Towards Visually-Guided Neuromorphic Robots



The Beobot Computing Cluster

The Cluster

On top of the Beobot is a mini-computing cluster comprising of two dual-CPU motherboards and 4 Pentium III Coppermine CPUs. It is like a miniaturized version of the Beowulf cluster, hence the name Beobot.

The Motherboards

We used two of the dual-CPU embedded motherboards (Rocky-3742EVFG). This motherboard is mobile and can support flash memory, gigabit ethernet and IEEE-1394 firewire. There is even an internal AC97 audio in case we need to use the Beobot to annoy somebody.

The CPUs

The Beobot uses 4 of these FC-PGA Pentium IIIs - 2 on each motherboard! The combined horsepower is enough to process a constant stream of images coming in from the cameras.

The Storage System

Since we cannot use a hard drive, we decided to use a generic compact flash memory as a replacement! Enough to store a Linux kernel and our cool Vision software.

The CPU Platform

Creating a frame for the boards is challenging - the boards are dense and they have no screw holes. Thankfully, we found a way to solve this problem:

The CPU boards rest on a rubber mat; appropriate cut-outs have been laser-cut to accommodate for the various components; the rubber mat rests on a solid piece of laser-cut clear acrylic, the base board; finally, a piece of thin laser-cut acrylic fits tightly around the CPU boards so that they cannot shift. The CPU boards are then maintained in place by many screws just adjacent to the CPU boards.

Copyright © 2005 by the University of Southern California, iLab and The Beobot Team. Last updated Thursday, 02-Sep-2010 10:05:32 PDT