single board computer

What should I get if I want a single board computer that can run windows, support 4 USB ports, and Ethernet plug. I am trying to have a computer on board a robot to get 4 webcam streams and various other functions with windows. I also don't know about power supplies, what kind of voltage do these single board computers need? I would prefer 12 volts as I can use a lead acid.

VIA makes small PC motherboards, like the nano and pico: http://www.viaembedded.com/en/products/boards/1670/1/EPIA-P900.html

I would avoid running windows if you're trying to go with a low power CPU.

IIRC For power, you're going to need a +12v source, a -12v source, and a 5v source. I know there are computer power supplies made for 12v solar/car/RV systems, so your best bet would probably be one of those.

There is an open-source hardware project call Beagle Board. It is sort of like Arduino in that respect. The boards are more expensive but have more memory and processing power. http://beagleboard.org/

Many will run a flavor of Linux with good community support.

After saying all this, I do not own a Beagle Board. I have seen them but I like to play cheap.

Now I don't know how much these computers run for because the websites give no info on price. Do you think it would be cheaper and/or easier to go buy a laptop at Walmart for 200 bucks? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Dell-Refurbished-nbsp-Gray-14-D610-Laptop-PC-Intel-Pentium-M-Processor-and-Windows-XP-Professional/19590177

arduinopi:
Now I don’t know how much these computers run for because the websites give no info on price. Do you think it would be cheaper and/or easier to go buy a laptop at Walmart for 200 bucks? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Dell-Refurbished-nbsp-Gray-14-D610-Laptop-PC-Intel-Pentium-M-Processor-and-Windows-XP-Professional/19590177

Just looking around for prices on that VIA board, I found this: http://www.e-itx.com/p900-10.html - $270

If you want to go with a laptop, check out the Asus Eee-PC line. They have small, robust (SSD storage, passive cooling) netbooks in the $200 range. You could probably find one of the older 900 series ones for $100.

Or, if size isn’t a problem (if you are considering a laptop), you could go with a normal AMD APU or Atom based micro-atx cpu/motherboard combo.

I’m currently using a board similar to that one, with the same CPU, as a home server and home media server. It transcodes 720p/1080p video on the fly and streams it to my Roku quite well.

One thing you haven’t mentioned is how much weight your robot can carry. You need to factor in whether the robot can hold a full size laptop. I would suspect that you would want to use a single board setup or an embedded chip to keep the weight down. I also would expect a laptop screen could break in your typical robot when it falls off the platform.

Note, I tend to have a bias against Windows, and think that a normal Windows system would be too cumbersome to be on the robot itself. Having an embedded system (Linux or otherwise) on the robot and communicating back to the base station would be simpler. In such a setup, the base station could be Windows, but I think the part on the robot itself needs to be streamlined.

arduinopi: I want a single board computer that can run windows, support 4 USB ports, and Ethernet plug. I am trying to have a computer on board a robot to get 4 webcam streams and various other functions with windows.

Are you going to have a monitor and keyboard on the robot and have somebody running a Windows session on it? If not, your decision to use Windows as the operating system seems premature and not very sensible.

You seem to want a high level operating system, but on a robot weight and power considerations are going to be critical.
You should look at the Raspberry Pi. That will give you Linux and the ability to hook up a TV and keyboard for programming purposes.

It might be a more realistic first match to what you need.

radman: You seem to want a high level operating system, but on a robot weight and power considerations are going to be critical. You should look at the Raspberry Pi. That will give you Linux and the ability to hook up a TV and keyboard for programming purposes. http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

It might be a more realistic first match to what you need.

That would work as long as you have no plans to work on this until some time next year. Raspberry PIs are still nearly impossible to find.

wizdum:

radman: You seem to want a high level operating system, but on a robot weight and power considerations are going to be critical. You should look at the Raspberry Pi. That will give you Linux and the ability to hook up a TV and keyboard for programming purposes. http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

It might be a more realistic first match to what you need.

That would work as long as you have no plans to work on this until some time next year. Raspberry PIs are still nearly impossible to find.

In a different post, I said the same thing, and was told that the orders had now opened up. I went over to element14, and they were quoting delivery within 5 weeks. http://export.farnell.com/rp/order/?COM=raspberrypi-group.

If you are willing to pay a little more, you could get a Beaglebone right now. http://www.adafruit.com/products/513.