[SOLVED] Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

[SOLVED] Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-01 18:37

Hello to all,
I would like to know if there are smartphones that mount like a Debian Operating System, possibly at low cost. I'm not interested in having simcard on it, because I want to use the smartphone as an embedded board with the webcam and run an Arduino for rover robot use.
Last edited by giorgik on 2017-05-03 13:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby cronoik » 2017-05-02 10:36

How about a raspberry pi?
Have a nice day!
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby debiman » 2017-05-02 16:00

various attempts to run debian inside an android OS exist.
https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/? ... &page_id=0
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-02 16:20

Thank you cronoik and debiman for your advice.
For cronoik:
the use of the Raspberry Pi 3 B is evaluated, but to use it I need a display (I do not own a HDMI input monitor) and I also do not have a Raspi power off (take off power without knowing if it's finished S.O. shutdown). Keep in mind that I want to use it on a rover robot.

For debiman:
Now I try to see from the url you sent me and verify the goodness of the available Debian. I have a Vodafone 785 smartphone that is locked (I have no root rights) and I have not been able to unlock it yet (Kingroot etc ... do not work).
I'll let you know what I got.

All this because I want to use OpenCV and Python to take advantage of the smartphone's webcam and use the smartphone as a rover brain.
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-02 16:51

debiman,
I've looked at all the different packages from F-Droid, but they all require root rights on the smartphone. Unfortunately my does not have them because it is a non-rooted Vodafone 785. I have not managed to unlock it, even using packages like Kingroot etc ...
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-02 18:19

I think the RPI suggestion is pretty good here, although I do not see why you want to choose the model 3, you should use the Zero W. With it's hdmi turned off it will consume less than 100 ma on average and certainly it has enough computational power for your project as you are now using an Arduino (perhaps you have a non-8-bit-AVR one, but still) I understand that you want to repurpose the old phone. However, the problem is that most phones while they will might be made to boot, for example, a Debian armhf kernel, they almost always need closed proprietary hardware firmware and kernel modules. Therefore it is pretty likely that you would not be able to use the things on the phone that you want to use the most (wifi/camera etc.). If you want to use the phone, I suggest you use Android. OR is there something specific that you cannot do in Android that you would like to do with Debian?

A microcontroller is better for a robot than a Linux computer due to it using either baremetal deterministc/hardware interrupt code or a realtime OS (like FreeRTOS) and they can go to sleep modes that consume less than 1 milliampere (nice when you are using batteries). However, once you want to stream video in addition a RPi (or other Linux computer) is pretty nice as it can so easily both control the robot (with something like a L293D) and stream FHD video, serve servers, have it talk and react to voice commands etc. Of course you could try and hook up all this to an AVR or get a stack of Arduino shields, but it gets expensive and complicated fast.

You certainly do not need a display to use a RPi or any other linux computer as you can remote log into it with ssh and other methods. Also poweroff is not a problem if you do it in a smart way. You can use a hardware button, a systemd timer, invest in a battery with an indicator, there are millions of solutions to that problem. If I understood you, that is, you are afraid that if the OS is midst of a write when power is cut, that it will corrupt the disk image. You can even boot the OS into RAM. There are ready made images for this, like picore (it is tinycore for RPi).

EDIT: typo
Last edited by pylkko on 2017-05-03 18:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-02 21:01

Thanks pylkko, for your explanations.
What I have to do is build a rover robot that makes decisions based on what it sees. This is a research I want to do about artificial intelligence. In practice, I need a robot to do a series of experiments and research related to visual processing. So there is a need for a webcam or camera. Since my financial resources are very limited, I wanted to start from embedded cards not too good. At home I have an Arduino Mega 2560 and a recycled USB webcam from an Acer notebook. I therefore thought about visual processing of OpenCV and Python. From here I thought of Raspi. As you say, the energy consumption factor is important, as I have to use batteries (which should therefore last as long as possible). In your opinion, what can be the best solution for building this rover robot to expand in the future ?
What is better to use as an embedded card ?
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-02 22:28

That is a hard question, as the answer will certainly depend on what your requirements are. So far you say that you need video capture and processing. Also, you are likely using DC motos (or maybe servos) but anyway, these are going to consume more energy than the controlling mechanism. Do you need to control the robot or will it be autonomous? Because the wireless commmuniation part is always something that consumes quite some w.r.t enerygy. However, if you only need occasional data from the rover, then you could also just not have an antenna at all. A RPi zero is like 5 USD. One solution is also to use the robot to capture the data and send it over to another more powerfull computer for processeing. Then the robot can be quite light weight. Many of the newer 32-bit microcontrollers cost less than what an Arduino mega would. ESP8266 a 80 Mhz with WIfi are from 2 to 10 USD. But if you want to process video you likely need something with floating point, like at least coretex-m4 cores or maybe even more. Coretex-m based devices can also wake from deep sleep without reset and the best ones come with wifi antennas using only 10 ma. So the entire thing uses like 20 ma (average) when active and something like 10-25 µa when idling, but the boards cost like 35 USD.
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-03 08:30

Sorry if I did not say it before, yes it's an autonomous rover robot. I would like to see if there is a way for the robot to create its own motion strategy based on what it sees from the webcam.
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby pylkko » 2017-05-03 11:44

Ok in that case, I'd say RPi zero (the one without wifi, not the 0W version), camera module, Python, and a dual L293d motor control board and some 6 V dc motors. That is the cheapest possible solution and one that can be extended later. You don't need Wifi nor a HDMI screen, because the RPi0 can act as a OTG USB device and you can SSH into it via USB for debugging and coding. You only need to send a command on the kernel line at boot to enter this mode. You can run the DC motors of a four pack of AA NiMH batteries and the RPI of a USB power pack or perhaps a LiPo battery and board (but that would be more expensive).

check this out:
https://jeremykarnowski.wordpress.com/2 ... er-vision/

OTG mode Linux:
https://gist.github.com/gbaman/975e2db1 ... e45e8fd40a
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Re: Smartphone with S.O. Debian

Postby giorgik » 2017-05-03 13:22

Great, you've been tremendously helpful, thank you.
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