Open-Source Robotics Controller

Description

BeagleBone Blue from BeagleBoard.org is a complete robotics controller built around the BeagleBone open hardware single-board computer (SBC). The high-performance BeagleBone Blue combines flexible networking capabilities with a real-time-capable Linux system and easy-to-connect interfaces for building robots, machine control, or even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones).

 

The BeagleBone Blue, available from Mouser Electronics, provides 4 GBytes of eMMC flash storage, microSD slot, a 3D graphics accelerator and a NEON floating-point. Like the BeagleBone Black Wireless, the BeagleBone Blue is built on the Octavo Systems OSD3358 system-in-package (SiP), which integrates a Texas Instruments (TI) AM3358 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 512 MBytes of DDR3 SDRAM, and two 32-bit programmable realtime units (PRUs) for fast peripheral control. The Octavo chip also includes a TI TPS65217C power management IC (PMIC), TI TL5209 low dropout (LDO) voltage regulator, and over 140 passive components, which opens up board space for BeagleBone Blue's many connectivity and sensor features.

 

The BeagleBone Blue features high-speed USB 2.0 host and client and a TI WiLink 8 module, which provides support for 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, and Bluetooth low energy. In addition to two sensors — a 9-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) and a barometer — the board includes four DC motor drivers and eight server motor outputs, as well as four quadrature encoder inputs for speed and direction measurements. For additional connectivity, the board provides eight general purpose inputs and outputs (GPIOs) and CAN, UART, SPI, and I2C interfaces.

 

The BeagleBone Blue is powered via the microUSB port, 9V — 18VDC barrel jack, or a two-cell lithium polymer battery connector with cell balancer. The board ships with Linux and BeagleBoard's Cloud9 integrated development environment (IDE) on the eMMC, and also supports Debian and other distributions of Linux; Ardupilot platform for UAVs; and ROS operating system for robots.

Specs

  • Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8
  • 512MB DDR3 RAM
  • 4GB 8-bit on-board flash storage
  • 2×32-bit 200MHz programmable real-time units (PRUs)
  • On-board flash programmed with Linux distribution
  • Debian, ROS, Ardupilot, ...
  • Graphical programming, Cloud9 IDE on Node.js plus much more
  • Battery: 2-cell LiPo support with balancing, 6-16V charger input
  • Wireless: 802.11bgn, Bluetooth 4.0 and BLE
  • Motor control: 8 servo motor outputs, 6V servo out, 4 DC motor out, 4 quad encoder inputs
  • Sensors: 9-axis IMU, barometer
  • Connectivity: HighSpeed USB 2.0 client and host
  • Other easy connect interfaces: GPS, DSM2 radio, UARTs, SPI, I2C, analog, buttons, LEDs
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