New single-board computer built specifically for DIY robots

A lot of cool robots have been built using Raspberry Pi, the credit card-sized computer that was originally developed to help teach computer science. But Raspberry Pi wasn’t built specifically for making robots, and according to two former software/mechanical engineers from Carnegie Mellon University, that means it’s not as robot-friendly as it could be.

Their solution was to create a new single-board computer with do-it-yourself robotics firmly in mind from the start. The result is called “Rex,” and it’s the subject of a Kickstarter campaign that runs throughout January.

The board comes loaded with Alphalem OS, an open-source Linux distribution built specifically for robots developed around Rex. According to its creators, the computer’s main advantages over Raspberry Pi include a modular design, easy hook-ups for offboard sensors and devices, and software support for robot-centric projects.

The pair is asking for $90,000 on Kickstarter to help them iterate their hardware design, refine Alphalem OS and ultimately manufacture and ship Rex. Pledges of $99 and up will receive a Rex (shown above) and everything else they need to get a robot running.

For more information, see the Kickstarter campaign here or watch the video below:

[ photo courtesy of Alphalem ]

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