Youyeetoo X1 review

Still, the Youyeetoo X1 sits firmly as one of the (if not the) cheapest Intel-based SBCs on the market currently – and we see it as a perfect way to get a capable machine to tinker with or embed into your next project. With our only real gripe being related to the RAM implementation being only single-channel, we can comfortably, and especially for the price, recommend the Youyeetoo X1 to anyone currently looking for a general-purpose SBC.

NVIDIA Announces Project GR00T

Foundation Model for Humanoid Robots and Major Isaac Robotics Platform Update

Isaac Robotics Platform Now Provides Developers New Robot Training Simulator, Jetson Thor Robot Computer, Generative AI Foundation Models, and CUDA-Accelerated Perception and Manipulation Libraries

NVIDIA today announced Project GR00T, a general-purpose foundation model for humanoid robots, designed to further its work driving breakthroughs in robotics and embodied AI.

Staying in Sync: NVIDIA Combines Digital Twins With Real-Time AI for Industrial Automation

NVIDIA software — Omniverse, Metropolis, Isaac and cuOpt — combine to create an AI gym where robots, AI agents can work out and be evaluated in complex industrial spaces. Learn more about the latest advancements in generative AI and industrial digitalization at NVIDIA GTC, a global AI conference running through Thursday, March 21, at the San Jose Convention Center and online.

Radxa Rock 5A review

Radxa’s SBC offerings are well-regarded by the maker community. One of their earlier boards, the Raspberry Pi Zero-format Radxa Zero, left us with generally positive impressions. Naturally, this made us pretty excited about getting our hands on a newer board of theirs. With all the hype around Rockchip’s RK3588 series, we were rather curious about Radxa’s take on the popular SoC.

Elecfreaks Wukong 2040 review

Elecfreaks’ first Wukong breakout board was designed for the BBC micro:bit, but a more recent version designed for the Raspberry Pi Pico is also available. This newer variant, dubbed the Wukong 2040, is exactly what we’ll be taking a look at today.

Fully compatible with the Raspberry Pi Pico pinout, the Wukong 2040 naturally supports a wide array of boards – the Raspberry Pi Pico and Raspberry Pi Pico W are obviously supported, as are third-party ones following the Pico format, like Banana Pi’s BPi-Pico-RP2040 and BPi-PicoW-S3.

magazin Mehatronika and NVIDIA support Pupin’s Challenge 2023 — a regional young makers’ competition

Mehatronika’s team was also present during the competition and further helped with press coverage and event organization. We’d like to thank our friends at NVIDIA for helping us further motivate future engineers, and finally, the organizers of Pupin’s Challenge for gathering so many passionate young people and providing them with a friendly, competitive environment.

Orange Pi Zero 2W review

So, overall – the Orange Pi Zero 2W is undoubtedly a well-designed SBC. With good software support and decent performance, there’s a lot to love here, especially if you’re searching for a compact system. The expansion board is what truly seals the deal for us, as it brings full-size connectors only found on larger boards and packs them into a tiny footprint – while managing to keep the price extremely competitive.

Orange Pi 5 Plus review

The market is more competitive than ever, and boards powered by the RK3588 no longer have the enormous performance lead they used to, letting other systems’ strengths shine. Squashed between the Raspberry Pi’s gargantuan community and flawless software compatibility of Intel-based SBCs, RK3588 boards have to work much harder to prove themselves.

The Orange Pi 5 Plus definitely does just that, being one of the finest boards equipped with the powerful ARM SoC. Its connectivity features and video capabilities are unrivaled, and its performance is still top-notch.

Seeed Studio XIAO ESP32S3 Sense Review

The team over at Seeed Studio has seemingly jumped aboard the hype train surrounding Espressif’s ESP32 MCUs. Their first foray way rather shy, testing the waters with an…

LattePanda Sigma Review: A new flagship

Being the most powerful SBC we’ve seen so far comes at a price, though. The i5-1340P gulps down power, and requires careful planning if the system is to be embedded into a project.

Overall, the LattePanda Sigma is a major step forward for the LattePanda brand, and for SBCs as a whole. If you’ve got the means to afford it, there is really no better x86-based SBC choice on the market at the moment.

Orange Pi 3B Review

The Orange Pi 3B is a budget SBC. For only $30 it offers a surprisingly streamlined and well-optimized system which is quite pleasant to use. As a Raspberry Pi 3 replacement it delivers, offering more sheer processing power, actual cryptographic acceleration and a very basic, but useable NPU. The Orange Pi 3B is perfectly suited as a small IoT edge node or a home automation server. Android supports makes it viable for digital signage or as a media server — or even as a tiny retro gaming box.

With all of this said, the Orange Pi 3B currently might just be the most capable low-cost SBC on the market.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review

Foldables aren’t exactly known for being the most practical phones. The target audience for these isn’t, and likely never will be the average smartphone user, which is more…

Eureka: NVIDIA Research Breakthrough Puts New Spin on Robot Learning

A new AI agent developed by NVIDIA Research that can teach robots complex skills has trained a robotic hand to perform rapid pen-spinning tricks — for the first…

No, overclocking your Raspberry Pi won’t void the warranty

Well, here’s the definitive answer – no, overclocking your Raspberry Pi won’t void the warranty. In fact, it never did. Our source? Raspberry Pi themselves.

Overclocking the Raspberry Pi 5

The Raspberry Pi 5 immediately outclasses its predecessors by offering a much higher 2.4 GHz base clock, which is immediately impressive. Of course, as we’ve seen in our Raspberry Pi 5 review, this comes at a cost, as the new Raspberry Pi very quickly gets quite warm during use and thus requires a robust thermal solution.

Despite this, there’s additional untapped performance in the Raspberry Pi 5. How far you can push your board is highly dependent on the silicon lottery, but looking at the early articles, the numbers we see most people cap out at are 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz and 3.1 GHz.

VisionFive 2 Review

Today’s VisionFive 2 board comes from StarFive, a Chinese company closely linked to SiFive, and features StarFive’s own JH7110 SoC. It also features up to 8 GB of RAM and is touted as “the world’s first high-performance RISC-V single board computer (SBC) with an integrated GPU”. While this might seem a bit oddly specific, it’s important to remember that this isn’t StarFive’s first rodeo with SBCs. VisionFive 2’s predecessor, the aptly named VisionFive, notably lacked any sort of dedicated 3D GPU hardware. Thankfully, through a partnership with Imagination Technologies, StarFive managed to get the BXE-4-32 MC1 GPU included in the JH7110 chip.

Raspberry Pi 5 Review: The Fastest Pi Yet

Move over Pi 4, there’s a new slice of Pi on the block.

It’s finally happening. The successor to the popular, but aging Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is finally here – the aptly-named Raspberry Pi 5 Model B will be available to purchase by the end of October. Spending an unusually long time at the helm – four years – and receiving a significant boost in 2020 with the release of the 8 GB model, the retiring legend truly had a good run.

Morphobots for Mars: Caltech Develops All-Terrain Robot as Candidate for NASA Mission

University unveils its NVIDIA Jetson-powered M4 Morphobot for search and rescue, delivery and possibilities that are out of this world. Academics Mory Gharib and Alireza Ramezani in 2020…

FriendlyELEC NanoPi R6S review

FriendlyElec did a lot to enable easy and quick OS installation. Sacrificing some traditional connectors is a bit of a bummer, but with the well-designed case in mind, it’s definitely not as major of a drawback as it initially seems. What we dislike is the lack of a power switch and wireless connectivity, the latter of which will generally take up one of the two USB ports. Even with minor design flaws, the R6S is a great system based on the modern and powerful RK3588S chip with top-notch software support. It’ll perform great no matter the task: from IoT applications to home routing and various types of servers, the R6S can be relied on.

Jetson Nano 2GB Developer Kit giveaway winners

We thank everyone who participated in this giveaway, as well as our friends at NVIDIA for supporting us. The team at magazin Mehatronika congratulates the winners of the…

Mixtile Blade 3 Review

The Mixtile Blade 3 is a well-made computer, primarily designed for clustering. This is the main idea behind the inclusion of the U.2 connector, along with another daughterboard meant for interconnecting several Blade 3 units using custom-made PCIe cables utilizing SFF-8643 connectors (offering much better cluster performance than traditional Ethernet-based clusters), as well as providing a SATA 3 connection and a 12V 6-pin power connector.

Currently, however, the Mixtile Blade 3 is only useable as “just” an SBC computer, which is why we didn’t mention much about its planned cluster functionality earlier during the main review sections. 16 GB of RAM and 128 GB of eMMC, as well as great external storage connectivity are all major elements adding up to quite an appealing package, viable as a tiny ARM-based server, media center, or even a desktop replacement.

LilyGO T-HMI review

The LilyGO T-HMI has landed before us, packed in a tidy semi-transparent plastic box, surrounded by black cushioning foam. This tiny dev board is based around an ESP32-S3R8 MCU and a 2.8” resistive TFT touchscreen with a 240 x 320 resolution. The set also includes a small plastic stylus (very similar to the one used on some older Nintendo handheld consoles) and a pair of cables: one for connecting a 5V battery and one for connecting a Grove sensor (Grove is the name of Seeed Studio’s plug-and-play system of sensors and peripherals).

Before continuing, we’d like to thank the manufacturer for providing us with a review unit.

BPi ARMSoM W3 review

For the 160 USD MSRP, the BPi ARMSoM W3 brings a lot to the table, giving users a powerful SoC, solid RAM, on-board storage and a decent set of IO. The build quality is, like most Banana Pi boards, good, and all of the provided OSs work well. For home users, there are better (and cheaper) solutions which offer less robust connectivity, but often are significantly smaller and come with built-in cooling. On the other hand, for industrial consumers, or those looking to create custom designs implementing Banana Pi’s ARMSoM series of core boards, the ARMSoM W3 represents a reference design and a great development starting point.

We’re giving away two Jetson Nano Developer Kits!

Magazin Mehatronika, with support from NVIDIA is giving away two Jetson Nano Developer kits.

The Jetson Nano is a small edge AI system made by NVIDIA, perfect for students, makers and educators.

Powerful enough for computer vision applications, the Jetson Nano supports external cameras, enabling powerful projects, aware of their surroundings.

Since the Jetson Nano itself is a module, with a reference carrier board in the kit, it’s possible to integrate it into custom end solutions. This level of flexibility is required for industry usage, as well as more serious projects.

More information, and the giveaway submission form can be found at the following link.

Saildrone: Startup Charts Autonomous Oceanic Monitoring

Saildrone is making a splash in autonomous oceanic monitoring.

The startup’s nautical data collection technology has tracked hurricanes up close in the North Atlantic, discovered a 3,200-foot underwater mountain in the Pacific Ocean and begun to help map the entirety of the world’s ocean floor.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company develops autonomous uncrewed surface vehicles (USVs) that carry a wide range of sensors. Its data streams are processed on NVIDIA Jetson modules for AI at the edge and are being optimized in prototypes with the NVIDIA DeepStream software development kit for intelligent video analytics.

teenage engineering OP-1 field review

There is absolutely no doubt that teenage engineering’s OP-1 is one of, if not the most influential, synthesisers of the decade. However, as we’ve already seen multiple times with the Swedish brand’s products, trying to fit them into a single conventional category doesn’t do them justice. The OP-Z is more than just a sequencer, the TX-6 is more than just a mixer, so it only makes sense for the OP-1 to be more than just a synthesiser.

Aside from the legendary synth engines, the OP-1 features a powerful sampler, drum machine, effects processor, sequencer and virtual tape recorder, making the whole package feel much more like a DAW than a simple instrument.

52Pi ICE Tower for NVIDIA Jetson Nano review

It’s no secret that NVIDIA’s AI SBCs run toasty at times. The massive stock passive heatsink is generally good enough for the job, but due to the presence of an on-board fan header on many carrier boards, it’s simple enough to install an active solution.
Still, the well-respected ICE Tower lineup of SBC cooling solutions has made its way onto the Jetson, and promises significantly better thermals than possible with passive systems thanks to high-performance desktop-like heatsinks and copper thermal pipes.

52Pi ICE Tower for Orange Pi 5 review

When we reviewed the awesome Orange Pi 5, we noted some minor throttling, but still suggested the use of a heatsink, at least. Despite the RK3588’s impressive abilities at minimising performance drops during intense computation, the core clocks undeniably drop as the chip approaches 90°C. Needless to say, running that hot isn’t really healthy for an SoC, either.

To solve this, the team over at 52Pi has produced a tweaked version of the ICE Tower cooler for the Orange Pi 5. Fundamentally, it’s the same idea: chunky copper heat-pipes, large heatsink and an RGB fan in a desktop-like cooling system.

Banana Pi BPi-P2 review

These two boards, as of the time of writing, sell for around $17 and $25, for the Maker and Zero versions, respectively. The PoE expansion board is $4, and is a worthwhile addition.

Our overall experience is mixed. Armbian CLI works well, but much better OS support is required. More performant boards are becoming the standard, but for project which don’t require a GUI, the Banana Pi BPi-P2 is more than enough.

PoE capability is the saving grace — enabling sleek solutions for IoT nodes. As an edge sensor data collection station with PoE, the Banana Pi BPi-P2 series offers one of the cheapest complete packages on the market, starting at just $21.

Intel NUC 12 Pro Kit review

For the price, Intel truly gives a lot. A top-notch port selection, great performance, fast connectivity and great thermals grace this tiny computing box, making it capable enough to be an everyday computer. Its true strengths, however, lie in its power efficiency and expandability, making it a serious tool for computing at the edge or for smaller servers. It’s perfect for large scale deployment in education, as well as for smaller workspaces requiring dedicated computers for certain tasks.

NVIDIA Smart Spaces Summit Dives Into AI-Powered Innovations in Traffic, Transport

AI-powered spaces are no longer just a vision of the future. They’ve arrived in today’s streets, stadiums, cities and public transport hubs — and they can be used across industries and applications.

NVIDIA is hosting a deep dive into this topic at its inaugural Smart Spaces Summit, focused on AI-powered innovations within traffic and transportation. The virtual event takes place Wednesday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CEST.

Step into the Future of Industrial-Grade Edge AI with NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin Industrial

At COMPUTEX 2023, NVIDIA announced the new Jetson AGX Orin Industrial module, which brings the next level of computing to harsh environments. This new module extends the capabilities of the previous-generation NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier Industrial and the commercial Jetson AGX Orin modules, by bringing server-class performance to ruggedized systems.

READY Robotics Simplifies Robot Coding and Rollouts

Robotics hardware traditionally requires programmers to deploy it. READY Robotics wants to change that with its “no code” software aimed at people working in manufacturing who haven’t got…

LilyGO T-Embed Review

An intriguing platform for development based on the ESP32S3-based Wroom-1 module, equipped with a color TFT LCD, WiFi and BLE 5, a Grove port, a mic, a speaker, an SD slot, and a rotary encoder…

Creating a functional device of your own isn’t exactly easy if you start with a blank piece of paper. Development systems are tools that make it easier to try out an idea, but they can hardly be stuffed into a functional product. With its devices, LilyGO tries to guide users one step closer to the finished product, but not without some sacrifices in the form of a vastly reduced GPIO. TEmbed is a unified system consisting of an ST7789 1.9′′ 320-by-170 TFT color LCD, a rotary encoder, an array of 7 RGB APA102 diodes, a microphone, a speaker, one Grove connector for external sensors, an SD card slot, and a battery connector. The backbone of the T-Embed is the Espressif ESP32S3 SoC, with 16 MB of Flash and 8 MB of PSRAM memory. The Wroom-1 module it’s situated in also provides WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and BLE 5 support.

Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit Review

NVIDIA’s Jetson series of modules has always brought an exciting amount of processing power for mobile and edge AI applications—this being their intended use case. The Jetson lineup also includes several developer kits: modules on reference carrier boards in a format quite similar to single board computers. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll even call these boards “SBCs” in the rest of this review. Let’s not dwell on the semantics for too long—if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
 
The SBC we’re taking a look at today is NVIDIA’s new Jetson Orin Nano Developer Kit, which was announced this March at NVIDIA’s GTC 2023 event. The module it’s based on has been around slightly longer but has only just now made it into the SBC format. Designed for rapid prototyping, it brings a powerful set of AI hardware and software in a standalone form factor.

NVIDIA Jetson Project of the Month: Bird@Edge

Edge AI is finding new uses every day – from fully autonomous robots to edge servers for data analysis. Low power consumption is essential for such systems, enabling…

Raspberry Pi Debug Probe Review

The excitement around Raspberry Pi’s product releases is always massive – their products, shaped by years of community (and top-notch first-party) support are representative of the way a piece of development tech is meant to function. From perfectly stable SBCs with mature OSs to the Raspberry Pi Pico MCU board which has been a community favourite since its 2021 debut, ease-of-use and and a highly polished user experience differentiate the company’s offerings from those of its rivals.

The Raspberry Pi Debug Probe which we’re taking a look at today explains its purpose quite splendidly by name alone: it’s an open-source debug probe providing both an UART and an ARM SWD interface, all at a very attractive $12 price.

PicoBricks: Zero to Hero Review

The Robotistan PicoBricks Zero to Hero Development Kit strikes us as a product worthy of your time. With well though-out projects, huge community support thanks to the utilisation of a popular platform and good IDE support, it’s quite a capable package. At its $49, $69 and $89 asking price for the Base, IoT Expert and Zero to Hero kits, respectively, the PicoBricks lineup offers a lot to those looking to embark on an maker journey.

NVIDIA GTC 2023 Event Recap

NVIDIA’s GTC 2023 keynote has just ended, with GTC itself ending on March the 23rd – which means an array of exciting new industrial announcements just went live. You can always watch the full keynote at the following link, but we’ve also curated a selection – which you can find in this article – of the most important announcements given during the event.

Banana Pi BPI-Pico-RP2040 review

Banana Pi’s BPI-Pico-RP2040 is a cleverly designed iteration of Raspberry Pi’s Pico design. Experience gained over the course of two years allowed the Banana Pi team to present their own idea of a RP2040-based development kit. We’ve received our unit from the manufacturer for review purposes.

It’s worth noting that in just over two years since its January 2021 release, the RP2040 netted itself quite a lofty market position. Even though it’s based on the ARM Cortex M0+, a decade-old platform, it has many specific peripherals and unique features which set it apart from the droves of M0-based systems releasing as of recent – look at some of Ti’s new MSP chips (MSPM0G and MSPM0L series) or ST’s STM32C0 chip series, to name but a few.
However, as we stated a moment ago, Raspberry Pi did something special with the RP2040. It’s the only (at least known to us) dual-core purely Cortex M0+ chipset.