The PC, called the MinnowBoard, is basically a motherboard with no casing around it. It was codeveloped by Intel and CircuitCo Electronics, a company that specializes in open-source motherboards, and went on sale this month for US$199 from a handful of retailers.
It’s the first open-source PC to be offered with an Intel x86 processor, and the board’s schematics and design files are published and can be replicated under a Creative Commons license. Development kits based on x86 processors from Via Technologies are already sold for robotics and other projects, but those boards are not open source.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.
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What’s the point? $199 can’t be serious, right? They’re going up against sub-$50 embedded platforms like Raspberry and BeagleBone with a $200 x86 board. Don’t forget you can get a Mini-ITX system for well under $100 these days.
It’s great this is open so– oh, wait, Creative Commons license. I just don’t get it.