Small and simple, the iCOP eBox is a fanless x86 computer with solid state storage.

I began my second SPARK project with plans to control my iRobot Create with an iCOP computer and Windows Embedded CE 6.0R2. There were many project design lessons reinforced by my first SPARK project, and I applied those to lessons my second SPARK project. Even though I was working with powerful tools, Windows Embedded CE and the SPARK kits are complex systems. It is important to start with very simple expectations, get the basic components to function, and then design in complex features. With this focus on simplicity, I set about writing Windows Embedded code for the Create. After tracking down the necessary documentation for the Create’s programming interface, I started with a simple “Hello World” program, and documented the process here. My next step involved sending and receiving data over the iCOP computer’s serial port. Very quickly, I found myself editing registry code to enable the serial port for application use. Why did I need to do that and what were the results? The answers to those questions require a discussion of several intermediate steps which bring clarity to the structure and design of a Windows Embedded CE application.

Read more about it in the full post here.