Which papilio to use video processing and servo control quadruple robot

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Hi! I'm new to the fpga world and I was looking through the different papilio boards.

So this semester im going to start a new project which involves a quadrupled robot, I want the robot to be able to move (obviously) with 12 servos, 3 in each leg, and I also will like it to receive and process video (enviroment tracking). For the servos I more or less have an idea on how to make them work, but for the video processing I have no idea where to start or even if papilio would be a good idea.

I decided to use fpga because this robot might have diferent sensors and they all have to be running in parallel with the actuators, video processing running along with the servos, and some other functionalities.

I been looking for papilio duo for a while, and it seems great and easy (hopefully), now my questions are, am I on the right track by using fpgas on a robot? Do the board can handle video processing? which of the papilio boards to use?

Thank you and I will probably buy the papilio even if it's not a good idea for a robot!

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I think for your requirements it is either the Papilio DUO or the Papilio Pro that you want to target. The external memory is going to be the key to video input/processing, you will need enough memory for a framebuffer.


The DUO is a more capable board overall, it has more bells and whistles including analog input and the AVR chip. The Pro has more memory available because it uses SDRAM, but using it directly is a real challenge. Having said that I don't think your project will want to use the memory directly anyway. I think your best bet is to use the ZPUino soft processor to build up the custom Robotic SOC that you need, then you can control everything with C code. You can use VHDL/Verilog for the hardware portions such as quad encoders, stepper drivers, video input. But they will have a C interface through the Wishbone bus so you can easily control them.


For the robotics stuff we have most of what you will need already available in the Robot Control Library. Right now PWM's and quad encoders are working and tested. The library has support for much more, such as stepper drivers and PID's that shouldn't take much effort to get working.


For video input we are slowly working on a OV7670 Wishbone "chip" that will capture the video input from one of these inexpensive but capable camera's so you can do video processing. Right now Alvie is working on an HDMI Wishbone "chip" but the OV7670 "chip" is next on the list.



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Thank you for your reply, and I already bought the papilio duo for my project.

how will i implement the image processing part, should i design a DSP or something like that in the FPGA? 

where can i start so i can learn better about the papilio duo basics?



thank you, and im really excited for my papilio duo to arrive

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I would recommend taking a look at Hamster's code:



Then watching the videos at learn.gadgetfactory.net about making Wishbone libraries so you understand how the process works. 


It might be a lot to take in all at once, hopefully we will be able to make an OV7670 Wishbone controller soon so you can just use it instead of worrying about how to make it.



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thank you so much for your reply


Right now i decided that i will like to learn a little bit more of how the wihsbones work, correct me if im wrong but are the wihsbones the hardware implementation in the fpga written in vhdl? if that is the case i would love to learn how to make wishbones. Sometimes I kinda like to reinvent the wheel in terms of coding, for learning purposes hahaha. 

one last question, what books or sources would you recommend for learning vhdl?



thanks again for your help! the papilio is arriving on friday!

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