First Steps with the Variscite DART-6UL i.MX6 UltraLite Development Kit

For a next-gen course I’m evaluating different platforms, and one of it are modules based on the NXP i.MX ARM architectures. In this article I have a look a the Variscite DART-6UL development kit which includes the NXP i.MX6Ultralite ARM Cortex-A7 plus a 7″ capacitive touch LCD:

Variscite VAR-DVK-6UL_LO Kit

Variscite VAR-DVK-6UL_LO Kit

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Review of the CAM8100-U USB Camera with the RIoT Android Board

In my earlier post (“Adding the CAM8000-D Camera Module to the RIoT Board“) I was running into the ‘single camera’ trap of the current RIoT Android OS image: with only one camera attached, and switching between front/back camera, Android is stuck and needs to be flashed again to the board. Because this is so painful and can happen easily, I OKordered a USB camera for the RIoT board: with this that problem should go away, and I would have a front and a back camera.

CAM8100-U Camera Module with RIoT Board

CAM8100-U Camera Module with RIoT Board

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Adding the CAM8000-D Camera Module to the RIoT Board

One reason for me to buy the RIoT board was that it has a camera connector. So I had ordered the CAM8000-D module from Farnell (part number 2362812). The Farnell product page was not clear if it comes with the 30pin FPC cable, but luckily, it shipped with it:

Unpacked CAM8000-U Camera and Board

Unpacked CAM8000-U Camera and Board

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Adding the Wi-Pi WiFi Dongle to the RIoT Android Board

The wired Ethernet connectivity works out of the box with the Freescale RIoT board :-). But to make it more ‘IoT’ capable, a WiFi connection would be a big plus. The element14 site did not tell which WiFi dongles are supported, and a thread in the element14 forum on that topic has not really provided much information. With some risks I decided to order the Wi-Pi WiFi dongle which seems to be popular in the Raspberry Pi community (thus that Wi-Pi name?). And as I anyway have a Raspy, my thinking was that if it does not work with the RIoT board, I still can use it with the Raspy 🙂

Wi-Pi WiFi with the RIoT Board

Wi-Pi WiFi with the RIoT Board

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Flashing a new Android Image to the RIoT Board

I understand the challenges of board vendors: they produce many boards, and typically they have an early/first firmware version on it. And when that board gets shipped to customers, that firmware typically is old and outdated :-(. Same for the RIoT board I have received: I was desperately trying some advanced features, only to realize that the firmware on the board is an older one from this year. So time to update the Android on that board.

Freescale RIoT Board

Freescale RIoT Board

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First Steps with the RIoT Board and Android

At the university we have several projects with internet connectivity running. Yes, there is a hype around IoT, and in my view many false perceptions around this what it could or should be. Anyway, for these projects in many cases the Raspberry Pi boards are used, and I use a model B board of the Raspy too. I’m very happy with the Raspy, but I wanted to explore different options, so I ordered a RIoT board two weeks ago. When I looked at it the first time, I was thinking that this board could be a better (although larger) board than the Raspberry Pi one: more USB, more GPIO, micro-SD card, more processing power:

RIoT Board

RIoT Board

Well, then this week the new Raspberry Pi B+ came out: more USB, more GPIO, but same processing power as the standard B model.

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