Charbax writes: Here's the $150 BeagleMiP robotics development kit presented by students and professors from the Coordinated Robotics Lab at University of California, San Diego at CES 2014. It's Texas Instruments AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 Beaglebone Black Linux powered, combines all sensors needed in educational robotics development, webcams, displays, 3D printed structures/inventions, the self-balancing Mobile Inverted Pendulum (MiP) motors and encoders, the UCSD spin-off start-up Strawson Design has designed the Novus Robotics Cape sister-PCB Board to connect all kinds of additional motors, sensors, cameras, radios, and a lot more. WowWee MiP is the mass market consumer toy version of this design to be sold for $99 (and which will be somewhat programmable/hackable also using a backpack). The battery lasts for hours, it can carry and balance more than its own weight, potentially future sensors and apps will allow it to be autonomous (like a self-driving car), to feature emotions (how are you doing kid?), advanced artificial intelligence (bring you the beer from the fridge before you even think to ask for it), and larger robots based on these designs can potentially soon carry your groceries and follow you around, make your laundry, cook your food, wash your dishes and take care of your kids when you party.
Charbax writes: In this video, Jerone Young, lead partner engineer at Canonical, explains some of the challenges that Canonical and other companies who are part of the new Linaro project have been working on for the past many months, in preparation for the now imminent release of a whole bunch of ARM Cortex A9 Powered laptops and desktops likely to be manufactured by giants of the industry such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Quanta, Invetec, Pegatron, Compal, all of whome have been showing tens of early prototype designs of these ARM Powered laptops at trade shows around the world during the past year and a half. They work to standardize the boot process, write drivers to use graphics and video hardware acceleration, they optimize the web browser (Chrome and Mozilla), they implement faster DDR3 RAM and faster I/O bus speeds, they also optimize the software to use the new faster dual core ARM Cortex A9 processors. The goal is to have these upcoming ARM Powered laptops feel as usable to end consumers as Intel x86 based laptops/netbooks. With increased competition thanks to this alternative CPU architecture, prices of laptops and desktops could rapidly go down (sub-$149 laptops and sub-$99 desktops are likely), battery life could run much longer (up to 30-50 hours using a Pixel Qi LCD screen), sizes and weights can be much smaller. This could be the type of low-power, low-cost computer that the next 5 billion people in the world may use as their first computer.
Charbax writes: While Archos current "Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android" is a 4.8" WVGA Tablet hardware that runs Android 1.5 and soon 2.0 with the full Google Marketplace Experience (according to rumors), users of last year's 4.8" and 7" Archos Linux Tablets have been complaining that Archos firmware updates of its proprietary embedded Linux OS were too rare and added too little of the requested functionality. Under pressure from hackers demonstrating jailbreak methods, Archos has just now officially released the open-source Special Developer Edition firmware based on Angstrom Linux generated from a customized open embedded build for last year's Archos 5 and 7 Internet Media Tablets. If many talented developers join the community of Archos hackers to make software for this new Archos SDE firmware, Android, Angstrom Linux, Maemo Mer, Qt and Ubuntu Linux could be expected to run smoothly on it soon. Which could make it the ultimate pocket Linux Internet Tablet for Linux hackers. Installing Archos new SDE firmware permanently disables DRM playback and voids the warranty. The Archos 5/7 Internet Media Tablets are running on a 600mhz ARM Cortex A8 processor, with 60GB to 320GB of built-in hard drive storage and powerful hardware acceleration for 720p video playback and even HDMI output. The advantage of this open-source firmware working on last year's model is that the 250GB 4.8" Archos 5IMT Tablet now sells for $199 at Amazon.com and the 160GB 7" Archos 7IMT version is $209 and those are to be found even cheaper on ebay.