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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Shopping list (part 1)

I recently came across a, relatively, new Canadian company called Virtual Cogs ( Their VC21 series of stackable devices is superb. I'd used ARM processors before in handheld game programming, and always like their chips. So seeing them used on a VC21 stack modules got me thinking about making a robot again.

VC's Robot COG looked perfect as the main HW interface, with the i.MX212 handling the bulk of any SW processing. Throw in the Multimedia COG with touch screen, Linux running on the i.MX212, integrated JTAG, and lots of new avenues open.

So first on the shopping list is;
  • i.MX212 COG (VCMX212) (Actually went for the Starter Kit)
  • Breakout COG (VC21BR1)
  • Multimedia COG (VC21MM1)
  • Robot COG (VC21RB1)
  • JTAG interface (VC21JTAG)
  • Assorted connector cables and mounting hardware
The next step was Pololu's robot kits ( Particularly the Round Robot Chassis. Impetuously I went ahead and ordered the chassis kit, with Tamiya gearbox and assorted plates. Only later reading up on the H-Bridge used in the VC21RB1 :S More on that later.
Plus it was also later that I discovered that I could have bought them from Technobots Ltd here in the UK ( Oh well, another supplier found...

Next up was the JTAG interface. For which I went for the Olimex ( ARM-USB-TINY and ARM-JTAG (as backup, just in case OpenOCD had trouble with the USB varient). Ordered these via Sparkfun Electronics (

Another great find is the CMUCAM2 and, importantly, the pan/tilt turret head and servos. This time I got it from Active-Robot :) ( Only one of these to start with, but I'll grab another further down the line.

Finally, in this first line of purchases, is a cheap laptop from eBay. Took a couple of days to win a good bid, but managed to get an IBM Thinkpad T42 for under £200.

Yay, first purchasing round is complete. Now just need to wait for it all to turn up.

In the mean time I can start at getting together all the development software required...

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