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IoT board

Competition for the Raspberry Pi

Udoo Neo is an open-source hardware computer equipped with a Freescale i.MX 6SoloX applications processor for Android and Linux. The developers of the single board computer are looking for support via Kickstarter.

The Udoo Neo combines characteristics of other SBCs (Photo: Udoo)

SUITABLE AS A CENTRAL ELEMENT OF MORE COMPREHENSIVE PROJECTS, the Udoo Neo enables the creation of IoT applications. It embeds two cores on the same processor: a 1-GHz ARM Cortex-A9 and a 166-MHz Cortex-M4 I/O real-time co-processor on the same chip, the Freescale i.MX 6SoloX. The processor provides an ARM Cortex-M4 micro-controller, which makes the board compatible with the Arduino environment. Like a Raspberry Pi, the Neo can be programmed in any language and run a full Linux environment with graphic interfaces.

The user gets the simplicity of an Arduino-compatible board, due to the Cortex-M4 and the Arduino UNO pinout layout. Additionally, there is the possibility of adding Arduino shields, actuators, and sensors, both analog and digital. Android 4.4.3 gives the possibility to build new Android-based smart devices.

The computer comes with two CAN and three UART interfaces. Wireless modules are also available: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and BT 4.0 (Classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy). These options let the computer connect to nearby objects, smart and mobile devices like speakers, microphones, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, beacons, cameras, smart trackers, headphones, NAS devices, smart TVs, and even smart cars.

Thanks to the Cortex-A9, the SBC runs both Android and Linux (Photo: Udoo)

The Udoo Neo embeds 9-axis motion sensors (accelerometer, magnetometer, digital gyroscope) directly on the board. This way, the user can build a drone that automatically adjusts to a stable horizontal position if there is wind. Or they can connect it to their motorbike and measure their riding skills, using it as a smart tracker for motorbikes.

The computer is also compatible with analog sensors. Temperature sensors, potentiometers, light resistors, and many others sensors are analog. Many other boards are only compatible with digital sensors. The Neo is a credit-card sized single board computer: the current prototype measures 59,3 mm x 85 mm.

As an open-source hardware product, all the schematics, gerber files, and the BOM (bill of materials) will be available for hacking when the board is released. At the moment, the product has already been developed as a rev A prototype, but it is still a work in progress on the hardware side. On the software side, it is also in development. On Kickstarter, the project has already reached over US$100 000. The original goal was US$15 000, and there are still 35 days to go.

Udoo is the result of a joint effort between Seco and Aidilab. Seco designs and manufactures each product of the Udoo family. Seco is a manufacturer with over 35 years of experience in the single board computer field, with an in-house manufacturing unit. The company has been ISO9001-certified since 2003. Aidilab is an Interaction Design Lab of artists, designers, and engineers focused on nurturing the Udoo community and building software and hardware applications for the Udoo family. The Udoo Neo is the second Udoo project.

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