• Do You Need Another Dev Board? How About The Rex – “The Brain For Robots”?

    by  • January 11, 2014 • News, Projects, Tutorials • 0 Comments

    It seems there are already a sea of development boards out there, from cheap low power solutions like the Arduino to low cost high power solutions like the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black, so do we really need any more? It doesn’t matter, here’s the Rex, the self-titles brain for robots.

    Rex is a single-board computer running linux-based Alphalem OS that makes it easier to build an advanced robotic system. There’s no software installation required – just open a terminal application on your PC, connect Rex via your PC’s serial port, and power it on!

    Rex Robotic Dev Board

    Rex – The Robotic Dev Board

    Hardware Specs:

    • Texas Instruments DM3730
    • 1GHz 32-bit ARM Cortex-A8 Processor core
    • 800MHz DSP core
    • 512MB LPDDR RAM
    • USB Host port
    • MicroSD slot
    • Camera Module port
    • 3.5mm Stereo Audio-in jack
    • 3.5mm Stereo Audio-out jack
    • 6-12V Battery Pack Input for mobile development
    • 5V Regulated Input for desktop development

    At it’s essence, it’s not too dissimilar from the BeagleBone Black, the biggest difference the Rex offers is it’s take on I/O pins. Rather than the Arduino approach of rows of pins which allow for easy “shield”ing, it designs to have inputs for all possible needs such as battery inputs, screw terminals and regular I/O pins. One of the more interesting points is that the board is actually capable of delivering up to 20A over the outputs when powered by a LiPo Battery (or similar technology).

    Rex Development Board Inputs

    The team behind the board, Alphalem, have also been developing a Linux distro called Alphalem OS, which includes examples, scripts and an API for interaction with devices. It comes built in with “Arduino Control”, which seems to just be the Arduino software pre-built in the distro. Of course the board can run any other distro of Linux with an ARM build such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, etc. What’s interesting is that they didn’t develop ROS in to the mix considering its focus on robotics.

    Alphalem OS

    Alphalem OS

    It’ll be interesting to see how this project deals pans out given the already saturated market place. The board does offer some interesting benefits over it’s competitors and it’s focus on robotics may make it an ideal candidate for your future projects. Only time will tell.

    You grab your own by backing the Kickstarter, with the aim of delivering the board sometime this summer.

    More information can be found the official site, at Alphalem.

    Via: Hack a Day

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