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The UDOO is a ARM-based Linux board like the Raspberry Pi, with a second ARM processor onboard to mimic the Arduino Due which is now raising money on Kickstarter. It has some impressive specifications. The main CPU is either a dual or quad core ARM cortex-A9 CPU, and alongside that is the Arduino Due’s ARM SAM3X.

UDOO's ARM CPUs and Arduino compatible pinout, connections.

UDOO’s ARM CPUs and Arduino compatible pinout, connections.

It has integrated graphics, with acceleration for OpenGL® ES2.0 3D and OpenVG™, 1 GB or DDR3 RAM, 54 Digital I/O and Analog Input (with an pinout compatible with the Arduino R3), Ethernet, on-board WiFi, HDMI, USB, SATA, analog audio. Like the Raspberry Pi it boots from a Micro SD device.

The UDOO

Despite their pitch, I’m not entirely sure what niche this board is for. It’s an impressive piece of hardware, but effectively it’s a laptop with a built-in Arduino. Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to get one. But I can’t think of a use for this that isn’t met better by having independent boards. If you can think of something, leave a comment, I’d love to figure out what this is for other than just having one.

Although they’ve already met their goal the Kickstarter for the UDOO runs until Early June. Boards are expected to ship around September.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer and co-founder of a startup working on fixing the Internet of Things. He spends much of his time probing current trends in an attempt to determine which technologies are going to define our future.


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Comments

  1. Joey Samson says:

    frist!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Physical sensor monitoring and control with a webserver.

    1. For that I’d probably use and Arduino with an Ethernet shield, or one of the newer Ethernet Arduino boards. An ARM board is massively over specified.

      1. Protoneer says:

        That is exactingly why I like it. You get so much more bang for your buck by having both available in one board. Smaller foot prints also makes projects look so much nicer.

        Networking is so much nicer Linux and you can create a Wireless Hotspot so you don’t even need a wireless router. I know there is learning curve involved but Raspberry Pi’s has made the information widely available for all. (That’s one of Arduino’s biggest strengths to… The Huge community.)

        One more thing… I have designed an Arduino to rPi bridge prototype that connects the two devices via Serial/UART. The first you notice when using it is the speed. Its super fast cause it does not have to go through the two USB layers.

        http://blog.protoneer.co.nz/arduino-to-raspberry-pi-bridge-shield/

  3. haim says:

    you will probably burn it and cry for the 100$ you spent on it…

  4. I would like an Arduino development environment that shortened the time between code edits. It would be cool if the Arduino side of this board could emulate slower chips and spare the upload and reboot part. For example, if I’m writing code for a ’328 or a Tiny85, it would be awesome to hit a “Save and Run” command and have the new code running in just a couple seconds. I guess there might still be some compile time, though, eh? Please pardon my thinking out loud.

  5. I’m finding more and more I need a system that I can embed and leave embedded. Arduino doesn’t work for that unless you grab one of Sparkfun’s miniaturized versions (or building your own). Even then you’re doing more work then needed to get info to/from another computer. RPi is great especially when you get NodeJS running and install the Node-GPIO library.

    If I can run openFrameworks, Node, Processing, and Arduino all from one board that’d be brilliant.

  6. Kipling Inscore says:

    Waiting to find out about the “embedded connection” between the two processors; I think that could be an important aspect of how this differs from having separate Raspberry Pi and Arduino Due. It’s already been said that some of the I/O are MUX’d between the two and I would assume there’s at least an on-board USB programming/debugging interface between the two.

    Some ideas that might be better suited to this than independent boards (depending on interconnects and shared/dedicated I/O setup):
    * Prototype control of attached hardware on the Linux desktop with an interactive or scripted program, then port to Arduino without rewiring.
    * Use the Linux desktop to emulate I/O devices and act as a test harness for the Arduino.
    * Use the Arduino as an I/O expansion for the Linux system, or the Linux system as a supplemental processor for the Arduino. Possible power savings by turning off one or the other when not needed.

    If it is actually more useful than just a USB connection between a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino Due, an option for a modular setup might be nice, so that the Arduino can be detached to use standalone and another swapped in to start again.

    1. Joao Ribeiro says:

      Your last concept is very good, and the vice versa of it is a good concept too.

  7. This pretty much reminds me of the PCDuino (http://www.pcduino.com/). Except it has a SATA port and audio port, but it’s only $60.

  8. GeekDadof4 says:

    Interesting, maybe. Not sure what the support on the “other” board is, not enough details. For me, if the second board had some reasonable ADC capabilities, crystal for RTOS support, etc. you know, a real controls system, but also able to run a friendly front end OS. Then again, you could just run a friendly OS system and connect a Launchpad for $10 and get 8 channel ADC and real-time interrupts….hmm..

  9. Andy says:

    Hmmm. Touchscreen interface? Sounds like the perfect car pc. OBD II monitoring + other automotive ‘duino projects; HUD, mmmm baby.

  10. With these specification, we could build some thing more powerfull than can be thought today

    1. Protoneer says:

      Inspiring!!! Can’t wait to see all the creative uses for it… :)

  11. Ricksl says:

    This has potential, I worry though of the differences between a dual and quad core version, seems like it might lead to fragmentation in hardware development. I can see it now, “This program will only run on the quad core version of UDOO”

  12. oneguydid says:

    I like pcDuino, but wish they’d put the “Aruidno compatible” pins in actual Arduino position rather than yet another misaligned arrangement.
    Ten bonus points here for putting almost all the ports along a single side of the board! Yay!

    This board is good where you want a microcontroller to run reliable, tight, realtime, low-level IO, but at the same time want a nice UI, web server, web method client, etc. Or, if you have some special interfacing that’s been developed for Arduino (as a platform that existed earlier) but wants more processing ability. I’m very interested.
    One thing that drew me to RasPi is the scale of its backing – it should remain available for several years. However, this has been ruined for me by demand outstripping supply, and even now I couldn’t just go buy 20 at a day’s notice. It still doesn’t have so many off-the-shelf interfacing options (relay drivers, etc).

  13. Dirk says:

    Last week I was doing research into using the Raspberry Pi for a project I have.
    The project is almost complete, using Arduino UNO, but I would dearly like to have wireless networking capabilities and remote data logging. I would also like to enable the users to attach their defice to a network and be able to retrieve the logged data easily.

    The Raspberry Pi failed in two aspect:

    1. It doesn’t have enough pins to attached the variuos input/output and sensory defices I’m using on the Arduino.
    2. The power source requirements will make the Raspberry Pi implementation too heavy.

    I.e. The perfect solution for this project would be a Raspberry Pi, that has an Arduino on board, that does not consume the power that a Rasberry Pi does.

    I’m now considering this board..
    :)

    1. Protoneer says:

      Mmmm what about this little board: http://blog.protoneer.co.nz/spark_core_arduino_wifiboard/

      Looks like it has the same MCU as the Arduino Due with WIFI integrated into the setup. It also has DIP footprint making it very easy to integrate into projects.. ;)

  14. Alan Dove says:

    You remind me of a board.

    What board?

    The board with the power.

    What power?

    The power of Udoo…

  15. FIlippo Bonfatti says:

    i am going to use it with the touch monitor & 3g+gps shield for arduino in that way i will have a small PC for the car with full connectivity!!

  16. Joao Ribeiro says:

    I’m making a Dual-Pi media server/center and I’m also using an arduino as ATX power control, this would not be possible if the arduino was sharing the same power source as the Pi boards as I would not have a way to shutdown the board without cutting power to the arduino as well, which would invalidate the solution.
    I’m also implementing remote control via the arduino enabling power on and power off as well as adding an independent RTC connected to the Arduino which sincs it with the Pi via software.

    This seems an interesting product, but I see some limitations on it regarding versatility.

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