Let's Make Robots!

Would anyone be interested in an XMOS challenge?


UPDATE: If you have a YouTube account or use YouTube, add/view our "MyXMOS" channel for latest videos and XMOS news!



The 9.9 version of the XMOS Development Tools is now available:


It is VITAL that XK-1 users use this release or above as the XK1 is not supported in previous versions.

 As for anyone else - you will probably appreciate some of the cool new features:




XMOS challenge winners are now available!


Hi everyone!

I was curious to know if anyone would be interested in participating in a challenge to make something AWESOME with a new breed of processor which is particularly great for DSP/networking/USB/motor control type applications or more basic things if that is overkill for what you want.

XMOS event driven processors allow you to execute code in parallel which could open up a number of possibilities to evolve your robots "brain" to the next level!

I have some development kits to give away potentially, but before I give away all the details, I just wanted to see if there was any interest before I add to the challenges area or such.

People have made some cool stuff with our tech before (See videos).


Some details of the processor itself which will be on the dev kit (to be released soon):


- Single core device (Although we do have quad core versions - ask me)

- 400 MIPS per core.

- 8 Threads per core.

- 64Kb RAM

- 8KBytes OTP memory for applications, boot code or security keys, with security mode

- 64 user I/O pins

- Support for high performance DSP (32 x 32 → 64bit MAC) and cryptographic functions

- Time aware ports provide up to 10ns timing resolution

- Designs implemented using a software-based design flow (can program in C or XC - very similar to C but with support for extras such as parallel execution)

- Scalable - can connect many kits together for crazy amounts of processing power using Xlinks.


For detailed spec see: http://www.xmos.com/products/xs1-l-family/l1lq128


EDIT: As there has been some interest shown and to save time later - please post below with the following info if you would like to be considered:

1) Project Title

2) Project Description

3) How many Dev Kits you think it may require (eg you may need 2 if you are demonstrating the ability of one robot using image recognition to track another for example)

4) Are you willing to keep a video/photo diary of your progress if we choose you? Please state which/both.


If anyone is interested please feel free to post below with your project ideas (and subscribe to this forum topic for updates so I can contact you nearer the release date) so I can see if there is enough interest. I hope I have posted this in the right place, if not please feel free to move this to the right part of the forum!

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jklug80's picture
I would be interested in one if they arent too pricey. I don't have a project in mind bu tI would like to make some tutorials on how to hook it all up and do some basic operations to others can learn how to use it. I want to do the same projects on 3 or 4 different PICs so people can do a side by side comparison and determine which is best for their needs/skills.
xmos's picture

This is great! I would be most interested for some feedback as to how we compare with your more traditional routes of development, and get some feedback too.

If you were looking to buy XMOS products, feel free to check out our website www.xmos.com

However, for the purposes of this XMOS challenge, we will be giving some kits away for free to the most deserving projects (exact number and type of kits TBC)

Hope that helps.



dimble swishblade's picture
when is this dev kit ment to come out(be on sale)?
mintvelt's picture

Am i correct the this is the dev kit you are talking about?


The list price for that kit is $999,- which is more than most robots on this site cost alltogether. I really like the specs of that device and I would definitely come up with some ideas for the XMOS if I had the time to actually implement them.

I don't want to dis your product or anything and this promotional challenge is a great idea, but for $999 I think I would rather buy a netbook (or two) and use linux as a multithreaded environment with gigabytes of RAM and storage.

xmos's picture

No, I am pretty sure we are not giving away our XDK $999 dollar kit :P

(which is not really targeted at individual buyers/hobbiest market as far as I am aware).

However, if some projects are so amazingly awesome upon completion and have great potential to be expanded etc, then maybe the best of the entries which are completed and actually work, might get the chance to use some of our pricier kit as a prize.

I will have to see what budget I have left! So do not take this to be written in stone just yet.

mintvelt's picture

Right. It was the only kit i could find for the XS1 because I didn't look hard enough. I figured the XC series would be for an XC proc or something. stupid. It seems I keep posting comments without reading the documentation / references well enough. I have to stop doing that. Sorry

i have to say: I'm very curious about this proc. But like I said: too little time.

xmos's picture
No worries! We all lead busy lives so easy mistake to make, and to be fair, if I was new to this as well, I probably would have thought the same thing!
cwignell's picture

Hello XMOS,

Well I am a PIC and DSPIC user and a bit of an Arduino fan, but I have been looking at the Propeller as a solution to a few of the problems I am having. 

1) Project Title:   Telepresence Robot

2) Project Description

This project was inspired by the work the Leaf robot project; however I was unhappy with the platform as it is limited to flat areas. My robot is based on an articulated X platform (really H), normal operation is 4 wheels; however as each leg of the X is articulated and the backbone is also articulate the robot can stand on the rear wheels, and balance in this mode it operates as an inverted pendulum. Navigation of stairs and such obstacles is by alternatively standing on the front and rear wheels. The bulk of the mass will be on the back bone.

Processing is a mixture of Leaf code running on a Linux platform (micro ATX) booting from flash, I am thinking that the XMOS might form a good processor to do the sensor fusion of the low level sensors, Sonar etc, the other function will be motor control, steering and posture and balance, a little like the Amygdala/Hypothalamus/Thalamus system in the brain. I have been playing with subsumption on the Arduino but it not ideal.

Upper layers i.e. Navigation/decision/video being processed on the Linux board.

The head will house a Video camera and I suppose in a few years I will play with expression (I have a head from a Roboquad for this).

The role of the robot is to act as a Tele-presence free agent controlled from a 3G handset.

3) How many Dev Kits you think it may require (eg you may need 2 if you are demonstrating the ability of one robot using image recognition to track another for example)

1 Dev Kit, but I'd like a couple of loose processors if possible

4) Are you willing to keep a video/photo diary of your progress if we choose you? Please state which/both.

Yes, I will publish the CAD drawings and Source, this forum is about sharing the experence!

 Thank your for reading this

 Best regards


xmos's picture

Thanks for posting. I think this is a good use, combining it with other systems and using the benefits of each system to do things  that it can do best!

In terms of loose processors, would they have to be of the L1 type - ie LQFP/TQFP instead of our older processors which are BGA?

cwignell's picture

LQFP/TQFP are fine, the rational is that I find it is sometimes easer and cleaner to dedicate a processor to a task, givening a simple tight and clean peice of code with an indepent and testable interface than try squeeze the last bit out of a particular processor. As this is a hobby for me and free time evaporates many times the selection critera is what is quickest rather than elegant.

 I do enough squeezing the last clock cycle out at work

best regards