Let's Make Robots!

FEZ Domino

I just ordered a FEZ Domino from Sparkfun  http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9797 And was wondering if anyone here at LMR has any experience with it?
If I get it working it will replace the two Arduinos in SEA RENDERING http://letsmakerobots.com/node/21098 and hopefully give me a more robust platform for further development of the boat.

UPDATE: 18.08.2010

The FEZ Domino arrived today and after just a few hours of playing with it I can’t wipe the smile of my face. This card is truly amazing!!

After updating the firmware to framework 4.1 and tested it with the blinking LED I decided to try moving the XBee shield from Whirligig http://letsmakerobots.com/node/22108  over and see if that worked. The serial pins of Arduino are the same as COM1 on the FEZ so I tried out this little program that only print a line of text with a counter every 500ms.

using System;

using System.Threading;

using System.IO.Ports;

using System.Text;


namespace XBee_test


    public class Program


        public static void Main()


            SerialPort UART = new SerialPort("COM1", 9600);

            int counter = 0;


            while (true)


                string counter_string = "Count: " + counter.ToString() + "\r\n";

                byte[] buffer = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(counter_string);

                UART.Write(buffer, 0, buffer.Length);











And it works perfectly.
OK, you say, -so what is so brilliant with this?

It’s the debug functions in Visual Studio 2010. With the program running on the FEZ I can toggle a breakpoint anywhere in the code and examine the status of every variable, step thru the code line by line. Remove the break point and the application runs at full speed.

Can’t wait for the weekend so I can dig deeper into this!


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I couldn't resist and ordered a FEZ domino board. It has arrived yesterday and I'm very happy with it, but haven't done much testing yet. Debugging from Visual Studio on the real hardware is amazing.

More news later.

I’m still waiting for mine to arrive from Sparkfun. Where did you buy yours?
Have you installed the new release of the framework 4.1 and we are now over on Visual Studio Express 2010 instead of 2008. Did you have to upgrade the firmware, and did that go well?

Can’t wait till mine arrive, the more I read, the more enthusiastic I get :-)

I got mine from Watterott, delivered in 2 days. No I didn't make the Update to 4.1 yet, maybe later.

Today I've tested a servo and a Sharp GP2D12, both work fine. Next thing is a motor driver, than I can start building a .NET micro framework start here robot :-)

I got mine today and am absolutely amazed of the whole concept. The live debug feature brings something completely new to the table as far as I’m concerned.

Why I am not surprised that you like it? ;-).

Today I've only done same hardware stuff. I disassembled an almost finished Arduino based robot to prepare it for a FEZ Domino or a FEZ mini. I'm not sure which board will be better for this robot, maybe the FEZ mini, because I'm using a vero board as mainboard and will not use any Arduino shields.


I hope you push things a bit further and maybe explore things like;

  • The use of threading to get some sort of parallel programming.
  • Maybe have a thread for the Sharp sensor and the servo.
  • Maybe a thread for encoding the wheels and writing it to SD for playback or calculating a faster route without the use of the sensor at all?
  • Some sound, that’s always fun and makes Fritsl happy

Yes, the Arduino pin spacing is a crab. The Arduino Offset Headers is a good solution for this problem, together with the stackable headers, to build Arduino shields with veroboards.

Looking through the specs, the Fez Domino seems to be the board with the most potential. SD Card and USB Host is great for data logging features.Plus 8 extra IOs and support for a lot of Arduino shields and sensors.



Awesome, it runs .NET! Looking forward to hearing your experiences with this.

I am investigating products like the FEZ Domino, the Netduino, ARMmite or the Cortino since a while. The boards look nearly all the same, has an ARM processor and are pincompatible to Arduino. The Netduino is half the price of the FEZ Domino but it's slower, doesn't have USB host and no sdcard slot. Hard to say what the future will bring, which board will be take the leadership and who will lost the game. FEZ Domino and Netduino has it's own SDK based on the .NET micro framework, thats look promising. Visual Studio is a great developer IDE, no doubt.

The sad thing with the Arduino pin capability is that they all share the same spacing fault. Making it hopeless to use a regular veroboard without modifying the pins.
Thank you for the links. You have obviously done more research into this then I.