When Mark Bobbitt from Barberry Solutions started designing a bike computer system for B-cycle, he faced some significant challenges. The system has two parts: a computer on the bike to gather data about the trip via GPS, and another device at each kiosk to collect data from the bike at the end of a ride. The kiosk device also communicates all the data back to a central server.
The biggest challenge was on the bike computer. This device has to get reliable GPS data with the limited amount of power generated from a bike hub. When it came to the kiosk device, Mark needed a solutions that would ‘just work’, so Barberry’s engineers could focus on the bike computer design.
He chose the Topaz CPU module as the core of the kiosk design. The Barberry engineers added an RF module and Ethernet interface and the design was done.
“Topaz is very easy to integrate” says Mark. “It provides all the core functionality we need, so there was very little design work for that part of the project.”
Topaz also provided flexibility during the design process. The i.MX25 has plenty of processing power which gave confidence to the engineers that they could make changes and add functionality without taxing the system resources.
The Operating System used was Windows Embedded CE 6.0,with application code was written in C#. “Using a high level language like C# made for very happy software engineers” says Mark. “It made interfacing to the back-end server much easier than if standard C was used, and helped us stay compatible as changes were made on the server side.”
Mark concludes, “I would definitely recommend Topaz. It lowered the risk for the project and enabled us to focus on the critical tasks.”