The AeroCore 250 MAV Board for Overo COMs

November 13, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

Aerocore 250

Joining the AeroCore 2 family is the new AeroCore 250 MAV board for Overo COMs.

Like its cousin, the AeroCore 2 for Overo, the AeroCore 250 was designed as a drone autopilot to be coupled with a Pre-GO PPP series GPS board. It has many of the functions found on its cousin, such as WiFi/Bluetooth, a 3-axis gyroscope, USB console port, and a Cortex M4 microcontroller that runs NuttX real-time OS. However, the AeroCore 250 has four PWMs, ideally suited for quadcopters of size 250mm x 250mm, motor to motor.

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Gumstix Guide to GPS Modules

November 9, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

GPS Module Considerations

Deciding which GPS module to use can be difficult. Thanks to the latest technology, GPS modules are getting smaller, more light weight, more inexpensive and easier to use. But how do you decide which GPS module will work best for your application? What factors do you need to consider before you choose a module?
GPS Satellite over Earth

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Gumstix announces addition of 3rd Party Custom Boards

November 3, 2015 | Raj Gopalan

We are happy to announce the addition of 3rd Party Custom Boards – BeagleBone, Critical Link, Diva and more in Geppetto™ Design-To-Order System.

Geppetto encompasses the entire process of design, supply chain integration, and manufacturing automation in one intuitive online design-to-order platform. Custom expansion boards can be designed in minutes and shipped production ready in 15 business days with no minimum order.

The addition of third-party computing options to Geppetto allows you to prototype with a supported COM of choice and design a custom expansion board from the ground up. Alternatively, you can modify an existing board by easily adding features such as WiFi, audio, LCDs, sensors, global navigation (GPS) chips, or USB connectivity.

Creating a custom device is quick and cost-effective, and the process allows you to focus on how to distinguish your software instead of board layouts. Designers managing large-scale development of thousands of boards, or one-off projects that are used for quick prototyping can utilize Geppetto D2O.


For more details, read the Geppetto press release.

Geppetto™ design guideline – BBB compatible cape

November 3, 2015 | Raj Gopalan

Overview

Geppetto™, the Design-to-Order (D2O) tool from Gumstix, has been used to design expansion boards that use Gumstix’ Computer-On-Modules (COM) such as the Overo™ COM and Single Board Computers (SBC) such as the Pepper 43C.  While designing these boards, we thought, how cool would it be if we could design capes for the BeagleBone Black community.  It immediately struck a resonant chord with Gumstix engineering team, since the BeagleBone Black platform was based on an AM3354 (Sitara™), an ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor from Texas Instruments, the same processor family used in the Pepper 43C SBC.

Stacked Cape to Mono-cape

Gumstix is proud to announce that developers can now design their custom BeagleBone Black compatible cape in Geppetto’s intuitive, web-based D2O platform. Currently, developers are required to purchase multiple capes and stack them on top of each other, struggling for both space and pin breakout.

Some of the functionality on the add-on capes are sometimes unusable, since not all pins are propagated through. The engineering team at Gumstix decided to design a prototype BeagleBone Black compatible “mono-cape” solution in Geppetto. The elegantly-designed mono-cape is shown below and is available for developers to copy and design a BeagleBone Black compatible cape of their own, using Geppetto.

Single cape vs. multiple cape
Geppetto allows users to design a single cape (left), combining the features of multiple BeagleBone Black capes (right)

All Inclusive Cape – Wifi, GPS header, LEDs, USB

The mono-cape, so called since it is intended to be the only cape that can be connected to a BeagleBone Black, consists of the following modules:

  • Texas Instruments’ WiLink8 (WiFi, Bluetooth 4.1 + BLE)
  • 5-pin GPS header (to connect to an off-board GPS module)
  • LEDs (for status indication)
  • USB micro-B jack (for console port)
  • Tactile switch (to turn on/off) and
  • Male headers to connect to a BeagleBone Black.

Custom Software Included

For those power users out there, you must be thinking, well this cape must surely need custom software. You guessed right!  Gumstix provides a custom Linux software image, depending on the connectivity modules that developers design on their cape.  What this means is that when the board ships, it will come with a micro-SD card that contains a custom Linux image based on the specific modules on the cape.  So, users are freed from having to custom their software image and can instead devote their precious time for doing their magic, i.e. application development using the newly designed cape, right out of the box.

For more information regarding BeagleBone Black cape, please visit Gumstix’ website for the BeagleBone Black. This cape would be a great tool for someone interested in exploring the functionality of the various Pre-GO PPP boards that we have in the Gumstix store.

To learn how the BeagleBone Black cape was designed in Geppetto, please view the video tutorial by Gumstix’ Uthra Krishnan.

A snapshot of the Geppetto D2O tool is provided below. To learn more about Geppetto, please visit Geppetto.

geppetto d2o workspace
A snapshot of the Geppetto D2O workspace

We hear you saying, “I have a few suggestions/thoughts that would be very cool!”.  Sure, send us your suggestions to andreas@gumstix.com and we will be happy to take a look!

Design-To-Order Changes the Design Game for Makers and Engineers Alike

November 3, 2015 | Uthra Krishnan

Design-to-order (D2O), is breaking new ground in the old world of EDA, giving makers, engineers and OEMs of all sizes access to the same affordable development resources.

Gumstix is leading the charge in this new realm with Geppetto™, our free online D2O tool supporting Linux and Android, and now supporting connectors for third-party computing modules. BeagleBone Black, Critical Link MitySOM 335X and the Diva CPU module based on Texas Instruments’ Sitara™ AM335X processors are now part of Geppetto D2O platform; designers can use them to create custom expansion boards in an intuitive platform that encompasses the entire process of design, supply chain integration and manufacturing automation. The Geppetto module library has over 100+ modules with new modules continuously added to meet expanding design requirements. Two new Geppetto modules include the low-power Zigbee module for IoT design featuring Microchip’s MRF24J40MA surface mount module and the RoHS compliant eMMC module offering 8GB onboard flash memory.

How does it work?

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