digital I/O + Analog Input (Arduino-compatible R3 1.0 pinout)
  • HDMI and LVDS + Touch (I2C signals)
  • Ethernet RJ45 (10/100/1000 MBit)
  • Wi-Fi Module
  • Mini USB and Mini USB OTG [On The Go]
  • USB type A (x2) and USB connector (requires a specific wire)
  • Analog Audio and Mic
  • SATA (Only Quad-Core version)
  • Camera connection
  • Micro SD (boot device)
  • Power Supply (5-12V) and External Battery connector

The UDOO has been in development for more than a year, and the team says it is “80 percent ready” to deliver the final product. Although UDOO has surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal, there are still pre-order boards available to contributors.

Reblogged from: Ars Technica

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