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Creator Ci20 meets the Terminator on

9th February 2016
Jordan Mulcare

When I was a kid, my father used to take me to our local cinema once a week to see whatever movie was on at the time. One evening, we walked into the theater and I saw the poster for Terminator 2: Judgement Day; two hours later, I walked out of that screening completely blown away by what I had just seen.

While others were drawn to the epic action scenes, I was fascinated by the idea of robots and artificial intelligence. It was such an interesting concept that it stuck with me to this day. In addition, I was amazed by the film’s innovative use of visual effects and computer-generated imagery. Little did I know that the workstations used to design these effects were powered by high-performance MIPS CPUs.

So when the talented people at came looking for a theme to an upcoming competition focused on our MIPS-based Creator family, I knew exactly what to suggest: recreate the Terminator universe by using Ci20 microcomputers to build crazy-fast Hunter-Killer drones, T-1 self-driving tanks (take that autonomous cars!), or even the original Terminator – the he’ll-be-back T-800.

Launched in December 2014, Creator Ci20 is a purple dev board designed by Imagination for the maker community. It packs a dual-core MIPS CPU and supports OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics and 1080p video. In addition, the board features integrated connectivity (802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0), on-board memory (1 GB RAM, 8 Gb flash), a dedicated camera interface and other cool features.

Ci20 runs multiple Linux distributions (we’ve just upgraded to Debian 8 recently) as well as Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

To join the competition and help us build the next Skynet, head over to this webpage, register or login using your account, and submit your ideas of what Terminator-based device you plan to make with the Ci20.

A carefully selected team of Terminators will then go over the entries, select 50 of the very best ideas, and send each contestant a Ci20 development board; after receiving the board, use it (and any other additional hardware or software) to build your project. Once your piece of the Terminator universe is ready, simply upload the entire thing on, including schematics, code, and photos by April 19th.

The contest judges will then review each entry in great detail, decide on three winners by May 7th, 2016, and send them back in time using the DeLorean time machine (that last part may or may not be completely accurate.)

I’m really excited to see what you’re going to build and can’t wait to award three hard-working projects some awesome prizes, including our brand new Creator Ci40 IoT dev board and many other Imagination-powered devices. One of my favorite ideas submitted so far comes from Alex Eastabrook from Newbury, UK. Alex plans to use the Ci20 to drive the Terminator robot pictured below. The design is modeled after the T-1 battlefield robot.

By Alexandru Voica, Imagination Technologies.

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