Udoo Neo

Udoo Neo


Udoo Neo

We have spent some time this week having a go with the Udoo Neo. This is an amazing little board that is very similar in size to the Raspberry Pi but has a lot of extra gadgets and gizmos built into the board. You can check out the full specs of the Neo at their website:

http://www.udoo.org/udoo-neo/

With all the extra bits and pieces built into the Udoo Neo, such as an Arduino board, 9-axis motion sensor incorporating accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer, GPIO, dedicated I2C connector and a connector for a camera, as well as built-in Ethernet, WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy, it’s ideally suited to all sorts of maker type projects.

We found it really quick and easy to get started with, as it’s simply a matter of downloading the required operating system image from the Udoo web site, and writing the image to a micro SD card (anyone familiar with the Raspberry Pi will probably be able to do this with their eyes closed by now). Most of what you need to know to get you started with the Neo can be found at the following link:

http://www.udoo.org/get-started-neo/

Most of the extra hardware we needed (monitor, mouse, and keyboard) was readily available, though we did need to get hold of a micro HDMI to HDMI adapter in order to connect the Neo to the monitor. The Neo only has one standard USB connector, which can accommodate either the mouse or keyboard, with the other attached to the Neo’s micro USB connector via an OTG cable. We found this to work fine, but eventually decided to use a powered USB hub for the mouse and keyboard, and effectively free up the micro USB connector. The picture below shows our setup:

Udoo Neo

Udoo Neo

Once it was all connected, it was simply a matter of powering it up, and we were off. Again, anyone already familiar with the Raspberry Pi should have no trouble finding their way around the Udoo Neo’s desktop.

Clearly, if you love tinkering as much as we do, you’ll want to get stuck in as soon as possible to see what this great little board can do; and we found the following link really useful:

http://www.udoo.org/docs-neo/

One of the things we loved was the ability to access GPIO and the other onboard hardware straight from Linux commands; for example, the command:

echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio25/value

will switch GPIO pin 25 on.

Similarly, accessing magnetometer data is as simple as typing the Linux command:

cat /sys/class/misc/FreescaleMagnetometer/data

What could be easier?

Overall, our first impressions of this board are really positive. Our setup is running Udoo’s version of Ubuntu (called UDOObuntu), and we are eagerly awaiting an imminent release of Android Lollipop so that we can take that for a spin too.