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

Creating and running Python programs on the BeagleBone Black

Now that you can get around, and even edit programs, you can begin to use the BeagleBone Black to create programs so you can control your robotic projects.

Prepare for lift off

Now that you are ready to begin programming, you'll need to choose a language. There are many available, C, C++, Java, Python, Perl, and a great deal of other possibilities. I'm going to introduce you to Python for two reasons. First, it is a straightforward language that is intuitive and very easy to use. Second, much of the open source functionality in the robotics world is available in Python. We'll also cover a bit of C in this chapter as well, as some functionality is only available in C. But it makes most sense to start in Python. To work the examples in this section, you'll need a version of Python installed to complete this section. Fortunately the basic Ubuntu system has a version already installed, so you are ready to begin.

We are going to just cover...