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Touch-panel computer for forklifts runs Android or Ubuntu

Jul 5, 2018 — by Eric Brown 940 views

Winmate’s rugged “FM10A VMC” touch-panel computer is designed for forklifts and runs Android 6.0 or Ubuntu 16.04 on an i.MX6 Dual. It offers a 10.4-inch HD screen, a camera, and multiple wireless options.

We have never covered Winmate on LinuxGizmos because as the name suggests, most of its products are designed exclusively for Windows. Yet, like many traditionally Windows-oriented embedded vendors, Winmate — 16 percent of which is owned by Advantech — appears to be giving Linux a tryout. An Ubuntu- and Android ready FM10A VMC system has been mixed into its June 29 announcement of a half dozen touch-panel vehicle mounted computers designed for forklifts used in warehouse data collection and logistics applications.

FM10A VMC views (docking unit shown at lower right)
(click image to enlarge)

The 10.4-inch FM10A VMC runs Android 6.0 or Ubuntu 16.04 with an aging 3.10.52 Linux kernel on NXP’s dual-core, Cortex-A9 i.MX6 Dual SoC. The five other forklift-targeted systems offer Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on Intel processors. The FM10A VMC is much like a FM10 model that runs Windows on a Bay Trail Atom E3845.

The FM10A VMC comprises a 268 x 214 x 35mm touch-panel PC and a 202 x 245 x 52mm docking system, enabling you to quickly remove or re-attach the computer with a one-click top latch. This design eases maintenance and lets you swap the computer between forklifts or move it to a secure space after the shift. Further security is enabled via optional support for SOTI MobiControl, a Linux-based Enterprise Mobility Management solution.

More FM10A VMC views
(click image to enlarge)

The fanless, magnesium alloy system provides IP65 protection against ingress and enables -30 to 50°C operation when attached to AC power. That narrows to 0 to 50°C when running on the included 11.1V UPS battery. Shock and vibration resistance are said to comply with MIL-STD-810G, and you get EN61000-4-2 compliant ESD protection and EN62262 IK07 impact resistance.


The system’s 10V-60V power supply, which connects via a 12V DC jack, offers isolation power and ignition control. There’s also an 84W adapter with power cables and an optional 120W adapter for heater mode.

The 10.4-inch capacitive multi-touch screen provides 1024 x 768 resolution, 400 nits brightness, and 88 degree viewing angles. A 2-megapixel camera is mounted on the front of the touch-panel and dual 3W speakers are located on the docking unit.

The FM10A VMC ships with 1GB LPDDR3, 16GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. There’s also a GbE port, which tops off at 400Mbps due to i.MX6 limitations. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is optional. The system integrates 2x COM ports, one or two USB 2.0 ports, a micro-USB OTG port, and a choice of a CAN Bus or an audio interface.

WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 are standard, 3G or 4G radios are optional, and there’s an SMA connector with optional external antennas. Other options include a u-blox NEO-6Q GPS device device for the vehicle dock, as well as mounting kits, cables, and a stylus.

Further information

No pricing or availability information was provided for the FM10A VMC. More information may be found on Winmate’s FM10A VMC product page.

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