What Can You Do with An Xi3 Modular Computer? Maybe Embed One Into An Unmanned Vehicle!
When you have a really small computer, like the softball-sized Xi3 Modular Computer, a vast range of embedded applications are now possible, especially for systems that require or benefit from an x86-based system.
Such was the case with a four-person multidisciplinary engineering team of students from the Robotics Association at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida that participated in the 2012 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. The result of their more than 2000 man-hours of effort (as shown below) was the creation of the MOdular Lightweight Load-bearing Equipment Bot, otherwise known as MOLLEbot or MOLLE for short.
As explained in the team's IGVC submission, MOLLE is
". . . a modular, lightweight, back‐packable ground robot that has been designed and optimized (as) . . . a rugged, three wheel, differentially driven robot that was developed specifically for the 2012 Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition. MOLLE was designed to be inherently small and light, which has multiple advantages in the IGVC. MOLLEbot’s small size (just over three feet long and two feet wide) is optimal for passing through narrow openings on the Auto‐ Nav Course."
The IGVC entry further explained that MOLLE weighed in at 43 pounds and was capable of a maximum competition speed of 10mph.
So what does this have to do with Xi3? Simple. We provided the Embry-Riddle team with an early Xi3 Modular Computer, and this X5A-5342 provided the computing power for MOLLE. And we literally got the photos from Embry-Riddle earlier today, which we thought the Kickstarter community might be interested in seeing as a way to showcase how an Xi3 Modular Computer can be used in an embedded environment.
Shown below are a number of photos showing the MOLLEbot, as well as the Xi3 Modular Computer installed inside of MOLLE, and a separate Figure from the IGVC entry outlining the Electrical Flow Chart for MOLLE.
Kudos to everyone at Embry-Riddle involved in designing, creating and producing MOLLEbot for a job well done!