Nvidia Jetson Nano developer kit: A $99 board Low cost board for Artificial intelligence

Hi dear friend Makers,

Really happy to write this post for you today.

I want to talk to you today about a really fashionnable technology. It is called artificial intelligence. Of what I hear and think about it and ways things are going, it is and will be a major part of or tomorrow's life.

One of the main actor in the field right now with the makers, gamers and others is Nvidia. Who has started with graphic cards is now is a major key in the AI field.

It started a couple of years by creating development board for makers to explore the possibilities of Artificial intelligence for a real good price (around $600). It was the "Jetson TX1''.

This Dev board comes with a GPU. It is a special processor made to compute for graphics on your computer plugged on a main board where we can find all the necessary connectors to turn on the board on a screen (HDMI, USB slots, GPIO pins, a DC jack for the power, ethernet slot and more).

Does that remind of something, I mean a smaller board called raspberry pi. Yeah this is it, this is the same process as the raspberry pi. A small board working on an open source operating system working which is Linux and plugged to a screen with a keyboard and a mouse.

Nvidia boards

After the Jetson TX1 has been released, a couple of board has been since like:

  • Jetson TX2

  • Jetson AGX Xavier

Which are greats and powerful develoment boards to start tinker with if you do not know how to start with Artificial intelligence. The cost of those at their released were about $600.

The Nvidia Jetson Nano

You still can buy those boards and learn more on how to with Artficial intelligence which is great. But let's say you are a pure maker with a small budget and like to work on embedded systel like drone, robot, camera, RC car, RC plane, Autonomous car and more. What would be the solution?

This new year 2019, Nividia released this new board called "Jetson Nano" that cost $99. It is not as powerful as the others but powerful enough to work on embedded project with artificial intelligence and use sensor like camera, LIDAR and more.

Features of the Nividia Jetson Nano

The board comes with a 126 cores GPU compared to 256 cores for the Jetson TX2. This is still a good board to start with due to the price and the things that can be done.

The main features of the Nividia Jetson Nano are the following:

  • 40 GPIO Pins

  • 1 Gigabit ethernet port

  • 1 micro SD slot

  • 1 HDMI output

  • 1 jack for the power input

  • 4 slots USB 3.0

  • 1 MIPI CSI camera connector


As I mentionned above in the article, the Jetson boards work like a raspberry pi. By that I mean they need a little bit of requirements and a screen or TV.

For this you will need:

  • A miscro SD card (16 GB min)

  • A smartphone charger for the power supply

  • A USB keyboard

  • An USB mouse

When all the materials is gathered, you will need to flash the micro SD card with an Image of Ubuntu made for the Jetson Nano that you can download with the following link : Image Ubuntu jetson nano

The follwoing software can be used to flash the the microSD card:

  • SD formatter if you have Windows for operating Sytem

  • Etcher if you have Mac OS

  • And also Etcher if you have Linux OS

You can also find some tutorial Toutube on how to flash an Image on a USB micro SD card: Install a Linux image on a micro SD card

First boot

When you finish flashing your card, plug all the hardware to the board:

  • USB mouse

  • USB keyboard

  • HDMI cable to a screen

  • Insert the SD card into the necessary slot

  • Plug an smartphone charger (5v- 2 A) to the microUSB for the power

The system should start showing some crazy numbers and letters on your screen. :-))). That's normal. Then it will ask you to choose:

  • The keyboard setup

  • The Time

  • To log in

Discover The Jetson Nano interface for Artificial intelligence

Nvidia created a nice environnement around this board such as:

  • A forum

  • A website where contributors share their projects

  • The Jetbot project which is a small autonomous car working with Artificial intelligence.

You can also find on youtube some famous youtuber that treat with the Jetson board for a while now. You can check his channel: JetsonHacks

More details on the Jetson nano board and how to install it can be find with the following link: Nvidia Jetson nano

Future of Artificial Intelligence

So all of this in your mind, what do you think the future would be? Have any idea of the main project that would be articulated around Artificial Intelligence? How to make it accesible for everyone?

Please share your thoughts with us.

Embeded project for Artificial intelligence

Or maybe you also have thoughts on embedded project you want to realise. Like drone, automous RC cars, humanoid robot, A new kind of Alexa like Amazon. It is fulled with ideas out there. Share them with us.

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See you soon for more article and tutorials on Artificial intelligence.


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