Ubuntu Core on Internet Things
Tags: developers , IoT
New Snappy Ubuntu Core on smart devices delivers bullet-proof security, reliable updates and the enormous Ubuntu ecosystem at your fingertips – bringing the developer’s favourite cloud platform to a wide range of internet things, connected devices and autonomous machines.
“We are inspired to support entrepreneurs and inventors focused on life-changing projects,” says Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. “From scientific breakthroughs by autonomous robotic explorers to everyday miracles like home safety and energy efficiency, our world is being transformed by smart machines that can see, hear, move, communicate and sense in unprecedented ways.”
Early users of Ubuntu on connected devices are pioneers in robotics, drones and open hubs for connected things. Ubuntu Core is the secure platform for super-smart stuff, with an app store that brings the very latest software straight to your device and easy connections to every cloud.
Ubuntu underpins the work of the Open Source Robotics Foundation. “Ubuntu Core enables our new app store for open robots,” comments Brian Gerkey, CEO of the OSRF. “That creates a market for innovation and competition in smart robotics, with apps and updates delivered straight from developers to a new class of open, intelligent robots powered by open platforms and open protocols.”
Commercial vendors of drones and other smart things can now deliver reliable software updates automatically, and sell software to their customers, on an open platform. “We are delighted to reveal the Erle-Copter as the world’s first Ubuntu Core powered drone that will stay secure automatically and can be upgraded with additional capabilities from the app store,” says Victor Mayoral Vilches, CTO of Erle Robotics. “An open platform attracts innovators and experts to collaborate and compete, we are excited to lead the way with open drones for education, research and invention.”
General-purpose, extensible devices like hubs, set-top boxes and gateways create a market for apps from a global developer community. “The app store for internet things is now open on Ubuntu,” says Maarten Ectors, VP of Internet Things at Canonical. “Ubuntu makes it easy to develop amazing apps for incredible devices on your laptop, test on the cloud and publish straight to a global market of diverse devices.”
Serial crowdfunding success story Ninja Blocks, makers of the open Ninja Sphere smart controller are launching a home app platform and store based on Ubuntu Core and snappy applications. “The open Ninja Sphere controller based on Ubuntu Core is a perfect base for building apps that interact with devices and sensors in your home. We look forward to the growth of a new ecosystem of inventors and creators and are delighted to provide them with a blank canvas for their creativity,” says Daniel Friedman, CEO of Ninja Blocks.
The huge range of software on Ubuntu helps developers with sophisticated processing such as vision, sensor processing, motion and location. This popularity leads to frequent sightings of “Ubuntu in the wild” in projects as diverse as self-driving cars, entertainment control systems, deep space mission control centers, and smart display systems. Ubuntu Core provides a production-ready platform for products that will ship across the globe, be hard to access physically and be connected to the internet for updates and security fixes.
Ubuntu Core presents a single identical platform from cloud to device. “It has never been easier to develop for embedded devices,” comments Alexander Sack, who leads device engineering at Canonical. “Ubuntu Core on the cloud is a perfect platform for test and dev, I can simulate my device online and launch thousands of simulated devices on demand.” Canonical ensures that Ubuntu Core on the cloud and on devices present the exact same APIs and receive identical security updates.
Developers of ownCloud, the popular private personal cloud solution, have already published ownCloud in the app store, so any spare PC can be turned into a personal, private and secure file sync and share with Ubuntu Core. “We are able to deliver the latest ownCloud straight to your device, adding features and fixing problems for worry-free, secure personal cloud systems” says Frank Karlitschek, founder and CTO of ownCloud.
Both ARMv7 and X86-64 are supported. Using standard PC equipment makes device prototyping easy. “A spare laptop or PC becomes your initial development board,” explains Alexander Sack. “Turn an old PC into a home storage server or prototype your robot app on a spare laptop or virtual machine.”
Ubuntu Core supports the most widely deployed ARM developer boards today. “BeagleBone Black and Snappy Ubuntu Core together answer the pervasive questions around the Internet of Things, so I am obviously thrilled. Experts and developers often ask me how they can normalise their application environment and have confidence in the security of the system. With a reference design of Snappy on BeagleBone Black, Canonical and BeagleBoard. have partnered to ensure anyone can build an IoT prototype quickly and affordable, without any barriers to taking their designs to production,” says Jason Kridner, co-founder of BeagleBoard.org.
From the $35 ARMv7 Odroid-C1, which offers 1 GB RAM along with gigabit networking and a wide range of RaspberryPi-style expansion ports and pins, to the $179 2 Ghz Octacore Odroid-XU3 with 2 GB RAM and loads of display and I/O, Ubuntu works across the widest range of ARM boards, helping developers create applications secure in the knowledge that they can select the right silicon close the point of manufacture. Reducing the time between innovation and sales is a key advantage for Ubuntu based devices.
The Snappy Ubuntu Core partner ecosystem launches today with 22 partners already onboard: Ninjablocks Ninjasphere smart hubs; OSRF – ROS robots; Openhab smarthub framework; Erle Robotics’ Erle-Copter; developer boards like Odroid, Beaglebone, Banana Pro, Udoo, PCDuino, Parallella and chip vendors like Allwinner; IoT frameworks and solutions like Kaa, DeviceHive, 2lemetry, IoTSys, Resin.io, OpenSensors.io; interoperability with micro-controller operating systems like Riot-OS; IoT narrow band networking like Nwave; App stores on mobile base stations with Fairwaves; IoT meets Docker with Weave; and environmental tracking robot boats like the Trasibot.
Ubuntu Core requires a 600 mhz processor with 128 MB RAM. Devices require 4GB flash for factory reset and system rollback. Ubuntu Core itself uses 40MB RAM leaving the rest for applications. The Beaglebone Black and Odroid-C1 are recommended ARM development boards. For x86, any spare laptop, PC or virtual machine will also serve as a development platform. Installation details at ubuntu.com/snappy.
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