Intel Makes A Cool Robot Brain In Latest Attempt To Pry Hackers From Their Wallets

Hackerboards got a chance to sit down with Intel’s latest attempt to turn hackers into a willing and steady revenue stream, the, “Euclid.” The board is cool in concept, a full mini computer with stereo cameras, battery, Ubuntu, and ROS nicely packaged together.

We would be more excited if we knew how much it costs, but in principle the device is super cool. From a robotics research perspective it’s a sort of perfect package. ROS is a wonderful distributed and asynchronous robotic operating system, test, and development platform. The Intel developers designed this unit around the needs of ROS and it comes pre-installed on the camera.

For those who haven’t used ROS before, this is a really cool feature. ROS is natively distributed. It really doesn’t care where the computer supplying its data lives. So, for example, if you already had a robot and wanted to add stereo vision to it. You could offload all the vision processing components of your existing ROS codebase to the Euclid and continue as if nothing changed.

The other option is to use the board as the entire robot brain. It’s self contained with battery and camera. It’s a USB to serial connection away from supercharging any small robotics project.

Unfortunately the board is still a demo, and based on Intel’s history, likely to be too expensive to lure ordinary hackers away from the RasPis and import cameras they already know how to hack together into more or less the same thing. Universities will likely be weak at the knees for such a development though.

25 thoughts on “Intel Makes A Cool Robot Brain In Latest Attempt To Pry Hackers From Their Wallets

    1. Hah. Well. Depends on execution and competition in the field. Othermill is exceedingly well executed and fills its niche well. A niche in which its price, quality, and feature set is appropriate. GlowForge is an attempt to bring something that is still fairly technical and very unpolished into the home safely. Just googled what Projecta is and it looks hella dumb, but the hackaday writers are not legion and A for effort I guess.

      Likewise, this is really cool, but most hackers have no aversion to spending money on the tools used to execute the project. They do have an aversion to the cost of components in the project. Despite this being fairly nonsensical, it exists and matters.

      1. I think you are underestimating hackers. People have no aversion to spending money on *good quality* tools, not any tools. People who are actually building stuff with them are not stupid and won’t buy an overpriced hipstery piece of junk only because “Whoa shiny!”. The Othermill is a good example of that – basically nobody knows about them, because they are so niche and so uber expensive that the value for a hobbyist or small scale production just isn’t there. They had to orient themselves towards selling to universities and schools, because there the person holding the wallet usually isn’t the one actually using (or even understanding) the product so an overpriced gadget is an easier sell there. Compare that with e.g. the Shapeoko router which is fairly well known and popular.

        And Intel – well, how many hardware/robotics projects are being published with Galileo, Edison, RealSense cameras, etc? Apart from the company sponsored demos and things like Ben Heck Show (where he gets the hw sponsored), there isn’t much – it is simply too expensive and complex to use (yay for crazy connectors requiring expensive carrier boards ..), especially when there are alternatives that can do 90% of what the Intel’s solution can do for 1/4 (or less) of the price and with less hassle.

        Intel has some amazing engineering there, that’s without question, however they don’t quite get the market they are trying to target. For schools it is unusable without the accompanying compendium of teaching material (few schools have the engineering resources to develop that themselves – especially when there is competition with well established ecosystem) and for individual hobbyists it is mostly a curiosity and nonstarter in most cases …

        1. Were you replying to Gerrit, or to me? Neither of us said that hackers won’t spend money on good tools. Gerrit noted an aversion to paying for ????????????????????????????????????????, and I riffed on that (we’ll spend vast amounts of money on tools, then use those to work with crummy, knockoff parts—or hamburger instead of filet mignon).

        2. let’s see if intel’s new child, the curie chip, does anything serious in the market.

          its also not cheap to build with or to make things with (ignoring the arduino101 board since that’s a demo board and not meant to be directly embeddable).

          intel does not get the maker market. they keep trying – bless their hearts (lol) – but they miss every time. I suspect they won’t let the right people run the show and its *always* the same old ones that continue to be clueless about this space.

  1. Intel are in no way trying to pry hackers from their wallets – I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned out to be selling these under cost – they’re trying to pry hackers away from ARM.

    1. Yep.. About time for CISC to be RISC again.. TI and the others are way too controlling. Just look at the way they hide security features and only sale old AP tech to hobbyists.. Intel implements SSE4 and other recent tech and micro-architecture in hobbyist products and ARM IPs will be worth nothing within two-years..

      1. IIRC, they have demoed QPI over optical via silicon photonics. Lightpeak was originally PCIe + video over an optical link. The ambition is there, but the tech isn’t quite ready yet.

    Christ almighty, is this a tech blog or a tabloid?

    @Gerrit Coetzee Again with the marketing man…

    “We would be more excited if we knew how much it costs, but in principle the device is super cool.”

    You’re again “showing off” something “Super cool” and saying its the next best thing to sliced bread. I mean i we look back there was :

    Othermill, Glowfordge, Mosaic, projecta, etc

    “For those who haven’t used ROS before, this is a really cool feature”
    ROS is a feature? Are you kidding me? You can run that on a 20 dollar Pi, or a $40 Hard Kernel board, are you sure you’re not being paid off? You realize you’re sounding a lot like a shill again.

    “Universities will likely be weak at the knees for such a development though”

    Great. Maybe talk about that and why its a BAD thing for education raise some questions about the commodification of North American education and its accessibility with respect to new technologies. All you’re doing is contributing to hype again with little to no facts. If there’s a demo where’s the bench marks compared to say a Pi or other small boards.

    All you’ve written in short form is the following

    Here’s this piece of tech. It was a demo.
    We do not know price
    This looks super cool (no data)
    This looks super cool because of ROS
    ROS is useful for robots
    Intel is terrible at trying to penetrate this market
    Universities will eat this up instead because (?) (10 points)

    Seriously has HAD writing degraded to this?

    1. Theo. Open your mind. Adding this Realsense device to a robot is just what us roboticians want/need. Who wants to buy a Pi and spend months building a robot? I’d rather have something that comes close that I can modify. I will pay lots to save that kind of time. The Intel robot will be sold next year. Hey, Intel is a bit clunky, but they’re bringing out cooler stuff (drones, Euclid, Curie) than others out there (Freescale, NXP, TI)

      Hackaday rocks. They bring us cool technology that hackers and makers would like to either use or know about. I read HAD every day. What other site does this so well? Reddit? Meh.

  3. It is vaporware as there isn’t even a price for it. So talking about that is kind of meaningless for people who won’t have one for a while. Wait until there is a more detailed specs, MSRP and distributors, then write about it. :P

    It is just a PC on a stick + battery pack + cameras and ROS. Nothing too special about it.

  4. Is this article an attempt to assimilate hacking with putting together finished products ? Where is the pride when 90% of your project is accomplished by Intel ? What’s the thrill in pressing a power button ?

  5. Intel has failed in mobile and has yet to show any IoT (or “hacker friendly”/”community friendly”) device worth looking at. If they cannot sell these things at at prices comparable to a Raspberry Pi Zero, Orange Pi, or ESP8266 (sub $20 shipped), then they’re yet another silicon valley tech company making products for hipsters and unicorns. With so many fails and a slowly dying cash cow (x86), it’s also almost certain Intel will layoff way more than 12,000 in the years to come.

  6. ROS is not an operating system. And sadly, it’s not that wonderful. In my opinion it’s giant and unmaintainable beast best suited for non-techies and/or toying on powerful enough machines.

    I wish only thing, that Intel with it’s RealSense would properly fill the gap in affordable stereo-vision field with proper Linux support.

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