[Updated: April 14] — Intel’s “RealSense Robotics Development Kit” features an RPi-like single board computer based on a quad-core Atom x5-Z8350, along with a 3D RealSense camera.
The Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit runs Ubuntu on the open spec, Raspberry Pi-sized, Kickstarter-funded UP single board computer, which is based on an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 SoC and features 4GB RAM and 40-pin GPIO expansion, along with RPi-style coastline I/O. The $250 kit includes an Intel RealSense camera and is designed for both rapid prototyping and final product integration in robotics devices.
Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit
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Intel’s depth-sensing RealSense camera has been a hit, having appeared in products ranging from the latest Daqri Smart Helmet for augmented reality industrial vision to UAVs including Yuneec’s Typhoon H and Intel’s own AscTec drones. The new Robotic kit is a bookend to the mobile-oriented Intel RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit based on Google’s Project Tango.
To some extent, the kit competes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight, which similarly runs Ubuntu, but in this case on a Snapdragon 801 SoC. Yet, Snapdragon Flight more specifically targets drones rather than robotics in general.
Whereas Intel’s RealSense Smartphone Developer Kit runs Android on an Atom x7-Z8700, the robotics kit board runs Ubuntu on a similarly 14nm “Cherry Trail” based Atom x5-Z8350. Other Linux distributions, as well as Windows 10, “are possible, with support through the developer community,” says Intel.
Intel announced the Atom x5-Z8350 in February, along with a similar Cherry Trail SoC called the Atom x5-Z8330 that adds USB 3.0 support. Both offer higher burst modes of 1.92GHz compared to earlier x5 chips, as well as slightly lower power consumption.
RealSense Robotics Development Kit details
The heart of the Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit is its UP SBC. The UP backs its potent quad-core x5-Z8350 SOC with 4GB DDR3L-1600 RAM, 32GB eMMC flash, and a GbE port. A USB 3.0 OTG port and four USB 2.0 ports are provided, along with two more USB ports on headers.
Up board (left) compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
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For displays you get DSI (HDMI 1.4b) and eDP ports, and there’s a CSI port in addition to the USB 3.0 port that here serves as the interface to the Intel kit’s external RealSense camera. Other UP features include I2S audio and a 40-pin expansion connector, positioned as on the Raspberry Pi 3.
Up board details
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Specifications listed for the UP board SBC include:
- Processor — Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (4x Cherry Trail cores @ 1.44GHz (1.92GHz burst); Intel HD 400 Graphics (200MHz/500MHz)
- Memory — 4GB DDR3L-1600 RAM; 32GB eMMC flash
- DSI (HDMI 1.4b) I2S audio port
- CSI (4-megapixel) port
- Up to 3-4 meters indoors, longer range outdoors
- Depth/IR modes — 640 x 480 pixels @ 60fps
- RGB mode — 1080p @ 30fps
- Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
- Other I/O:
- USB 3.0 port
- 6x USB 2.0 ports (2x via headers)
- I2S audio port
- 40-pin expansion bus (supported by Altera Max V. ADC 8-bit @ 188ksos)
- Other features — RTC
- Power — 5V DC-in @ 3A 5.5/2.1mm jack
- Dimensions — 85.60 × 56.5mm
- Operating system — Ubuntu Linux
In addition to its UP single board computer, the Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit includes a 130 x 20 x 7mm external RealSense R200 3D camera, which interfaces to the SBC via one of the board’s USB 3.0 ports. The kit also includes the board’s Ubuntu OS, a RealSense SDK, and an IDE. A developer forum is available, along with other resources.
The Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit is available for pre-order for $250, with shipments in June. More information may be found on this Intel product page and shopping page. More details on the UP SBC are available at the UP board and in our detailed UP coverage.