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I'm trying to make a toy for my son-in-law. It's a robot with a complex web/app interface, currently based on the Raspberry Pi. The RPi has everything I need (and more). With one exception:

Because the idea is that he can mess around with the hardware, the file system must be completely resilient to disconnection of power. (A USB power bank). The RPi has around a 10% chance of corruption when power is abruptly removed, and the only work-arounds are:

  1. Make the file system read-only. This is not an option for me because firstly doing so with any linux variants made for it is way beyond my expertise, and besides, it is critical that it be writable for my purposes.
  2. Design and incorporate a circuit that acts as a micro-UPS that gives enough time for the RPi to safely shut down when power is disconnected. I have actually successfully done this. The issue is the size of this plus the RPi is far larger than I would have hoped. Also this doesn't solve a secondary issue: boot up time. Both are in the order of 30 seconds. To make the toy appealing, it should have near-instant boot and shut-down time. (Eg that of a TV or games console).

What alternatives to the RPi could do this?

The features/capabilities I ideally need it to have:

  • web server with high-level server-side language (PHP or NodeJS ideally). Although if necessary I could make an android app that does the heavy lifting and sends basic commands to the toy.
  • Wifi connectivity
  • low level hardware interface for controlling motors or other hardware, via SPI, UART or similar.
  • Ability to interface with a camera, to stream to the client (browser or app).

I'm pretty sure I'll have to compromise on something, and my question is what hardware alternatives to the RPi are a best match. Thanks

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