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!