Robots and embedded software for personalised crumpet toasties

I’ve been engaged in fair bit of discussion over embedded software these last few days – not surprising perhaps if you consider the fact that the Embedded Systems Conference is taking place in San Jose this week.

I’ve been engaged in fair bit of discussion over embedded software these last few days – not surprising perhaps if you consider the fact that the Embedded Systems Conference is taking place in San Jose this week.

I used to talk to a couple of the Microsoft guys here in the UK about some of their home-based hobbyist embedded software projects and, typically, they don’t spend too much time trying to build remote-controlled vacuum cleaners or re-engineer their toaster to burn their favourite football team’s name onto their crumpets. By and large, they build robots.

While companies like Microsoft Embedded and VIA’s Embedded Platform Division are keen to talk about the so-called ‘evolution’ of embedded devices and their increasing integration into networked and service-based applications. By and large, hobbyist developers in this space appear to want to build robots.

We know that embedded has graduated to high-level x86 design status and that real-world practical embedded systems can be customised with systems like Via’s ARTiGO to feature wireless and network connectivity, GPS and also web server connectivity. We also know that vendors in this space are targeting both the academic and hobbyist community to try and foster interest in this area. But we also know that guys like to build robots.

Ah well, domo arigato Mr Roboto.