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

Connecting the USB camera to the BeagleBone Black and viewing the images

Our first step in enabling computer vision is connecting the USB camera to the USB port. I have a new Logitech HD 720 camera as my example.

Prepare for lift off

To access the USB webcam, I like to use a program called guvcview. Install this by typing sudo apt-get install guvcview.

Engage thrusters

Connect your USB camera and make sure your LAN cable is plugged in. Then apply power to the BeagleBone Black. After the system is booted, you can check to see if the BeagleBone Black has found your USB camera. Go to the /dev directory and type ls. You should see the output as shown in the following screenshot:

Look for the video0 device, the webcam. If you see it, the system knows your camera is there.

Now let's use guvcview to see the output of the camera. Since this will need to output some graphics, you either need to use a monitor connected to the board as well as a keyboard and a mouse, or you can use vncserver. If you are...