Gumstix Intern Kenny Akers Tackles the Aerocore 2 for NVIDIA Jetson

July 26, 2018 | Keith Lee

Kenny Akers is a rising senior student at Woodside Priory High School in Portola Valley California and 3-year veteran of the FIRST Robotics Competition — An international contest of wits to see which team of High School students can custom-build a robot to complete a complex task. When Gumstix released the Aerocore 2 for NVIDIA Jetson we called upon his experience, skill, and enthusiasm to demonstrate its potential in robotics and automation. He aims to demonstrate its ability to drive autonomous problem solving in robotics through computer vision and deep learning.

Steam Bot Willie, Team 751’s 2017 submission for the FIRST robotics competition

Kenny is your average high school kid, enjoying running, music and hanging out with his friends, but he is also a self-professed, self-taught tinkerer and software developer. His interest in Arduino, C++, and Raspberry Pi eventually led him to us, and he promptly got himself a seat at the table. Now he is interning here for the second consecutive summer and applying his skills to the Aerocore 2 for Jetson. “I knew about the Jetson platform through the FIRST competition, where a few teams [were] using it for computer vision,” he shared, “Coupled with TensorRT and NVIDIA’s support for AI applications, the Jetson is the optimal platform for my purposes.

Kenny’s Aerocore 2 wired up for test

Diving headlong into deep learning, Kenny has already brought up a convolutional neural network, using TensorFlow as the backbone, that uses our Caspa HD camera module and the Aerocore 2 for NVIDIA Jetson to identify and classify up to 80 objects concurrently, and in real-time.

 

His goal is to demonstrate the capabilities of the NVIDIA Jetson TX2, coupled with the Aerocore 2 platform, to his team and incorporate it into their design for this year’s FIRST robotics challenge, so he has set aside the object classification for now to work on interpreting the AI’s output and translating it into robotic actions. As a proof of concept, he hopes to have an iRobot Create 2 navigate to an object of specific class and interact with it, which at this point could be as simple as turning on an LED.

Early demo of Kenny’s progress with OpenCV and TensorFlow on Aerocore 2 for Jetson

He won’t find out until January what his challenge will be, and then he and his team will have 6 weeks to fund, design, program, and test his bot before the competition begins in earnest. His work this summer, he hopes, will be helpful in improving the design’s autonomous performance at the competition.

 

Developing on the Jetson has proven to be far more agreeable than he had initially expected. “Besides a few technicalities with configuring library backends and getting a sufficient camera stream, I was surprised by the relatively low amount of hurdles I encountered compared to other embedded systems,” he confessed. NVIDIA has done a great job of documenting and supporting the Jetson TX series compute modules and has made the lives of developers of varying skill the better for it.

Aerocore 2 for NVIDIA Jetson TX2 with Caspa HD camera module identifying Kenny’s cellphone

Working with Aerocore 2, a Geppetto-designed board, has left a good impression on this high school self-starter. “I think Gumstix offers a level of customizability in the field of embedded computing that I am yet to see by other entities. Especially with Geppetto, the ability for a client to tailor a design to their application is very useful.

Kenny is the first, and definitely not the last, to employ the Aerocore 2 for NVIDIA Jetson for combining edge AI and robotics. And there is no reason to stop there. In the past, Geppetto and Geppetto-designed boards have been used by Yale undergrads to teach grade school students the fundamentals of computers.

Gumstix is lucky and grateful to have Kenny here working with NVIDIA Jetson and we are excited to see what he does with the Aerocore 2 for Jetson. Gumstix will be following his progress enthusiastically as he and his team take on the FIRST Robotics Challenge in January.

How to Design and Build Alexa into the Colibri iMX7 and Chatterbox AVS Development Board?

February 27, 2018 | Celine Marie Barrozo

Toradex is going to have a webinar and our CEO, Gordon Kruberg will be the guest speaker. The webinar is “How to Design and Build Alexa into the Colibri iMX7 and Chatterbox AVS Development Board?”.

Toradex Webinar with Gumstix

When will it be?

It will be on March 21, 2018 with two available time slots 08:00 A.M. – 09:00 A.M. (PDT) and 10:00 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. (PDT)

Who will be speaking?

W. Gordon Kruberg, M.D. – President and CEO, Gumstix, Inc. and Daniel Lang, CMO, Toradex

What is this about?

In this webinar, we detail the complete hardware and software suite for the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and the steps to deploy the Chatterbox and NXP® i.MX 7 powered Toradex Colibri iMX7 module as a wake-word or push-button activated Alexa device.

The Chatterbox simplifies designing voice-enabled devices while reducing cost and accelerating the integration process. Target applications include smart speakers, smart home and IoT devices, router and gateway devices, sound bars and set-top boxes. The Chatterbox design is freely available in Geppetto at Gumstix.

Gumstix Colibri iMX7 Chatterbox (Amazon Alexa Voice Service evaluation board) image

The Chatterbox includes a 2.5-Watt speaker driver, on-board microphone and line-in jack for high-quality audio I/O, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Ethernet for connectivity. These features accompany the Toradex Colibri iMX7 module, microSD storage and real-time clock to create a complete home companion platform. The Chatterbox development boards can be used by designers for prototyping or can easily be copied and modified in Geppetto® D2O to create their own custom i.MX 7 AVS or IoT design in minutes. The i.MX 7 family of NXP SoCs is an ideal platform for many embedded and IoT applications.

Why you should attend?

Key takeaways include:

  • Chatterbox and Colibri iMX7 breakdown
  • How to integrate hardware and software for Alexa Voice Service (AVS)
  • How to transform this prototype into a final product and meet the necessary cost requirements
  • Simple steps to build your own or customize Chatterbox to exact specifications in minutes using Geppetto, a free online design to order to platform

How to register?

Click on the button below to register.

Active Cooling System for the Intel® Joule™ Compute Module

March 8, 2017 | Celine Marie Barrozo

Last August 2016, Intel® announced the Intel® Joule™ compute module. Since then, our engineering team has been hard at work to provide expansion boards that allow innovators, makers, and designers to build their products using the power and capabilities of the Intel® Joule™ compute module.

Intel® Joule™ Compute Module
Intel® Joule™ Compute Module

Read more »

How to build a DragonBoard 410C Drone – Simple Step by Step

November 7, 2016 | Karen Schultz

Gadget Guru, Keith Lee shows you how to get an DragonBoard Drone airborne on Open Hours @96Boards.

See the parts below. For the step by step creation and flight video, check here.

Dragonboard 410C DRONE - Ready to build

You know you work somewhere cool when you can assemble a drone from hardware lying around the office.

– Keith Lee, Gadget Guru