Embedded processor module for precise robotics applications
The Sundance VCS-1 was developed as part of the European Union’s H2020 ‘Fast-Track-Innovation’ pilot program (FTI – Project ID: 737669). Based on a standard PC/104 form factor, measuring 90mm x 96mm, the Sundance VCS-1 incorporates computer vision, Edge AI and Deep Learning. Weighing only 300g, it has a power consumption of typically 15W.
The main processor of the Sundance VCS-1 is a Xilinx Zynq MPSoC in a SoM form-factor. It has an ARM Cortex A53 64-bit quad-core processor with real-time control through engines for graphics, video, waveform, and acceleration using the FPGA. These include an ARM Mali 400 GPU, an ARM Cortex R5 Real-Time Processing Unit (RPU) and the programmable FPGA logic for hardware acceleration of AI algorithms.
Sundance VCS-1 uses the Sundance External Interface Card (SEIC) to add external intefaces, including multiple USB3 interfaces. It can also connect with most Arduino and Raspberry Pi actuators and sensors. Another interface allows it to mimic a PC with HDMI display, SATA storage and Ethernet networking. A selection of I/O standards is implemented directly on the programmable logic.
Software support includes the ROS Melodic Morenia (ROS compatible and ROS2 ready) robotics platform, MQTT machine-to-machine connectivity protocol, OpenCV computer vision library of real-time programming functions, the Xilinx’s Edge-AI solutions and the Python scripting language. Also supported are the Ubuntu operating system, Xilinx SDSoC environment, TULIPP’s STHEM toolchain and Xilinx DPU (deep learning processing unit) for convolutional neural networks.
The Sundance VCS-1 precision robotics platform has been developed in conjunction with the French Agri-robotics manufacturer, Wall-YE and Symington Estate, a leading producer of port-wine in Portugal.