The past and the future of the hardware – Part 2

As part 1 depicted, using microcontrollers have serious implications. For the future uses of this project, we decided not to focus on the code generation side, and compress the code into the AVR, but instead invest in a bigger hardware.
With a faster computing unit running a Linux operating system, many projects, and addons can run in the same time, allowing much more people to experiment. With a central deployment system, you can easily deploy applications, operating systems onto the embedded hardwares.

Although Raspberry Pis are great embedded computers, it turned out they are not reliable. It’s not a big deal for everyday applications if the Pi restarts suddenly, but in our application this can be fatal, therefore we have choosen the BeagleBone Black single board computer (SBC). Let’s not forget, our environment is safety critical one, so we need not only computing power, but reliable hardware as well. 

The Beaglebone Black

It has 4 GB onboard flash memory, so you don’t need SD card. The expander header has more than twice the pin count of a Raspberry Pi 2. The Ethernet is not USB-based, it’s handled by the processor. The BeagleBone Black (BBB) is like a Raspberry Pi, but it is more designed for embedded applications, where media capabilities are not priority.

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