Announced: a new Microcontroller board among all those RaspberryPis, BrickPis, Arduinos, EVShields, NXTShields, BeagleBone Blacks, BB3s or EVBs or what ever, Linux-powered like the EV3 and the RPi and many more:
The BeagleBone Blue!
It has been developed in partnership with UCS (University of California, San Diego). All in one board, made in volume, and wireless networking is also included. Builds on BeagleBone, so stuff like Ardupilot, Machinekit and ROS all run out-of-the-box. Extra software and partnerships to be announced in February.
The biggest new feature IMO is, that encoder ports and Motor drivers (H-Bridges) are already integrated to the board!
That is looking very very promising to me because now it's easy to sort of direct-plug-and-play attached Lego and different other rotary encoder motors which was quite a torture so far using the stand-allone Pis and BBBs and Arduinos, always requiring additional shields and a annoying overhead for encoder reading functions which had to be implemented before!
On board the BeagleBone Blue is a 2 cell LiPo charger with cell balancing and a 6-16 V charger input. The board also comes with eight 6V servo outputs, four DC motor outputs and inputs for four quadrature encoders. Sensors include a nine axis IMU and barometer. Unlike all previous BeagleBones, the BeagleBone Blue also comes with wireless networking: 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE. USB
2.0 client and host ports are also included.
Like all of the recent BeagleBoards, including the recently released BeagleBone Green, the Blue uses the same AM3358 1 GHz ARM Cortex 8 CPU, features 512 MB of DDR3 RAM, 4GB of on board Flash, and features the main selling point of the BeagleBoard, two 32-bit programmable real-time units (PRUs) running at 200 MHz. The PRUs are what give the BeagleBone the ability to blink pins and control peripherals faster than any other single board Linux computer, and are extremely useful in robotics, the Blue’s target use.