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 BeagleBone Black to a USB sonar sensor

Now that you have a mobile platform and your robot can move, you will want to check if your robot could run into something. One of my favorite ways to do this is using a sonar sensor. First: a little tutorial on sonar sensors. This type of sensor uses ultrasonic sound to calculate the distance to an object. The sound wave travels out from the sensor, as illustrated here:

The device sends out a sound wave ten times a second. If an object is in the path of these waves, then the waves reflect off the object, sending waves that return to the sensor, as shown here:

The sensor then measures any return. It uses the time difference between when the sound wave was sent out and when it returned, to measure the distance to the object.

Prepare for lift off

The first thing you'll want to do is connect the USB sonar sensor to your PC, just to make sure everything works well. Here are the steps:

  1. First, download the terminal emulator SW from http://www.maxbotix...