FPGAs in Robotics [Question]

Hey folks,

I have been doing a lot of work with FPGAs at school recently and have come to admire the flexibility they offer. Because of this, I would like to work on my own side project that uses an FPGA for the main controller on a robot. This project is meant to be educational and for pleasure, not for any specific research or product invention.

I was wondering if any of you have had experience with implementing an FPGA in a robotics environment. If so, could you please share your experience?

I would also like to know of FPGAs that others have used that are affordable. For class, we are using an Altera DE2 Board with a Cyclone II EP2C35F672C6N chip. This development board has been very useful in teaching us how to use an FPGA but it seems like it may be too large for a small robotics project. If at all possible, I would like a board that has a smaller footprint (probably around the size of a Raspberry Pi or Arduino). Depending on the features, my budget can go as high as $300, but I’d like to keep it as affordable as possible.

Finally, are there any first projects you folks would recommend I try? Since FPGAs are very good at parallelizing tasks, I figured I would do something along the lines of computer vision or other signal processing.

Thank you all very much for your time!

EDIT: I forgot to mention, some of the FPGAs I’ve been looking at right now are either the DE 10 Lite, the Cyclone 10 LP FPGA Eval Kit, or the Cyclone IV DE0-Nano Dev Board

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