Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards
Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True
What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Arduino Yun
What were the biggest problems encountered?: No problem!
Good day comrades! Before starting a review of development board FRDM-K64F, I want to tell my readers how I got into this RoadTest. It all started one rainy October evening, when I received from guys of EEWEB an offer to participate in the Freedom Design Contest. The essence of the contest was a creative application of the development board FRDM-K64F. Not thinking much I got involved in the game. If you've read my previous articles, you probably know that I love robotics! For the competition I developed a portable robot named miniRobot. I posted the robot’s description in my blog on element14 [link].
Almost immediately after this article was written, there were two important events:
Now we are interested in the second point: Christian approved my participation in RoadTest and eventually sent me a develompent board FRDM-K64F!
So here it is, the heroine of today's story:
For those who have not read the article about miniRobot, I inform that the robot was not built on the FRDM-K64F, but on the Arduino Yun (which was gathering dust on my desk a whole year). Guess what I mean? That's right! This review focuses on the transition from Arduino Yun to FRDM-K64F. This is particularly interesting, because FRDM-K64F is Arduino-compatible platform and the idea there must be easy transition.
Externally, the two boards are indeed very similar:
Both have Ethernet, 2 USB and much more, no matter at all, our task is a bit different:
We'll come back later to the latter point, and now let’s start with the first two. On closer examination it turns out that FRDM has some differences from the Arduino – other dimensions, other location of the mounting screws. However, all went well, and just in 10 minutes robot has become exactly what it was originally conceived:
What? What is this strange thing, looking like an antenna? I explain: Arduino Yun is equipped with built-in WiFi, and FRDM obviously is not, but Freescale guys thought about the wireless channel: you can optionally install on the board the Bluetooth module! Thus our «antenna» performs the function of the Bluetooth module:
As for the hardware it seems to be clear, let’s go to the program.
I won't make a detailed examination of controller's firmware, because I already did [link]. Let's just look at what she knows:
As for features of the FRDM:
For the miniRobot I decided to do a little something special: do you remember about the Bluetooth? To control my robot, it was decided to use smartphone. I have a Nokia Lumia 925 – this smartphone is equipped with Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. I decided to write a program in C#. It is based on the following sample [link]. The interface looks as follows:
The program is quite simple, it has a total of 6 functions:
I offer you a video that shows how my robot works:
As for the robot, I got exactly what I wanted! Freescale board showed it’s best side! However, the main conclusion is different: I spent a lot of time testing the various capabilities of the board in combination with the service mbed.org. You see the point is, mbed reminded me Arduino, the same C++, the same level of abstraction... But many more features! If Arduino is mainly suitable only for a hobby, the FRDM-K64F combined with mbed in my opinion is ideal for industrial applications. Perhaps FRDM-K64F is just the tool I will be widely using in the future? Who knows, time will tell!
Thank you for your attention!