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 a program in Linux to control the mobile platform

Now that you can control your servos using basic commands, let's control them using a program.

Prepare for lift off

So, you know that you can talk to your servo motor controller and set your servos. In this section, you'll create a Python SW program that will let you talk to your servos a bit more intuitively. You'll issue commands that tell a servo to go to a specific angle, and it will go to that angle. You can then add a set of such commands to allow your legged mobile robot to lean left, lean right, or even take a step forward.

Engage thrusters

Let's start with a simple program that will make your legged mobile robot's servos go to 90 degrees. This should be somewhere close to the middle of the 180 degrees you can set. However, the center, maximum, and minimum values can vary from servo to servo, so you may need to calibrate these values. To keep things simple, we will not cover that here. The following is the code:

The explanation...