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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From looking at the documentation this looks to be an interesting processors setup. I'm just getting started with avr processors so I'm still learning how to program in c to get things running so I wouldn't be doing too much even if I did get my hands on one of these.

I do have a couple of questions though. I didn't see anything specific to this, but would I be able to output pwm signals(I'm assuming yes)and how many would the proc support? Does the proc support spi, i2c, serial communication? I saw a serial tutorial so that seems to be there, just didn't see how many serial ports were available, 1,2, x??

Which dev kit would we be getting?

Also Not sure how complex of a project you'd be lookin for. I have a couple of small projects that I could use it for. One of them being my ir beacon programmer(basing this off of the xc-5 dev kit). This would also seem to have potential for my ir beacon seeker which I've currently built with a picaxe. A third would be possibly useful for the "ir beacon/way point" base station.

 Anyway, let me know if this is or isn't what you'd be looking for in a project. It's all good  :D


Great to see you are excited by XMOS technology!

XMOS is pretty easy to get to grips with and we have a growing community to help you out should you get stuck over at XCore.com (note: though the name of this site will change soon - watch this space!)

Anyhow,  another key part of our community site is to share code - open source and such. Thus things like spi/i2c etc I am pretty sure we have existing code for that you can simply plug in and use - check out these pages for existing user projects you can download!

As stated before, the cool thing about XMOS technology is that it allows you to treat hardware like you do software, so it can be whatever you want it to be. You can attach whatever you want to it and interface with it pretty much. Your best bet to find the answers to your questions would be to ask on the website above, or to check out documentation.

Unfortunately I can not state which dev kit you will be getting, as the one we are thinking of giving out has not been released yet! However I am pretty sure it will have one of the L1 processors on it, so you can check out the specs for one of those at least to get an idea of what you have to play with - click here for info on the XMOS L1 processor.

Chess playing robot

i would like to build a chess playing robot. The chess board will have sensors under each piece so the pieces can be tracked.

Hopefully a chess algorithm will be downloaded to the board for deciding on moves. The robot will have a gripper to move the pieces. This could take a few weeks but would keep picture and video records of the progress. I will just need one kit. I have suscribed. So no more playing agianst a screen. Robot vs. human. 


That sounds pretty funky :) Adds a great twist to traditional computer based chess games. Thank you for subscribing! I shall let you know more when we have our new kits delivered which may be a couple of weeks, I was not expecting so many people to be interested in such a short timescale!  This is great!
would the dev boards come with a programming cable, if not what kind is needed?
I have been discussing which kits would be best suited to all these projects etc with other XMOS people and if we decide on the one we are thinking of giving out, then yes, everything should be included to get started with programming the chip. You will need USB on your computer to do so.

ok, thanks:)


XMOS processors utilise a single cycle sheduler and has 8 hardware contexts. It should be noted for Neural Nets, if you want efficiency on XMOS processor then they should be implemented using fixed point (not floating point) which XMOS processors are optimised for. Does that help?
Yes, thankyou. I try to quantise everything into integer form where possible anyway (can't avoid it on most micros), so this is quite convenient since fixed point is just integer form shifted back a few orders.

The specifications are definitely impressive, and using a C derivative as the main programming language makes life easy no doubt. Although I'm used to C++ on a PC, most of my μC experience has been with Assembly on the Motorola 68HC11 and various PIC micros, so I had a quick glance over the XS1 Assembly Manual. It looked pretty well developed, but do you know how it compares to XC in terms of multi-threading efficiency?

A lot of my personal projects revolve around the use of either physical or emulated artificial neural networks, an area where multi-threaded processing is a major advantage =D