I think the BeagleBone Black is great! Here's what I've done with it during my first three days


10 years ago built a robot based on the Handyboard, Four years ago I built a robot based on the Qwerk controller (arm/fpga linux based)… Two years ago I started playing around with the cheap AC3 cameras that run Node. When I read about the BeagleBone Black I though… man that would make a cool platform to build my next robot.

My hello world application … take a full spectrum rgb led from radio shack and drive it with three pwm channels. This is when I disabled the beagleBones HDMIport. There’s no need for HDMI in my application I could use the 20 GPIO lines for other stuff.

Next I took a an old 3 axis gyroscope with thermometer sold by Radio shack… A Parallax L3G4300D. I added the i2c_master node module… I can communicate with the gyro on the command line using i2cset and i2cget… I didn’t finish my application that uses the i2c_master code yet but plan to post it when done.

I picked up a cheap usb audio adapter manufactured by Sabrent from amazon. cheap as in $9.95 . It works great. My speach recognition will run on board.

Soon I’ll start working on the motor controller. I believe in accurate dead reckoning so I combine back emf, optical encoders, and an accelerometer…I process the data from all three.

this will be a robot that will go outside. gps.

There’s a lot of work to do first. I am researching to see what i2c 3.3v sonar is out there. I will be building a sonar array. i2c is perfect for that. Infrared sensors are used to detect obstacles closer than 2".

I’m not sure what I am going to use for optical tracking yet. I’m going to purchase a small usb hub to test it it’s possible to support wifi,audio, and a usb camera.

I’ve got to admit, when Node was first released I didn’t like it. I’m used to declaring my chars, ints… etc. In Node… even your numerical data is a var. It was hard for me to take a programming language like that seriously. I started to play with it with the beagleBone… I’m using the eventinterval timers and callbacks in my test code… and really like it.

I’m not sure what I’m going to use for a robot platform yet. I was going to gut a Brookstone rover… but now I’m thinking about the 4x4 platform from Lynxmotion.

I’ve got an inductive charger platform planned. I’ve been experimenting with the inductve charger available from adafruit. Of course I’ll need more voltage and current than what is available (5v 500ma) but I’m just playing with the technology right now.

This board can be used in so many projects. It won’t be long until I buy another one w/lcd touch display. I’ve got an sdr usb stick. Combine this with some custom software and tap the hdmi output for audio out you can build a pretty slick sdr radio.

This is an awesome development platform. You get a lot for $49.00! Keep up the great work!