Qualcomm Showcases DragonBoard 410c’s Expanded Developer Options at Maker Faire

Computers & Mobile Internet of Things Other Boards Technology
Qualcomm's Snapdragon DragonBoard 410c development board.


Qualcomm's Snapdragon DragonBoard 410c development board.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon DragonBoard 410c development board.

DragonBoard 410c Returns to Maker Faire

Last year at Maker Faire Qualcomm® upped its game in an effort to attract Makers and other developers to their DragonBoard™ 410c development board. This year the chip manufacturing giant returns to Maker Faire Bay Area with demos of custom apps, games, and robots all based on the DragonBoard 410c and related hardware.

The DragonBoard 410c provides access for embedded developers and Makers to the Snapdragon 410 processor, which is found in many smartphones. Since its introduction last year there has been a steady expansion in supported software and hardware, providing more options for more types of developers.

Although their initial focus for the DragonBoard 410c was on more traditional hardware and software partners, Qualcomm quickly began to see interest from Makers and other developers who were keen to take advantage of its processing power, multimedia features, and energy-efficient, credit card-sized package. Qualcomm will be emphasizing the breadth of software and hardware support at their booth at Maker Faire.

Ketal Gandhi, senior product manager at Qualcomm.
Ketal Gandhi, Senior Product Manager at Qualcomm.

“Getting Qualcomm to Maker Faire was an initiative I started a few years back,” said Ketal Gandhi, a senior product manager responsible for making Qualcomm Snapdragon processors accessible to a broad market. “I am excited to be going there again and seeing Qualcomm’s participation on a grander scale.” Gandhi will be at the Bay Area event showing off the DragonBoard with demonstrations that highlight its widening software support and new expansion boards.

Increasing Software Support

Operating Systems

The DragonBoard 410c launched with operating system support for Android and Debian Linux. Qualcomm has added support for the Windows 10 IoT core, and expanded their Linux support to OpenEmbedded for more advanced developers. Support for Ubuntu Core and Google’s Android-based Brillo IoT platform is coming too.

Cloud Services and Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT solutions have captured the attention of a lot of developers. Qualcomm is right on the mark with added support for IoT software development kits (SDKs) from Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Watson, Microsoft Azure, and AT&T M2X.

Available Expansion Boards

96Boards Sensors board.
96Boards Sensors Board.

The DragonBoard 410c is compliant with the 96Boards open standard. Any of the available mezzanine boards from 96Boards members should work with the DragonBoard 410c.

96Boards Sensors Board

Carried by SeeedStudio, the 96Boards Sensors Board is compatible with Grove sensor modules and Arduino shields, which are both popular with Makers. The mezzanine sensors board has an onboard ATMega 328 processor, which can be programmed from the Arduino IDE. Ten of the board’s Grove sensor sockets are controlled from the ATMega, and the other eight from the DragonBoard 410c or other 96Boards compliant base-board.

SeeedStudio also carries a Grove Starter Kit for 96Boards, which includes the above sensor board plus an LCD display and a variety of Grove sensors and output modules. You can sense temperatures, light and sound, for example. Outputs include LEDs, a buzzer, and a servo.

96Boards UART Board

Another mezzanine board available through SeeedStudio is the 96Boards UART Board, which connects to the DragonBoard’s low-speed connector and lets you add a console via a USB port on your computer.

LinkSprite Linker Card

LinkSprite has developed the Linker mezzanine card, a 96Boards mezzanine board that provides eight connectors supporting analog, UART, I2C and GPIO, as well as an ADC. Linker modules can connect to the mezzanine board and provide buttons, LEDs, LDRs, thermal modules, tilt and touch sensors, etc.

Fun at Maker Faire

The Qualcomm booth at Maker Faire will feature entertaining demos of apps, games, and robots. Visitors can learn about the Snapdragon 410 processor ecosystem as well as hardware and software resources and support tools for interested developers.

Home Solutions

A home healthcare monitoring solution called KineticCare will be among the demos. KineticCare is an IoT solution running the Windows 10 IoT core and using the IBM Watson API. It was winner of the 2016 AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon.

Another demo is an IoT gateway demo using the DragonBoard 410c as an access point running the Ubuntu Core. Live video streaming shows how home gateways can be app-enabled.

Robots and Games

Robots are always a hit, and you can find Robbie the Recycling Trash Can Robot, which is an app-enabled robotic recycling bin with the DragonBoard 410c running Android and using AT&T’s M2X API to provide text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and SMS features. Robbie was another project from the 2016 AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon.

Even more fun is the Micro Rover robot challenge, where micro rover robots race side-by-side to move plastic objects to the end of a table. Mobile phones running the Snapdragon processor act as game controllers.

Other robots include an open source TurtleBot kit running the popular ROS from the Open Source Robotics Foundation on the DragonBoard 410c and a FIRST Tech Challenge robot powered by the Snapdragon processor.

Visitors can also play “Breaker Ball”, which is a simple Scratch-based game running on the DragonBoard 410c with Linux.

After Maker Faire

Events like Maker Faire and hackathons help spread adoption, and Qualcomm has resources available for any Maker or developer who wants access to DragonBoard technology. The company hopes this will result in more developers for their Snapdragon processor in the future.

Where to Buy

The DragonBoard 410c continues to be available from Arrow Electronics at the same $75 price it was introduced at last year.

SeeedStudio is now carrying the DragonBoard 410c as well as the 96Boards Sensor Board, UART Board, and the Grove Starter Kit.

Getting Support

The 96Boards website includes a DragonBoard forum and DragonBoard 410c documentation. A new documentation portal for the site is also under construction.

The Qualcomm Developer Network has a DragonBoard 410c developer tools page, which contains some documentation you won’t find on the 96Boards site. It will be especially helpful for developers interested in the Windows 10 IoT platform. There’s also a Qualcomm project page, where you can check out what other developers have done with the DragonBoard, and a documentation wiki over on Github.

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Andrew Terranova is an electrical engineer, writer and author of How Things Are Made: From Automobiles to Zippers. Andrew is also an electronics and robotics enthusiast and has created and curated robotics exhibits for the Children's Museum of Somerset County, NJ and taught robotics classes for the Kaleidoscope Enrichment in Blairstown, NJ and for a public primary school. Andrew is always looking for ways to engage makers and educators.

View more articles by Andrew Terranova


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