Computers have become integrated into virtually every aspect of our lives at this point. Desktop computers are commonly connected to large industrial equipment, control entire servers, and serve a plethora of other purposes.
That said, they aren’t the most convenient device to use. Single-board computers are a similar counterpart and offer substantial benefits, especially when compared to the average desktop computer.
What is a Single Board Computer?
Before you start looking for Rock Boards and other top brands, it is important to know what single board computers are in the first place. Single board computers have all of the standard components that a desktop computer has with the main difference being that all of those components are on a single board.
Even better, single board computers have a litany of technical applications. They can perform all of the same tasks as a standard desktop computer without the need for more space. That makes single board computers more versatile than their counterparts. In particular, SBCs are proving to be quite beneficial in the world of robotics, among other industries.
The field of robotics requires a lot of data processing and computation. There is a need to control algorithms that are accurate, stable, and capable of real-time performance. Robots also use tasks, things like camera calibration, that require a lot of processing power and storage. Enter: single board computers.
Traditional control computers need a lot of power and are quite bulky, making them less than ideal in settings like that. SBCs have become a favored option in the robotics industry because of the litany of benefits that they offer compared to your average desktop computer. This leads into the next section where we go over the major benefits of single board computers.
Why go with single-board computers over traditional desktop computers? Here are the biggest benefits, especially when it comes to the robotics industry:
Easy to program
Maybe the single biggest benefit of using single board computers is that they are extremely easy to configure and program. Single board computers use a litany of programming languages like C++ and Python, which makes robot control and development a lot more flexible.
ROS systems have become prevalent, and developers can use ROS and ROS2 systems to be used in the development of robotic applications. Using single board computers provides a greater set of tailored capabilities, which turns them into more dynamically functional computers.
Small and Flexible
Another major benefit of using single board computers is that they are very small and lightweight. They are not only easy to assemble, but they can fit into tight spaces where a desktop computer will just not work.
Despite their size, single board computers offer high performance thanks to high-speed memory, fast storage options, and powerful processors. There are even some that come with multi-core processors from top developers, enabling high-speed processing.
Though single board computers have become commonplace, there is still a lot of ground to cover, especially when it comes to robotics. Using single board computers in the future will make robotics more intelligent, flexible, diversified, social, and collaborative. Robotics are expected to become a major part of society, creating potential benefits and value for all of us.
Single board computers will be capable of deploying ROS systems that can be used for 3D physic simulations, virtual environments, and more. All of these will be used to reduce physical loss, optimize designs, and run them quickly and more efficiently.