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BeagleBone Blue board has all the components that should be needed to make/build a robot on a credit card size board. Before Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone was the only low-cost developer board for developer and enthusiasts. Still, Raspberry PI is used by many users, and BeagleBone blue board is being targeted at robots.
An open-source BeagleBone Blue board aims for robots, drones:
The new credit card sized BeagleBone Blue board has all the components needed to operate a robot or drone is available on BeagleBoard.org just for $79.95. It is open source, as its schematics have been published, and developers can replicate the board.
Drones and Robots have unique requirements. And some computer boards specialize in specific features. For example, Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 and Intel’s Joule excel at computer vision and can give robots digital eyes to steer past obstacles. These boards also have powerful graphics processors and 64-bit CPUs.
The BeagleBone Blue is not as powerful but has the components and software package needed to build medium-sized or small robots and drones.
BeagleBone Blue board includes servo motors, electronic speed controllers, DC motor controllers, and sensors that aid in robot movement and sense. It has the components needed to load and support a two-cell lithium-polymer battery. These components don’t come standard on a Raspberry Pi 3, which is more of a multi-purpose developer board.
A number of standard software programming tools can be used to develop robots on the board, which supports ROS (Robot Operating System). ROS sits on top of Debian Linux, which is the main OS supported by BeagleBone Blue.
The board support for 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1. It has 512MB of DDR3 RAM and 4GB of flash storage. It also has GPS, which is especially helpful when building drones. The board supports Ardupilot, an open-source autopilot system to help control drone movement.
The Blue runs on a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, which is a chip design now about 12 years. The CPU is incorporated into Octavo Systems OSD3358, system-on-chip. Older chips are now finding new life in IoT and non-traditional computing devices.
It has standard interfaces found on other developer boards, like UARTs, SPI and I2C. It also has a DSM2 radio transmitter.