Asked — Edited

Pc Stick

Hey, has anyone tried out a PC Stick to run the EZB. I think it would open a whole new world as they become more powerful.

I am thinking of using one on my second robot Sam. Sam is a Roomba platform.


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Exciting possibilities. I found this review of the top 7. Just out this month Top pick was the Intel Compute Stick CS325 Computer with Intel Core m3 processor and Windows 10 :

Edit: I found this excelent review of the Intel Compute Stick CS325 that may answer some questions about if this will run our EZ Robots:

The good news  this stick feels like the future  or at least a highly integrate-able form factor that manufacturers should use in every smart screen device in the future. The best way to get a sense for this product’s performance is to read reviews for the Core M3 powered Surface Pro 4. Take about 80-90% of the SP4 M3 performance, and you’ll have the Compute Stick’s performance. You’ll see how for 90% of users, it fits the bill for web, office, and general multimedia purposes. I hope we find Core M powered smart screens in our future  the chip is a solid piece of kit by Intel.

UPDATE: Upon further research, it's clear this thing is NOT in the same class as the Surface Pro 4 M3 version. The TDP limit within the SP4 M3 is 9-watts, because of a superb passive cooling system. The compute stick is likely capped at 4.5 watts. This can have upwards of 25% impact on performance, especially with the HD515 iGPU. The more I read up on the SP4 - the more I realized how solid MS engineers did in thermal engineering and really stretching the M3 beyond what most manufacturers are doing with the Core M3 processor (capped at 4.5 watts, or other significant thermal throttling).

My bottom line recco right now  unless you have a specific need for something this small, I’d recommend going for other SFF products like Intel’s NUCs or Zotac ZBOX. The 64GB of eMMC is slower than you’d expect and is just a bit too cramped for desktop class use. If you plan a highly specialized use for this, you’ll find a capable machine. For those who want maximum portability, please consider the size of the AC adapter and cabling as well. For those seeking fully feature web browsing, MS Office, highly adept media playback, and desire to play 1-2 older triple A steam games  the compute stick works wonderfully.

Next year’s variant will likely include 128GB and 8GB RAM with better cabling  that’s the unit to look out for! But this is finally a stick worth using every day without compromise that feels like it punches above its weight.


- Solid Wireless network radio  was able to latch onto and keep my 5GHz signal across the house
- Was able to do steam in-home streaming, Xbox game streaming, and PS4 streaming without major issue
- The M3 is an incredible chip considering its low TDP  apps and office programs opened as quick as my quad core skylake desktop
- HD515 iGPU works for some older games @ low. I played Civilization (20-30fps @ 1080P)
- 4MB of RAM is much better than 2 in other Compute stick products for multi-tasking
- 3 USB ports is solid for a device this tiny, plus the micro-SD card slot for storage expansion
- Flawless 4K video playback in YouTube (in Chrome no less!)
- TINY  portable highly useful device that doesn’t feel compromised in power


- USB-C cable is clunky, thick, and unwieldy, they could have at least packaged it better
- Fan usually runs most of the time  it’s only audible when it sits within a couple feet though
- 64GB of storage still feels cramped; at this price 128GB would have been amazing
- The 64GB Storage runs fairly slow  I checked 150MB R/W and around 20MB R/W for 4K  this is slightly better than a 7200 RPM spinning disk, but nowhere close to SSD speeds
- I did have one BSOD in use, and some issues with the device going to sleep and resuming forcing a windows reset  likely some immaturity in drivers/BIOS
- PRICE - $400 bucks is a lot to ask for this, as solid as the hardware is. A NUC is a better choice with i3 ($289), 8GB ram ($35), storage ($42 for 120 M.2) = $366, and a windows 10 license ($99) if needed

While that list of negatives looks extensive, I’m being pretty critical but only docking one star. Overall the compute stick is amazing piece of technology given its size.


geezus - for $400 USD, i'd buy a laptop:D because i find screen, mouse and keyboard to be surprisingly important for PC's:)


What's wrong with the $109 Latte Panda or Kangaroo... What makes the $400 PC stick so special?


@Ellis, I can tell you from experience that the 2nd Generation Intel Compute Stick BOXSTK1AW32SC works fine running ARC for Windows and easily meets the minimum specs.

Its $126, but of course you will need to add an HDMI monitor, keyboard and mouse as DJ pointed out for development

If you plan to use it as an on-board headless computer for your EZB V4, please note that the power supply is 5v @3A

User-inserted image

Regards, Frank


Ya, gotta agree; there's better choices dollar for dollar, watt for watt. What's exciting about this is the size and power.

I'm no expert but I took a look at reviews and other platforms out there. From what I read the PC Stick needs to evolve and come down in price to compete for power users to be interested and not disappointed. Of course there are always the guys out there that want the latest and greatest. God bless them because they are the ones that make it possible to push the technology forward. If I wanted something small, powerful and able to do what I need right now I'b be looking closely at Intel's Gen 6 or 7 NUC. Prices are high but they will only come down. :)


Pricing has been a issue of intel for quite a while. They still price consumer components as if it's the 1990's when their product was in demand due to increased computer sales.

There isn't much demand for consumer market and even smaller demand for hobbyists/inventors.

It would be great to see Intel revisit their roots of the hobbyists and inventors from the late 70's and early 80's during the personal computer evolution. Their prices were affordable enough back then for small scrappy startups to invent stuff with their hardware.

Intel has one foot in the diy/iot market with function (i.e. Joule, Edison), but their other foot is in the bank. That's the result of a short sighted vision by one half of the company that isn't correlating with the grander vision.

Msrp pricing of Intel components isn't much more than their manufacture partner pricing - which makes products that incorporate their components to be costly for the consumer, and they fail. For example, their partner pricing negotiations of the joule are entirely handled through mouser's web portal. So the pricing that you see, is the pricing ezrobot would get. There's no product lifetime volume pricing agreements...

Intel pushed the "wow someone made a smart toothbrush with the Edison!" Marketing strategy for a while. But they missed an important part! The fact the tooth brush existed is neat, but the real fact that the tooth brush doesn't sell and is too costly was overlooked.

As an entrepreneur, I'm sorry to say to any hippies out there, but the bottom line of finances is important. Without having enough profit from revenue to operate, you end up with no support staff, poorly supported product, lacking manuals, and little to zero improvements/upgrades. The product fizzles away and vanishes poof

Ezrobot identified that with the joule in August at idf16. Hundreds of man hours, totaling tens of thousands of dollars were spent on developing an exciting new ezb v5 proof of concept using the joule. Wow! A full windows 10 pc in the ezb? It'll be great for education and hobbyists! Robot is a single purchase, not requiring a pc!

So we thought.... during development, there were no pricing available, even to nda'd partners like ourselves. The day of the event at idf16, where ezrobot presented the only complete ready-for-sale product with the joule, the pricing was announced. Well, the pricing shocked us! Jeremie was speechless. It was beyond our worst case scenario. There's no way we could manufacture it. An ezb would end up costing $500

It didn't get much better. We wrote to intel about the disappointment and concern for the joule product's future. I pitched that ezrobot should be a lost leader to promote sales and usability of the joule. I never received a response.

There was one intel employee who believes what ezrobot could have offered the joule, but his power was limited.

So, long story short... intel gets its revenue from CPU sales of server hardware for data centers. Now their manufacturing ability exceeds their volume, so they announced to rent out factories to ARM

Well, isn't that ironic? Here's intel with a super high price point, renting their unused facilities to an iot industry dominator, arm, which sells at a fraction of the cost. Meanwhile, intel is still attempting the iot market. You'd think someone leading that division has enough common sense to see that they're doing it wrong.

On that note, any non-intel certified hardware that runs win10 is your best option for price. Anything with intel's direct endorsement will break the bank.


Thanks everyone.

What I am thinking is putting the computer on my ezb or save space on my bench.

I was wondering if the intel cs125 shows any slowness when running large ezb programs?. I noticed it had only two GB of DDR3L My robot is powered by two 12v lead acid batteries and I am using a voltage regulator to reduce voltage to 5v.

I am also thinking about a windows comparable tablet for the head. I can purchase the windows compatible tablet for just about the same price. Would a windows 10 tablet run ezb?

I guess if it doesn't work I can use it on my TV.

I'm sorry to say to any hippies out there

Oh Wow man. Bummer man..... sleep;)


@dj Just curious, what was the price Intel quoted?

Looks like the 550x is $159 now which I know is still way over ARM pricing

Regards, Frank


Hey Frank, did you see my previous post about showing slowness. I am ready to pull the trigger on this and wanted your opinion.

Thanks, Ellis


Hi Ellis, I understand your concerns about speed and all I can say is that this device has about the same specs as a low end Intel Atom based laptop.

As you can see the ARC for Windows CPU requirements are low as the real time processing for servos and camera are handled by CPUs in the EZB V4 and in the camera

User-inserted image

I guess it depends on what type of complex scripts or image display work you plan on doing on the main computer.

However, I defer to those having more experience in determining what is required.

Regards, Frank


I just received my Intel cs125 Compute Stick. It seems to run a little slow but usable. I really am having a problem with voice speed. I know it is a windows issue but no matter how fast I turn it up in windows it stays slow. You could go to sleep listening to it.

Is there something I am missing? Any help would be appreciated.


Have you tried having the ezb speak instead of the Windows CPU?


I am using a Bluetooth speaker with Windows. The ezb speaker is to small for good music and voice. I hope I am understanding your question correctly.


Hello @ellis I have not been using the PC speaker on any of my robots, so it took me a while to run a test for you. I normally use the EZB v4 speaker

I'm now using the Intel CS125 with a JBL BT speaker. Music plays fine both using the native music player in Windows 10 (Groove) and through the Soundboard EZB Builder control

As for speech, I have tried both a script with SayWait() and the Speech Synthesis control and the speed seems normal. The only issue I notice is that that if I'm saying multiple sentences that part of the first sentence ONLY is missed

For example, SayWait("1 2 3 4 5 6") will only be heard as "3 4 5 6". However the next sentence will be heard in full

Its almost like the BT connection needs to be reestablished

Also, I'm not clear on what you meant be speeding the speech up?

Can you look at task manager to see how busy the CPU is?

Also, maybe try using the native music player as a test to isolate any issue with EZB

Regards, Frank