Technical Specifications

Key Features of the Darwin Board

  • Single board computer powered by an ARM7 RISC CPU running at 60Mhz
  • Battery or mains powered (uses less than 2W, so greater than 24 hour use possible with 12V SLA)
  • Built-in low battery shutdown to prevent over-discharge or damage of batteries
  • Connectivity for various types of RFID module (and can be ordered with RFID pre-fitted)
  • Multiple GPIO (for connection of experiment stimulus, sensors, buttons, reward dispensers etc..)
  • On-board RTC clock (with battery backup) to accurately time-stamp experiment results
  • On-board stepper motor controller, capable of micro-stepping and sleep modes
  • On-board short range (50m) radio link, to allow clustering of experiment nodes
  • Removable micro-SD card for large amounts of data storage (experiment data can be read straight from the card using a PC)
  • LCD screen and 2 push buttons for display / control of experiment
  • Development environment uses only free / open source tools and libraries
  • Open source example code and experiment framework supplied so you can get up and running in no time at all
  • Expandable through add-on modules

Advantages over other single board computers

  • Much lower power consumption than the Raspberry Pi
  • On-board LCD screen for easy status monitoring
  • Built-in power control of the RFID modules and stepper motor (to help reduce power consumption)
  • On board voltage regulator, with auto shutdown in the event of low battery
  • Potentially requires no external electronics to interface with experiment sensors / stimuli