Expansion board specifically designed for robotics developed in collaboration with Professor Richard Vaughan

June 15, 2005

World’s smallest Linux Computers drive high function, low cost solution for robotics

Palo Alto, Calif., June 15, 2005 – gumstix, inc., maker of the world’s smallest full function miniature computers (FFMC), today announced its robostix™ board, the company’s first expansion board specifically designed for robotics.

"The new robostix board meets so many of our design goals, and perhaps dreams,” said Professor Richard Vaughan of the Autonomy (Robotics) Lab in the School of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University (SFU) near Vancouver, Canada, “The overall robotics solution from gumstix gives us complete freedom of movement and an efficient design at such a low cost. We will be using the gumstix in our design and testing of forty robots working together”.

The Autonomy Lab at SFU has standardized on the gumstix connex platform, robostix and cfstix (for WiFi). “These gumstix products have reduced the size, power consumption and student programming time while increasing the robot’s mobility and our control,” continued Professor Vaughan. “Additionally, we are able to use, and make available to everyone, our existing Player software on the gumstix”. Player is an open-source project for robotics interfacing.

In addition to signals from the gumstix motherboard, the robostix expansion board exposes 6PWM Channels (2x8 bit, 6 programmable), 8 A/D, 24 GPIO, 2 UART at logic levels and an insystem programming port. The Atmega128 has 5V logic. robostix offers three power inputs: VRoboBatt, V_Power and V-Motor. The connectors use industry-standard 0.1 inch spacing and, if wanted, the robostix board connects to the 60-pin hirose connector available on the gumstix basix and connex platforms. robostix may also be used stand-alone.

Designers seeking bluetooth wireless networking can use robostix with either the basix platform or the connex platform now. For projects seeking higher speed wireless connectivity, robostix and the gumstix connex platform may be connected to the cfstix expansion board, which offers a compact flash adapter that may be driven by a wide range of WiFi compact flash cards.

The form factor of robostix is roughly the same as the waysmall expansion board: 80 mm x 35 mm. The robostix expansion board costs $49.

In an unprecedented move for hardware design companies, Gordon Kruberg, Founder and CEO of gumstix, inc., published the development schematic of the robostix board on the gumstix website. “We wanted gumstix to meet the real challenges and needs of robotics designers,” stated Kruberg. “Requesting direct feedback from our customers ensured that our robotics solution was on the mark,” he added.

The production robostix board was finalized after many design iterations, each of which caused much debate and comparisons of practical needs between customers, educators and the gumstix design team. “One of my key goals in creating our whole company, and the gumstix product line, was to make a difference in the robotics industry”, Kruberg shared. “We’ve had positive feedback for robostix to date and can foresee achieving our goal”.

About gumstix

gumstix develops and sells small, inexpensive, high performance, Full Function Miniature Computers (FFMC). Built on an open source platform, the award winning gumstix product line supports the growing Linux devices market and offers motherboards, expansion boards and waysmall computers. The company sells directly to commercial users, designers, and open source enthusiasts in the embedded, wired and wireless devices, and application-server markets. Based near Palo Alto, California, gumstix is privately owned and operated. And of course, check the robostix schematics at: robostix schematics

About Simon Fraser University

Simon Fraser University, named after the explorer Simon Fraser, opened in September 1965 on Burnaby Mountain, near Vancouver, BC, Canada. In less than 40 years, SFU has gained an international reputation for its strengths in the liberal arts and sciences, as well as for its innovative interdisciplinary and professional programs. SFU offers programs at the graduate and undergraduate level to approximately 25,000 students.

The Autonomy Lab builds life-like machines. Their goal is to increase the autonomy (i.e. selfdirection and self-maintenance) of robots and other machines. More information about the SFU Autonomy Lab may be found at this link: autonomy.cs.sfu.ca Contact: Don Anderson 888-427-3428 don@gumstix.com Dr. Richard Vaughan www.cs.sfu.ca/~vaughan