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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I find this pretty handy - I have a pretty fledgling system with a base station mounted on the door - it tells you if you've left windows open, and later I hope to get it to indicated if i've left lights on, air con on (or off). I'm using small wireless transmitter and receiver pairs. woo!


Title: B5 (Blogging Beverage Buddy BBot)

Desciption: Based primarily on visual input, the B5 seeks out humans in order to provide beverages for them. The visual input is compiled and uploaded via webserver to an ongoing blog. Temperature, direction, tilt, and light levels will also be observed and recorded.

Kits: 1

Log: Pictures, video, production blog, and robot-produced blog.

Is this replacing your first post entry? If so I think if you are blogging stuff then the kit I mentioned is still best.
just wanted to make sure i got a title, description, and such, to make it a proper entry =).

Project Title: Lawn Care Bot

Description: This robot will water your lawn, apply fertilizer, apply weed killer, apply grub preventer and apply lime.  I plan on having 2 hoppers on the robot.  1 for water and the other for the lawn treatment.  The robot would go to a central base where it would charge itself, fill the hoppers and be stored there until the next time water or treatment would be applied.

Kits: 1 kit

Diary: Photo journal and occasional videos of progress.

Cool looks like we have some green fingers in this forum! :)

Seeing the power involved with this unit here is the idea that i have:

Title: Web enabled helper robot

description:  A larger robot, in the 50 to 75 pound category, that has wireless video and audio, patched to internet via wireless router.  The robot would be capable of voice recoginition, accepting commands verbally, and also totally web enabled.  I can see the potential for handicapped individuals to answer doors, phones, and with the use of servos(large) and robotic arms, capable of doing smaller menial tasks.  

The main thing is that it would need to be super user friendly, so that even inexperienced users could interact via an onboard keyboard, touchscreen, or any web enabled computer.

I envision the robot being able to read twitter feeds, as well as send them, check email and read the emails aloud.  

I can see rfid enabled doorlocks that can only be opened by the proper pass card, or via the robotic interface.  

When the user is away, the robot could be put into autonomous mode, and allowed to be a security guard.  When an intruder is deteted, it could alert user via sms, twitter, or via post to a personal website.  Possibly even via an outgoing phone call to 911.

Amount needed: I would think that possibly two or three would make this possible.  Other parts needed would be various sensors, motors, lcd screen, and other various parts and pieces.  A bridged internet connection can be done farily painlessly with the proper wireless router.  Power could be taken from a gel cell system that would allow for automatic charging.

Log usage: well, i already keep a log of most of the projects that i do.  Video is an issue right now, as a fall from the kitchen table ended my camcorders short life.  Photos are not an issue, as I have multiple digital cams around.

My experience in programming is not that extensive, although I think i have a fairly good grasp of c, parallax's basic(pbasic?), and also a lot of experience with Arduino's ide.  I have mainly speciallized in web site design and implementation, database design, and php, perl, cgi.  I have limited experience with Ruby, flash, and vb. 

I have no formal (School) training, as I started a family early, and have dedicated myself to raising kids, and paying bills.  Most of the knowledge I have is totally self learned. 

This is an ambitious project idea no doubt, but i figure if we are just spitballing ideas and possibly trying to build something new and different, why do it small. Make it big or don't make it.


Well you certainly set the standards high there! As I have said elsewhere XMOS are providing some of our dev kits, though if you want to add other things like wireless/cameras/etc then this would have to be out of your own budget.

Glad to see a fellow web developer getting involved! Good stuff! I am also a web dev (as well as a zillion other things!)

I think my advice would be to tackle this project in very small steps and build it up block by block, or else it could get overwhelming pretty fast!

I am guessing this project might need something like 2 XC1's and 1 XC2 (For ethernet connectivity - though you would have to write your own software that is capable of getting web pages / posting to them etc), I will have to see if this is do-able or not as that is quite a bit of kit!



I understand that any "incidentals" i would need to go with my project would be out of my own pocket.  That's understandable, and doable.

And i agree that it would have to be built up block by block.  I think though that it may be a tangible project, as the xmos seems to be very powerful, and I can see where it could have a lot of potential to do many different things.


These would make somethings really easy,

Optical flow navigation (memory management needs examination) but a couple of threads for nav and separate thread for biostatus, drive etc.

Subsumptive architecturres, easy one thread per node!

Sonar, DSP like functionality (Multiply Accumulate) means more information can be extracted from the return more than just time of flight, single thread per channel means things get interesting recovering 3d from the return signals.

 Neural nets

 I was going to look at the Propellers but XMOS sounds worth checking out, especially the XC compliler, C is my fav.

 All the best