Adding an I/O expansion card opens Raspberry PI to robotics

October 07, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Roboteq’s RIO board (for Raspberry I/O) stacks on top of the Raspberry to create an embedded control and navigation computer, in a small footprint of 65 x 85 x 20 mm.

RIO significantly expands the Raspberry’s limited I/O capabilities by adding 13 inputs that can be configured as digital inputs, as 0-5V analogue inputs with 12-bit resolution, or as pulse inputs capable of pulse width, duty cycle or frequency capture. Eight digital outputs are provided for driving loads up to 1A each at up to 24V.
RIO includes a 32-bit ARM Cortex M4 MCU for processing and buffering the I/O, and creating a seamless communication with the Raspberry Pi. The RIO processor can be user-programmed using a simple but powerful Basic-like programming language to perform logic, conditioning and other processing of the I/O, in real time, and thus relieving the Raspberry of these low-level functions. On the Linux side, RIO comes with drivers and a function library for configuring and accessing the I/O quickly, and for seamlessly exchanging data with the Raspberry Pi.

The RIO board also features several communication interfaces, including an RS232 serial port for connecting to standard serial devices, a TTL serial port for connecting to Arduino and other Microcontrollers not equipped with RS232 transceiver, and a CANbus interface.
A version of RIO is available with motion sensors, including 3 axis accelerometer, 3 axis gyroscope, 3 axis magnetometer, and a fusion algorithm for creating a precise Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS). Added to Roboteq's extensive offering of motor controllers, the RIO-AHRS opens applications in sea, land or airborne unmanned robotics vehicles applications. The RIO card includes a DC/DC converter for powering the Raspberry Pi, RIO and external sensors, from a 8 to 30V DC power source. 

Roboteq;  www.roboteq.com