Book Image

BeagleBone Robotic Projects. - Second Edition

Book Image

BeagleBone Robotic Projects. - Second Edition

Overview of this book

BeagleBone Blue 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 that enable 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 includes guidance on what to purchase and how to connect it all successfully, and a primer on programming the BeagleBone Blue. You will add additional software functionality available from the open source community, including making the system see using a webcam, hear using a microphone, and speak using a speaker. You will then learn to use the new hardware capability of the BeagleBone Blue to make your robots move, as well as discover how to add sonar sensors to avoid or find objects. Later, you will learn to remotely control your robot through iOS and Android devices. At the end of this book, you will see how to integrate all of these functionalities to work together, before developing the most impressive robotics projects: Drone and Submarine.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Customer Feedback

Chapter 1. Getting Started with the BeagleBone Blue

Welcome to the beginning of an exciting adventure! Hopefully, you've ordered and received your BeagleBone Blue, an exciting platform that combines some excellent computing resources with the capability of accessing a wide range of hardware power.

Ordering the hardware (HW) is the exciting part of any project. You have wonderful dreams of all that you might accomplish once this amazing piece of technology is delivered. Unfortunately, the frustration of the first few attempts at accessing the capabilities of the unit can leave many developers, especially those with little experience with this type of dedicated system, so discouraged that the board ends up on the shelf, gathering dust next to the pet rock and cassette tape recorder.

In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:

  • Powering up and connecting to the BeagleBone Blue
  • Accessing the operating system
  • Accessing the board remotely via WLAN
  • Downloading the example code and colored images

There is rarely anything as exciting as ordering the latest new technology and anticipating its arrival. You daydream of the projects you'll build, the amazing things you can do, and the accolades you'll receive from family, friends, and colleagues. However, reality rarely meets your fantasies. This chapter will hopefully help you avoid the pitfalls that normally accompany unboxing and configuring a dedicated processor system such as the BeagleBone Blue. You'll step through the process and get answers to all kinds of specific questions so that you can understand what is going on. If you don't get yourself through this chapter, then you'll not be successful at any of the others, so buckle up and get ready for an exciting ride.

The most challenging aspect of accomplishing this for me as your guide is trying to decide to what level I should describe each step. Some of you are beginners, others have some limited experience, while still others will know significantly more than I in some of these areas. I'll try and keep it brief, but also try to be thorough so that at least you'll know what steps to take in order to be successful. I'll also try and point out some of the different ways you can get help if you are encountering problems.


You can download the example code and colored images for this book from your account at If you purchased the book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files mailed directly to you.

Here are the items you'll need for this chapter's project:

  1. A BeagleBoard Blue.
  2. The USB cable provided with the board.
  3. An external power supply that can provide 7.4 to 18 volts or a standard 2S LiPo battery for the BeagleBone Blue.
  4. A wireless LAN connection for the BeagleBone Blue.
  5. A separate computer that is connected to the internet.