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RealSense Robotics dev kit includes a Raspberry Pi-like SBC

Apr 13, 2016 — by Eric Brown 9,701 views

[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
(click image to enlarge)

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
(click images to enlarge)

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
(click image to enlarge)

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
  • Display/camera:
    • DSI (HDMI 1.4b) I2S audio port
    • eDP
    • 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.

Further information

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.

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4 responses to “RealSense Robotics dev kit includes a Raspberry Pi-like SBC”

  1. Raymond Mercier says:

    The Raspberry Pi (I own two) is designed to be a low cost ($35) computer that can be used by young people to learn basic concepts of computer hardware and software. The low cost is part of its design specifications. The community that has build up around the Pi online is a large part of what makes this project work. There is amble support for beginners who want to learn by playing. Many companies have jumped into the market with similar products, and some are quite good I am sure. The biggest difference I see is “profit motivation” verses “education motivation”. The Raspberry Pi 3 is a major upgrade, the forth in four years, for the same price. It will continue to be my choice simply because of the Raspberry Pi community and support that makes its users like a family. (Special thanks to Lady Ada from adafruit )

    • Bonzadog says:

      Well, I think the hobbyists/makers are now the majority of the users. The RPi being used in a few commercial projects. but yes, indeed, there are a LOT of Forums, Tutorials and other help available for the RPi. Off topic and just a vague hope: I would love to see a SATA connection and at least 2GB RAM. I’ll be taking a really good look at the UP².

  2. Dücl says:

    the Board is the UP Board.

    Greet Anton

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