Monday, 22 July 2013

Pi's up!

This morning, my eagerly waited for Raspberry Pi arrived...


For those who don't already have one, this really is a Credit Card size single-board computer!  The large chip in the middle is the Broadcom BCM2835.  This chip contains the ARM11 core CPU, memory, video display processor, system control, and more.  Everything else you see around the board is concerned with connectivity (video output, audio, Ethernet, USB, expansion ports) and power.

The pins you can see sticking up (top-left) is the General Purpose Input-Output (GPIO) port, and this is what I'll be using to interface the Armdroid.  The pins can be configured to be used for input, or output control.  The neat thing about the Pi is that it also supports a UART, I2C and SPI buses, all giving plenty of flexibility to drive the robotic arm, and leaving scope for some more interesting projects later...

I'm not really going to have a chance to try this until tomorrow evening at the earliest, but I'm definitely going to give RISC OS a quick spin!  This will certainly be like stepping down memory lane to the days of the Acorn Archimedes home computers   :-)