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An ARM11 embedded robotics controller board
The mx31moboard is a modern embedded controller board that is developped in our laboratory. It is aimed to be the main controller for the robots that need a high processing power but need to be small and power efficient. The core of the board is Freesale's i.MX31. This System-On-Chip embeds an ARM1136 core and many useful peripherals.
The mx31moboard design was split into two physical boards.
- It is a small but complex 10-layer PCB where the core components of the system are placed (i.MX31, 128 MB of DDR Ram, 32 MB of NOR Flash and the MC13783 companion chip). It cannot work on its own and is meant to be connected to a main board.
- It is a 4-layer PCB the mx31moboard is aimed to be connected to. It contains all the external physical connectors for the system (such as USB, serial port, SD, power). This board is meant to be redesigned to suit all the hardware requirements for the robots in terms of both volume and features. The first one being desinged at the moment is the mx31marxbot for the marXbot.
The mx31moboard is designed with the following hardware and support the currents connections and peripherals:
- 532 MHz ARM11 processor
- 128 MB DDR RAM
- 32 MB NOR Flash
- 3x serial ports (one can be used over Bluetooth)
- 1x USB 1.1 Host, 1x USB 2.0 Host, 1x USB 2.0 OTG (Host or Slave)
- miniSD and microSD ports
- LCD and touchscreen connector
- audio in(micro) and out (stereo headphone and loudspeaker)
- CMOS sensor camera interface
- battery management
The mx31MoBoard runs the Linux kernel and a distribution was customised for it using OpenEmbedded, also providing toolchains to develop software for the mx31MoBoard. The mx31MoBoard is capable of running the Aseba framework to control the low-level hardware of the robots.