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

Using a servo to move a single sensor

You now have your sensor, but if you want to sense in more than just one direction, you could use several sensors, each mounted to a different side of the robot. However, there is a way to use servos to move your sensor, which allows you to use a single sensor to sense in several directions.

Prepare for lift off

The simplest way to avoid having to purchase and configure several sensors is to mount the sensor on a single servo, then use a servo bracket to connect this assembly to the platform. Using the sonar sensor, the assembly will look something like this:

Make sure you connect your servo to the servo controller; it can fit into any open connection. I am connecting mine to my quadruped that has eight servos to control, so I have connected mine to the eighth connection on the servo controller board. Here is an image:

Engage thrusters

I'll assume you already have your sensor up and working and know how to read data. In this section, you will add the ability...