Book Image

BeagleBone Robotic Projects

By : Richard Grimmett
Book Image

BeagleBone Robotic Projects

By: Richard Grimmett

Overview of this book

Thanks to new, inexpensive microcontrollers, robotics has become far more accessible than it was in the past. These microcontrollers provide a whole new set of capabilities to allow even the most inexperienced users to make amazingly complicated projects. Beaglebone is effectively a small, light, cheap computer in a similar vein to Raspberry Pi and Arduino. It has all of the extensibility of today's desktop machines, but without the bulk, expense, or noise. This project guide provides step-by-step instructions to allow anyone to use this new, low cost platform in some fascinating robotics projects. By the time you are finished, your projects will be able to see, speak, listen, detect their surroundings, and move in a variety of amazing ways. The book begins with unpacking and powering up the components.This will include guidance on what to purchase and how to connect it all successfully–and a primer on programming the BeagleBone Black. Chapter by chapter, we will add additional software functionality available from the open source community, including how to make the system see using a webcam, how to hear using a microphone, and how to speak using a speaker. We then add hardware to make your robots move–including wheeled and legged examples–as well as covering how to add sonar sensors to avoid or find objects, plus wireless control to make your robot truly autonomous. Adding GPS allows the robot to find itself. Finally the book covers how to integrate all of this functionality so that it can all work together, before developing the most impressive robotics projects: those that can sail, fly, and explore underwater.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
BeagleBone Robotic Projects
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Mission briefing

There is rarely anything as exciting as ordering the latest new technology and anticipating its arrival. You daydream of the projects you'll build, the amazing things you can do, the accolades you'll receive from family, friends, and colleagues. However, reality rarely fulfills your fantasies. This project will hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls that normally accompany unboxing and configuring your BeagleBone Black. You'll step through the process, answer all kinds of clarifying questions, and help you understand what is going on. If you don't get through this project, then you'll not be successful at any of the others, so buckle up and get ready for an exciting ride.

The most challenging aspect of accomplishing this for me as your guide is trying to decide to what level I should describe each step. Some of you are beginners, some have limited experience, others will know significantly more than I in some of these areas. I'll try to keep it brief, but also try to be thorough, so that at least you'll know what steps to take in order to be successful. I'll also try to point out some of the different ways you can get help if you are encountering problems. So for this project, here are your objectives.

Your objectives

Your objectives are as follows:

  • Hooking up a keyboard, mouse, and display

  • Changing the operating system

  • Adding a graphical user interface

  • Accessing the board remotely


Downloading the example code and colored images

You can download the example code and colored images for this book you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

Mission checklist

Here are the items you'll need for this project:

  • A BeagleBoard Black

  • The USB cable provided with the board

  • A display with the proper video input

  • A keyboard, mouse, and powered USB hub

  • A micro SD card of at least 4 GB

  • A micro SD card reader/writer that fits your computer

  • Another computer that is connected to the Internet

  • An Internet connection for the board