Older blog entries for Timster (starting at number 17)

Reply to Robots.net news story: The Incredible, Shrinking CPUs:

VIA has the advantage over Transmeta that it will still be in business for more than 2 quarters while Transmeta will likely not. They are just hemmoraging cash too quickly. I think the Efficeon product release and all their postureing about their future technologies is just very likely an attempt to get purchased by another player in the industry.

Also the 12cmX12cm Nano-ITX board includes a lot more silicon than simply the processor. Their will be the chipset with integrated graphics and audio, basically your complete PC with the requesit connections. I can't give you the full specs because they haven't been finalized and will be different for different versions of the board. While the Nano-ITX will still be aimed primarily at the VIA's bread and butter PC/devices customers we feel it will be very well suited to robotics applications. Especially since our new even smaller .90 Eden N processor will draw even less power which is great for mobile applications (1GHz~7W, 800MHz~6W and at 533MHz only 4W!)

Timothy J. Brown VIA Robotics Program Manager

VIA Robotics Initiative http://www.via.com.tw/en/robotics/robotics.jsp

Its great to see a review of our VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards on Robots.net. We are working with several Universities and research groups to help them develop robot projects but its a lot more fun to see what happens when products get into the hands of the everyman.

The Mini-ITX as the review points out is great for robot projects that want to have the power of an x86 (PC-based) board. But to show you that VIA is not resting on our laurals and is in fact a leader in the shrinking formfactor for boards that will be ideal for robotics applications I can only tease you with this link to early pictures of our Nano-ITX which will be an even smaller, low power, high connectivity x86 standard board.


www.mobilerobotics.org has coverage of a funny, fake news story about the Japanese gov. naming two new robot cabinet members. If you like satire and robots you'll get a kick out of it.

VIA got some coverage on the Inquirer.net about our idea for Robots being the next evolution of case modding. You can read more about are ideas in this area at mobilerobotics.org

Went to my first 2003 IEEE ICRA. It was really interesting. The presentations were generally OK and I thought the OROCOS presentation was quite good. It was also one of the few presentations that ran out of time during the question period afterwards. People definitely wanted to know more. Anyway they are about 2 years off of having commercially used applications off of their control level "kernal"

There is more show coverage at www.mobilerobotics.org if you want to read more

The Robots.net link to the article about the Rebirth of Robots fits directly in with the thinking at VIA. The story about robotics software moving to a PC interface which serves as a way to provide robots with more sophisticated feature set, more functionality, in a simpler/common programming environment for cheaper is benefit an increasingly commoditized mature PC industry brings to the robotics industry.

Very interesting was the idea that the TCO of the "Robotic Cell" was becoming drastically reduced.

"He adds that while the cost of robots is much lower, the real savings is in the cost of a robotic work cell. "Thanks to application software making it easier to set up and maintain a robotic work cell, the most dramatic price reduction is in the integrated robot cell," says Duncheon. "If you go back to the '80s, a robotic cell could cost $300, 000. Now a vision-guided robotic cell could cost less than $100,000 for the entire working cell." http://www.pddnet.com/scripts/ShowPR.asp? PUBCODE=045&ACCT=0006487&ISSUE=0309&RELTYPE=pr&PRODCODE=0000 &PRODLETT=B

Also over at www.mobilerobotics.org there was a really interesting coverage of the Village Voice's take on DARPA... DARPA needs to hire a new PR agent!

VIA has our robot competition underway with a banner ad on the Robots.net website here that links to the contest entry form.

The competition has a lighthearted "Robots in da house" theme and is based around a short proposal and a couple of multiple choice questions to be answered. Winners will receive VIA Mini-ITX mainboard to build their dream robot proposals.

You can visit the entry form directly by clicking here

Some of the DARPA Grand Challenge teams have started their blogging at the Robolog

Part of the Mobile Robotics website

The MobileRobotics.org website VIA is sponsoring is going live tomorrow and it looks not bad. Apparently they will be adding in how tos and more of their own content as they get started.

VIA is going to start a banner ad campaign to promote ourselves in robotics, probably something that revolves around a contest of sorts, so we can give away some Mini-ITX kit and see what great stuff the community comes up with.

We're having a bit of trouble deciding what the perameters for a contest winner would be, but were working on it:)

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