Rock Pi X

Rock Pi X

Connection Type
Wi-Fi / USB
Audio Support
Yes
Camera Support
Yes

The most bang for your buck with embedded computing! This is probably the most impressive single board computers (SBC's) that we've experienced for the price. This is similar to the Up Board and LattePanda, but more affordable.

Because this board is running Microsoft Windows, it can also run ARC directly. There is an audio jack for speakers and an HDMI for video.

ROCK Pi X is the first X86 SBC(Single Board Computer) by Radxa. It can run Windows and ARC. ROCK Pi X features...

  • Intel Cherry Trail quad core processor Z8350
  • 64bit dual channel 1866Mb/s LPDDR3
  • up to 4K@30 HDMI Video
  • 3.5mm audio jack with mic
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • USB Port
  • GbE LAN
  • 40-pin color expansion header
  • Realtime clock
  • USB PD and QC powering

ROCK Pi X comes in two models, Model A and Model B, each model has 1GB, 2GB or 4GB ram options. for detailed difference of Model A and Model B, please check Specifications.

This comparison chart, done by our friends at Explaining Computers says it all...


Drivers

Synthiam has assembled a driver package to get your Rock Pi/x Rock'n! The driver package includes an installation readme file, which we recommend reading.

Download Rock Pi/X Windows 10 Drivers (x64)


Installation Tips & Performance

We have a guide in the Support section that includes steps on freeing storage space and increasing the performance of robot computers, such as single-board computers. View the instructions HERE. Additionally, if running headless we have tips HERE.

PRO
Synthiam
#1  
Let me know if anyone wants to see a live hack with this to demonstrate the Rock Pi X with ARC
PRO
USA
#2  
I do DJ, when will it be?

EzAng
PRO
Canada
#3   — Edited
Like the USB 3 and Nice collection of ports on the header block PWM, I2C, SPI 
Any thoughts about ARC supporting the  ports directly or will we still have to connect to EZB or Arduino? 

User-inserted image
PRO
Synthiam
#4  
How about that price?! Cooool!
PRO
Canada
#5  
yeah not sure what it will be CAD + TAX.
#6  
Looks like I held off buying an embedded computer till the right time. I'd like to see this being hacked.
PRO
Synthiam
#7  
Okay! Is this Friday evening good for it?
#8   — Edited
Looks like it's only available at a small number if overseas stores. Where did you get yours and what size did you get?

PS, @DJ, After checking my spam mail I still can't find the email you sent.
EDIT: Nevermind. I found it in the trash folder.
#9  
Friday is good for me. Actually any night is good.
#10  
yes, would love to see this in action:)
PRO
USA
#11  
Hi DJ,
How would ARC run on this? Would all the servo and i/o be handled through the GPIO pins or would it still connect to an EZController in some way? How would it access the physical outside world?
PRO
Canada
#12  
Unlike the latte panda there is no onboard arduino but would be nice if we could talk direct to the I/O ports.
PRO
Synthiam
#13   — Edited
@nink, For the cost saving, you can add as many arduinos as you wish to the usb ports. Jeremie is thinking about making an EZ-B style add-on for it that will have a built-in audio amplifier and servo ports, etc...

@Perry - servos won't connect directly to it. It would need some sort of i/o controller connected. The gpio's of these type of computers can't bit bang the pwm fast enough for servos - so an i/o controller does a better job
United Kingdom
#14  
Looks good and compares well with the Latte Panda.
Very limit places to purchase in the UK at the moment, but I’m sure that will change once it’s been out there for a while.
Look forwards to the hack.
#15  
I'm going to get one of these as soon as I find a better buying choice. I can only find one that will ship to the USA and it takes 20 days. Yeiks.
PRO
Synthiam
#16  
I’ll let them know that feedback about limited purchasing options. I think because it’s so new they have limited sellers
PRO
Canada
#17   — Edited
At the moment I believe Radxa's main reseller is Seeed Studio, I don't think they have a wide distribution network yet.

*Edit: I looked into it further and Radxa only has 2 distributors: Seeed and Allnet https://wiki.radxa.com/Buy

Allnet is located in Germany and China. 

Seeed Studio themselves have a wider distribution network, they sell through other distributors like Digi-key. Unfortunately, the Rock Pi X hasn't made it that far yet. Seeed also has a US warehouse for faster shipping but I don't think the Rock Pi X has made it there yet either.
#18   — Edited
I just ordered a Rock Pi X - 4GB / 128GB along with a number of accessories.
I ordered from Allnet China:
 https://shop.allnetchina.cn/

An important note: If you get one of these boards you need to get the heatsink that is made for it also. Either that or the aluminum case that has the heatsink built into it. 

I choose the Economy Express for shipping- Per their shipping information -

Quote:

this option is working better because it passes domestic postal services and ships via air cargo into the destination country. There the parcels are handed over to the destination postal services for delivery to the buyer. There are of course also delays but limited
This shipping method was only $5 USD higher for me and  will be here weeks sooner. Check out the "INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENT DELAYS FOR ALL SHIPMENT OPTIONS" link on the top of their website for more details. 

Here's what I ordered and the prices in US dollars:

Quote:

#Rock Pi X - 4GB / 128GB: 1 @ $99.00
#2.4GHz /5.8 GHz Antenna + Pigtail bundle: 1 @ $3.99
#USB 3.1 USB-C to USB-C male cable 1m white: 1 @ $3.99
#PD 45W power supply with USB-C connector (US style): 1 @ $7.99
#ecoPI PRO X LP Aluminum housing for ROCK PI X, Black, ROCK PI X INTRODUCTION PROMO (-$5.98 on sale): 1 @ $29.90 ($23.92 sale price)

Cost summary:
Subtotal $138.89
Shipping $25.16
Total USD $164.05
I am really happy with ordering from Allnet and feel secure that my order will be shipped quickly and be safely delivered to be as fast as possible. They seemed very professional and have a great website. I'm not endorsing, just stating my observations and feeling.

Seeed had only one size ROCK PI X available that I could find and no accessories. Not even the recommended heatsink was in stock (a must have!).

I'm really looking forward to getting this. Thanks @DJ for showing us this. I've been waiting for something exactly like this to place an onboard computer on my B9 Robot.
PRO
USA
#19   — Edited
This looks pretty cool but what is use case for this. If I still need a EZB to interface with it for servos and sensors isn't it just a smaller weaker computer than my laptop that I use now? I could see if you have some far off robot operating autonomously but I have never used my robots more than 10 feet away from my laptop or without a network anyway. Will it run face recognition much faster than my powerful laptop? Looks like 4G of RAM vs. the 64G I have now.
What is it that this will bring to a robot? It seems a funny question to ask because of course a robot needs a computer just wondering if this is a big upgrade for us or if it is an acceptable downgrade for people without a network that just want an on board computer.
#20   — Edited
@Perry_S, It's small and can be mounted directly on or inside a robot. You can rig it to power on and boot up windows when you power on the robot. ARC can then auto start and it's INT script can set up your robot to run.  After that you can use your mobile app to operate the robot or do whatever your imagination or needs show you.

Can you picture powering up your robot, everything setting up automatically. Then when his face rec sees you he says "HI Perry"!
PRO
Canada
#21  
Hey Perry,

From initial impressions, the Rock Pi X doesn't look like much. For me, personally, it's very exciting because it gives us an x86 computer with a small enough form factor and affordable price that I can stick them inside a robot permanently. Running ARC onboard a robot seems extremely powerful.

It's true that we could do this in the past, but not at this price and availability. It's just within reach now. The Atomic Pi was going to be THE solution for me until I found that it was just a surplus board that would run out of stock eventually. It also was on the low end of requirements with only 2GB RAM and 16GB of eMMC.

The Rock Pi X series with 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC is a viable solution for the future. It gives us long-term access to onboard computer-based robots. I can now make robots that are completely embedded and I can give robots to other people that won't require them to have to use a laptop or do anything to control the robot, they will be completely self-sufficient.

These SBCs can be remoted into when connected to a local network which removes the need for a monitor, keyboard and mouse connected directly to them. I haven't tested it yet but headless operation should be easy with an HDMI dummy plug. I really like the idea of programming embedded robots in this way.
PRO
USA
#22  
Thanks for answering guys. I am amazed it is so low priced. I might get one just to play around with it. I ask because I remember when I was really into putting Raspberry PI's into my inmoov. It turned out to be an inconvenience because for every little program changes I had to make either required me to plug in a keyboard and monitor or to VPN into it. So basically I was tweaking parameters and scripts from my laptop. So I ended up with a robot that I usually used my laptop to run with a really weak computer in it. Pulled all that stuff and got an EZB. 

Dave, I think the difference between you and I is that you actually have a bot that is so finishedxD
Will be cool to see what you guys come up with.
#23   — Edited
LOL @Perry! Well, maybe not. Our moto in the B9 robot builders club is "A B9 robot is never really finished". Perhaps the operative words in your statement are"so finished". LOL 

Have fun!!!!!
PRO
Synthiam
#24  
Well - if/when jeremie makes the add-on ezb for the rock pi x, it'll be awesome. Just use your laptop to VNC into the robot and have full control via remote desktop. But, the great thing is no wifi between ARC and the controller. That means faster video, higher def video, faster response in auto position, etc... When the WiFi is removed between ARC and the EZB, things become magically more awesome
PRO
Synthiam
#25  
Oh - and if you have a Rock Pi X in the invmoov, you can connect it to exosphere and turn it into a telepresence robot. So you can be out for dinner or at your friends and control the robot in your house. You can move stuff around, pick things up, what ever... That's pretty awesome

I should set that up as a live hack one day . Use the inmoov as a telepresence robot and control it remotely from dinner or something haha
#26   — Edited
Wow, things keep getting better and better. Jeremie is like your mad scientist at Synthiam! It's ALIVE!!!!
PRO
Canada
#28  
Thanks for the tips DJ, Optimizing Disk, RAM and CPU will be crucial especially when we want to run a lot of skills and multiple clients.  

One area we are lacking is GPU support for ML at edge and the dependance on X86 Architecture is a challenge.  Migrating to .NET core with multi architecture support for Lin/Win/Mac opens up a lot more cross platform capabilities. With ARC supporting ARM and CUDA on NVIDIA (Nano, Xavier etc) would be ideal for robotics platforms. Obviously that requires a fair amount of work on Synthiam part.  Another option is to look at partnerships with companies like AMD. ROCm is maturing, they are an X86 platform and are launching edge devices enabled by chips like the V2000 so this could be an option to explore in future.
#29   — Edited
@Nink, All I read and understood was Bla, bla, bla, bla. LOL! I'm so left behind. Thank God for guys like you and DJ that can conger up the magic we all dreamed about when we were kids.
PRO
Canada
#30  
Unfortunately I can’t conjure anything  up Dave. All I know is my robot needs a brain. My logic is if I post a lot of three letter acronyms I copied from a random Reddit post, DJ will come back and say, here you go, and it works.
PRO
Synthiam
#31  
Sadly core doesn’t have a GUI yet. It’s on the dev horizon. Migrating to core wouldn’t be difficult and a significant part of our code would migrate well. Until core matures and becomes something more than a web server.

I also don’t really believe in the ml running local. It doesn’t make sense to consume that much power in the robot locally - specifically since the global internet communication infrastructure is barely at capacity. It was significantly over engineered expecting less data compression. But with media compression the way it is, bandwidth and low latency is readily available for cloud computing. 

offloading ml to the cloud is the right thing to do. I don’t even want to consider what batteries would be needed to power a gpu for useful ml. 

Like, come on... tensor flow is a joke to run locally even on the most powerful hardware. There’s a lot of technologies we kinda skip at Synthiam / mostly because we wait for it to mature and stabilize. 

just look at google dialog flow. Ugh that’s the worst. It’s changed so much that it’s impossible to integrate. I should have waited longer before making a skill. Now it’s just a mess. 

The open source and education/exploration space is really fragmented and unreliable. By the time you figure out how to implement something, the technology had changed. 

so back to core... until it matures AND has a GUI, we can’t use it. However I should add that our entire cloud infrastructure and website is core:) entirely.
PRO
Canada
#32  
I love the EZB and this is why I got into EZ-Robot.  Suddenly I didn't need a 10 pound laptop duct taped to a robot platform. Everything was offloaded to a desktop and now we had extremely intelligent nimble robots. THANK YOU!!!

Moores law kicked in and now you can put an SBC like Rock Pi X directly on the robot so I don't need an external computer anymore.  7nm has brought in 10w SBC's with CPU/GPU/TPU cores onboard.  This opens up a whole new world for Autonomous robots.  Network goes down, robots keep running.  Sure you can still offload complex ML to the cloud you don't need to process local when network is up, but there is enough smarts on board to allow the robot to continue to function off line.   You really don't want a robot that a 12 year old kid can shut down with a $10 jammer he bought on Ebay. 

Hopefully as MAUI matures ARC moves over, it sounds like you have given it a lot of thought and it's on your roadmap. I understand that avalonia probably isn't a strategic move when an official UI is in development.
PRO
Synthiam
#33  
Avalonia is the only GUI we considered. Actually, when ARC was being developed out of ezbuilder remnants, we drew our a road map. For a brief time we considered porting it to a avalonia, but there were too many restrictions due to dev status. The GUI would have to change significantly, and rendering performance was super terrible. Redundant screen refreshes and redraws. Flickering. And layout issues where things just didn’t line up. 

so the decision was to be aware that one of two things is going to happen soon 

1) core will get a GUI that’s cross platform. We can easily fork and adapt to it. Because it’s something we consider to be core compatible as we continue developing 

2) windows moves to the cloud and runs in a Remote Desktop type portal and is available from any os

one of those two things will happen - depends on what’s first:)

in the meantime, the love from paying subscribers has gotten us pretty hyped and validated our efforts. So there’s a bunch of work going on for new skills. Such as yolo object detection, intel realsense navigation, and ros node integration. Oh and a unity add on. Oh oh and a two way telepresence option for exosphere that turns absolutely every robot into a telepresence. 

some pretty cool stuff! Lots of ML items planned to. We’ve been collecting a ton of data from exosphere, and now starting to experiment with the robots self navigating. 

I’m really enjoying the ui and performance improvements of recent ARC releases - hope you are to. It’s made a drastic improvement on sbc’s. I’ve been using the up board a lot lately and ARC is so much more response than it has ever been!
PRO
USA
#34  
Maybe a stupid question but these boards will require a dedicated Windows 10 license, correct. I think those are about $60 so this needs to be considered.
PRO
Canada
#35  
Theoretically you don’t actually have to register your copy of windows.  It will still work.   You could always buy an oem licence on eBay.  Maybe $5
#36  
What Nink says. DJ has mentioned this before. I think he said everything in Windows 10 should work except being able to customize your desktop.
PRO
Synthiam
#37  
No windows license needed. Just install windows and there’s a little message in the corner that says unregistered at all times. 

I don’t register windows on my sbc’s
PRO
Canada
#39  
Thx Heatsink is $12 CAD + 10 shipping on Ali Express (for a hunk of metal).   I ordered a Rock Pi X and Heatsink from Seeed $103 US including shipping (~$135 CAD I guess after conversion fees etc) lets see how much I get hit up for customs, taxes, courier transaction fees and other stuff.
PRO
Synthiam
#40  
They need a North American distributor - even robot shop would be a good start for them
PRO
Canada
#41  
Maybe you could take on that role DJ selling things that work with Synthiam shop.
PRO
Synthiam
#42  
No way lol. I’ll never touch hardware again. Worst business to be in.
PRO
Canada
#43  
Another month gone by and still they have not shipped, just says processing. They showed they were in stock  when I ordered.  At this point I can not recommend these guys.  No information, no updates, nothing.
PRO
Canada
#44   — Edited
Weird! I ordered one on Jan 12th, it took a week to process and another week to ship and receive it, but yeah I got mine eventually. I ordered from Seeed.

*Edit: I also got hit for an extra $26 CAD in import fees
PRO
Canada
#45  
OH Joy.  Maybe I can cancel.
PRO
Canada
#46  
Tried to cancel and they said you can't we just shipped it today, here is your tracking number....
PRO
Canada
#47  
Ouch....that really sux @Nink. I noticed that they just got the Rock Pi X heatsink back in stock. Maybe they ran out and failed to tell you until the next stock came in.
PRO
Canada
#48  
Perhaps I did order one as well.  Lugging the NUC around on a robot is becoming a pain 19 volts requires two 3S LIPOs in series and I have already killed a couple by over discharging them.  Hopefully it all works out in the end.
#49   — Edited
NUC? Is this secret code for something between you guys? I hate acronyms.
#50   — Edited
We use the NUC at my job. Its  a neat lil computer.:) ,
PRO
Canada
#54  
My Rock Pi X turned up last week, it is pretty cute and not bad performance but I can't get the WLAN drivers running.  I am in windows update hell now so can't give a review as I haven't loaded ARC on it yet.  Anyone else have trouble with the Broadcom drivers.  I did a fresh windows install versus the WIM file (I hope I don't have to go back and do it all again). Playing with some 3rd party utils for driver updates but the bcmfn2 driver and the Broadcom 802.11ac both fail to start.

One thing I don't like was the decision to use USB-C for power.  Seriously who has a USB-C to XT-90 connector laying around.  Wish me luck.
PRO
Synthiam
PRO
Synthiam
#56  
PS, don't forget to check the tips in the above links in the rock pi description for running headless and performance tips.
PRO
Canada
#57  
thanks DJ
1 I installed the website drivers straight after I installed windows but did not fix . Intersting enough I just found the answer that fixed my problem buried on this page.  "copy the 4345r6nvram.txt file to C:\Windows\System32\drivers" and it worked https://forum.radxa.com/t/win10-wifi-not-working/4905/10
2 I have 18vdc on my main PDU so I will run at that voltage. I made a funky cable up after an amazon order but it is a strange connector for power on an SBC
PRO
Synthiam
#58  
haha i bet that's a Frankenstein of power:D
PRO
Canada
#59  
It is actually quite clean.  It is the Quad A1 3D printed robot dog designed by Josh over at MJBot.  I am adding the Rock Pi X and ARC to control it as it is really just a massive remote control dog at the moment.  Move over spot. User-inserted image
PRO
Synthiam
#60  
That's pretty neat! Can't wait to see it operate
PRO
Canada
#61  
Well the Pi X just died after spending 4 hours setting it up. Fuses test ok but no lights nothing.  I had a voltage regulator on board to ensure no spikes and connected the T265 and D435i (both seemed to work ok) was walking the dog and then had a brown out.  
Dog came back after reboot but the rock Pi X is dead.  I guess I have to send it back to China.... 3 months later...
PRO
Canada
#62  
I'm sorry to hear that @Nink, do you have a USB-C cable + power supply you can use to test powering it from the USB-C connector? Does it reach the BIOS screen or anything?
PRO
USA
#63  
Hi Nink,
Can you share some more info on your walker? I was reading up on their hackaday entry but did not see any files to print anything.
PRO
Synthiam
#65  
@Nink, here's what I'm using to powe the Rock Pi/X - I'm super happy with the battery life of this unit. 

PRO
USA
#66  
@DJ Cool. Nice tip on the cell phone battery.

@Nink I had no idea you were so far along! Nice job.
PRO
Canada
#67  
Thanks DJ, I look forward to seeing your turtlebot running. A friend at work got one last week.

 I may add a second battery on the dog so good tip. I have a couple of similar batteries my kid uses to charge his switch when we go on vacation and that won’t be  happening for a while.

I am not sure if I want to add a second battery as you have to keep the centre of mass as even and as low as possible on the legged robot or he can tip over on slopes and I also need to keep weight down. The power used to carry battery may be almost as high as power used to power Rock Pi X.

The Dog is powered by an 18vdc P192 lithium Ion battery for a Ryobi drill.  I actually had to import batteries from US as it has a High Performance version that I could not buy in Canada. Sadly I only get about 30 minutes from it.

One advantage of a second battery though is it may allow me to swap drill batteries without having to shut him down first if I run Pi and Pi X off same second battery. I may just switch everything to two redundant 5S LiPo batteries in parallel though so I can replace one battery then the other and keep systems running. I need to redesign the internal housing if I do this and there is the pain of LiPo’s although I could get longer battery life with a higher power to weight ratio. 

The Rock Pi X will run up to 20vdc but that is where I went wrong I think.  When the dog jumps it generates power so apparently you can get a power spike of over 30vdc when it lands. This can flow back through the circuits if I don’t have good isolation. I believe this maybe why my Pi X blew up and another good reason for a second battery like the one you proposed.    

this is the battery he has at the moment. Model P192 
https://www.amazon.com/Ryobi-P192-Lithium-performance-battery/dp/B07N54F9PL/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=ryobi+p192&qid=1615217032&sr=8-1
PRO
Synthiam
#68  
Your robot has a Pi and pi/x? Can’t it all be done with just the pi/x?
PRO
Canada
#69  
Robot uses CANBUS-FD to communicate at very high speed with the Moteus FIeld Orientated Controllers that run the Brushless DC motors. The rock Pi X does not support the Pi Hat that has the controller as it does not have the SIO ports it needs on the header block.  I raised this with Rock Pi X dev team that they did not make the header fully compatible with the Pi and they acknowledged this and said they may address in next version.  

The code that runs robot is open source so I assume it could be converted with some effort to run on X86 and windows but X86 also consumes a lot more power than ARM and the code is quite CPU intensive as there is a lot of IO so 3 of the 4 cores on the Pi are dedicated to controlling robot and only 1 core is left to run Linux. So I don’t believe the Pi X could handle running ARC and Robots code anyway.

We looked at writing a FOC driver for the robot using USB CANBUS but it was apparent we could only support about 3 -4 Servos over USB due to the IO constraints so we went in a new direction of talk to the existing robot control software using JSON and web sockets and that’s when you came in.  

The web socket idea looks positive although as I mentioned there is an incredible amount of data coming back and I haven’t been able to affectively get the robot to respond to commands yet. This week though a servo died I had to dismantle robot to replace and now I wait for a new servo and new rock Pi x.
England
#70  
@Nink, just a thought, would it be dangerous to swap just one of the lipo's if they were in parallel as this would mean they would have a different charge capacity?  I had a bad experience with a lipo, they are a dangerous technology!
PRO
Canada
#71   — Edited
Hi @skidroe
good point. Maybe I just a need a single large LiPo pack and a small Lithium Ion in circuit to hold charge during battery swap to keep systems running.  

I have blown up the odd LiPo in my day. (I really need to dispose of these old batteries but I keep saying OH one cell still works I will save that for a new battery) 
 User-inserted image
PRO
Synthiam
#72  
The manul above for the Rock Pi/x includes a download link for all of the Windows 10 x64 drivers with instructions. 

User-inserted image
PRO
Canada
#73  
Wow thanks for posting the driver pack.  My new pi X turned up and it took me minutes, not hours to get everything working.  I can't believe no one else has put together a complete pack. The one on their website is full of missing and broken drivers. :)
PRO
Synthiam
#74  
Awesome - are there any devices without a driver in device manager after using my driver pack? Wanting to make sure I got everything
PRO
Canada
#75  
All Drivers installed and no unknowns. All drivers installed seem to work.  I must admit I did install the drivers on the Rock pi x site first and only saw your new driver pack after I went looking for the name of the file to copy  over to the system32/drivers directory to get the wifi to work.
PRO
Canada
#76  
I printed out a cute little case for the Rock Pi I found on Thingiverse. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4680165 

It Printed ok but the design is a little tricky as they bridge across the ports and I had some pieces break in half just above the HDMI and power ports but worked out fine and has a spot for the antenna. 
User-inserted image
PRO
Synthiam
#77   — Edited
I saw that case and decided not to print it because it’ll hold in too much heat which will lower CPU performance

1) if you’re using on a desk, use my rock pi mount 3D print (get design files here)

2) if you’re using to mount on a robot, replace the heat sink screws with standoffs (kits avail on Amazon)

User-inserted image
PRO
Canada
#78  
I kind of have no choice but to put it in a case. My robot dog runs quite fast and spends a considerable amount of time upside down.
PRO
Synthiam
#79  
I was installing another rock pi/x and noticed I was missing a driver. It's been updated in the windows driver package above.